Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Review - - Canadian Boyfriend

Canadian Boyfriend
by Jenny Holiday
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: January 30, 2024
Reviewed by PJ

Once upon a time teenage Aurora Evans met a hockey player at the Mall of America. He was from Canada. And soon, he was the perfect fake boyfriend, a get-out-of-jail-free card for all kinds of sticky situations. 
I can't go to prom. I'm going to be visiting my boyfriend in Canada. He was just what she needed to cover her social awkwardness. He never had to know. It wasn't like she was ever going to see him again...

Years later, Aurora is teaching kids’ dance classes and battling panic and eating disorders—souvenirs from her failed ballet career—when pro hockey player Mike Martin walks in with his daughter. Mike’s honesty about his struggles with widowhood helps Aurora confront some of her own demons, and the two forge an unlikely friendship. There’s just one problem: Mike is the boy she spent years pretending was her “Canadian boyfriend.”

PJ's Thoughts:

Canadian Boyfriend is one of my favorite books this month. Jenny Holiday has crafted an endearing story with relatable characters (Aurora Evans isn't the only one who had a fake teenage Canadian boyfriend), a slow-burn romance, and a surprising amount of emotional depth. I've read it twice. I loved it the first time, even more the second. 

Mike, Aurora, and Olivia earned my affection almost immediately. These three are all navigating rocky emotional waters with varying degrees of success. I appreciated the openness that Holiday implemented when dealing with each of their individual journeys as well as their joint relationship path. The communication between Mike and Aurora was refreshing - aside from that teenage secret - but the important stuff was talked about openly and honestly. I liked that Mike was in therapy and that we were given a glimpse into his therapy sessions. It helped understand him better as he slowly moved forward after his wife's death. (It brought to mind Ted Lasso's sessions with Dr. Sharon Fieldstone. Yes, I'm a fan.) 

As for Aurora, dealing with a toxic mother is no picnic. It was heartening to watch Aurora slowly open herself to joys she had been denied by her mother and later denied herself (indoctrination). That Mike and Olivia were part of that growth - and healing - further cemented their growing feelings for one another.

There were many scenes in this book that I could highlight for readers but I think they are best discovered on your own in the course of the story. Do keep your eyes open for the Canadian camping trip, however. It touched me deeply. 

There were a few issues that kept this book from being 5 stars for me...but only a few. One, Aurora calls the hero Mike Martin throughout the entire book, even after they are in a committed relationship. Not a problem at the beginning but later on it became annoying, distracting, and flat-out weird. Also, Mike's over-the-top reaction to Aurora in the final chapters felt engineered for a "black moment" rather than organic and left me shaking my head. The pages that followed that, however, were good in that the author gave him time to fully process what had happened and, with help, not only recognize the truth but hold himself accountable for his part in it. It included self-growth (for both Aurora and Mike) that was necessary for a solid HEA. As I said, minor annoyances, but ones that did pull me out of the story. Overall, Canadian Boyfriend was a solid read and one I thoroughly enjoyed.  

Winner - - It Takes a Rake


The randomly chosen winner

of a print copy of

It Takes a Rake by Anna Bennett is:



Please send your full name and mailing address to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

Monday, January 29, 2024

Review - - The Excitements

The Excitements: A Novel
by CJ Wray
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: January 30, 2024
Reviewed by PJ

A brilliant and witty drama about two brave female World War II veterans who survived the unthinkable without ever losing their killer instinct…or their joie de vivre.

Meet the Williamson sisters, Britain’s most treasured World War II veterans. Now in their late nineties, Josephine and Penny are in huge demand, popping up at commemorative events and history festivals all over the country. Despite their age, they’re still in great form—perfectly put together, sprightly and sparky, and always in search of their next “excitement.”

This time it’s a trip to Paris to receive the Légion d’honneur for their part in the liberation of France. And as always, they will be accompanied by their devoted great-nephew, Archie.

Keen historian Archie has always been given to understand that his great aunts had relatively minor roles in the Women’s Royal Navy and the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry, but that’s only half the story. Both sisters are hiding far more than the usual “official secrets”. There’s a reason sweet Auntie Penny can dispatch a would-be mugger with an umbrella.

This trip to Paris is not what it seems either. Scandal and crime have always quietly trailed the Williamson sisters, even in the decades after the war. Now armed with new information about an old adversary, these much decorated (but admittedly ancient) veterans variously intend to settle scores, avenge lost friends, and pull off one last, daring heist before the curtain finally comes down on their illustrious careers.

PJ's Thoughts:

I really didn't know what to expect from this book. I thought there might be a fair amount of humor - and there is - but there is also much, much more. CJ Wray wrote a book I had difficulty putting down, with mystery, danger, poignant moments, life-altering secrets, and flawed, layered characters who kept me coming back for more.

Events unfolded like a movie across my mind as the adventures - both past and present - of these two ninety-something sisters played out over the course of the book. I could visualize Penny and Josephine so clearly. And Archie, their great-nephew, as well. The relationship between Archie and the aunts was so endearing. Granted, it could be a bit frustrating and befuddling for Archie at times, while humorous at others, but always overflowing with mutual respect and love. 

I enjoyed the way the author slowly unveiled the layers of each sister via flashbacks throughout the book. Each of them turned out to be so much more than I had imagined when the book opened in present time. The flashes from present day to WWII era and back - with occasional stops during decades in between - happened sporadically, requiring me to keep my attention focused. Occasionally, if I took a break from reading, I found myself having to re-read pages to reorient myself but for the most part I was able to keep up without confusion. There was a lot going on. These two women did not lead quiet, uneventful lives. I have a feeling I might be reading this one a second time, just to make sure I didn't miss any gems on the first go-around. 

There's a terrific supporting cast - both past and present - who helped drive the story as well as providing insight into events that shaped Penny and Josephine. There's also a fair amount of fascinating historical information about British women who served during WWII, and the sometimes secret missions on which they were sent. 

Humor, suspense, poignant moments, danger, family secrets, and two whip-smart elderly ladies who may be in their sunset years but are still smarter - and more savvy - than the average bear, bring this story to life. I'd love to see it on screen. They'd have to age her a bit but I was picturing Helen Mirren as Penny the entire time I was reading. I give The Excitements an enthusiastic 4.5 stars. 

Friday, January 26, 2024

Review & Giveaway - - It Takes a Rake

It Takes a Rake
by Anna Bennett
Rogues to Lovers - Book 3
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Release Date: January 23, 2024
Reviewed by PJ

She’s about to face her biggest challenge yet…

Since she was a girl, Miss Kitty Beckett has been adept at finding trouble: sneaking brandy, running away, and getting under the skin of the boy who, like her, was an apprentice to an architect. Now Kitty’s a talented heiress who can take a dry building plan and breathe life into it with her pencils and paints. Also? She can spot a rake at a hundred yards—and she won’t be tricked or charmed into marriage. Certainly not by a man who might interfere with her dreams. When Bellehaven Bay announces its first ever architectural design contest, she vows to win—with a little help from her childhood rival.

Turning her buttoned-up nemesis into a certified rake.

Leo Lockland, a hardworking architect with a gift for numbers, has returned home after a few years in London, and he has secrets. The biggest? He’s been in love with Kitty since they were both apprentices. She refuses to give her heart to any man, but Leo’s determined to beat the odds—even if it means learning how to be a rake. Fortunately, Kitty’s willing to tutor him in the nuances of fashion, flirtation, and seduction in exchange for his help with the contest. But the whole plan would fall apart if she knew how he felt, so he’ll have to be very convincing.

Let the lessons begin…

Leo proves to be a surprisingly quick study in the ballroom, on the beach, and in the bedchamber. Before long, he’s softening Kitty’s hard edges with his wicked words and kissing his way past all her defenses. Perhaps she’s a bit too skilled at teaching, because her lessons are threatening to backfire, putting her closely guarded heart in grave danger…

PJ's Thoughts:

I loved the first two books in this series, setting the bar high for this third installment. It was fun returning to Bellehaven Bay, the seaside setting of all three books in the trilogy. I enjoyed catching up with meddling town locals as well as the main couples from books one and two. It feels good to catch a glimpse of the post-HEA lives of couples whose journeys I've enjoyed.  

I really like the strength, independence, and ambition of the three heroines in this series. Kitty is a talented architect pursuing a career in a male-dominated field. I was cheering her on to success the entire way. It was in her personal relationships, specifically her inflexibility and her hot and cold treatment of Leo, primarily in the second half of the book, where I found myself having a hard time supporting her. It all works out in the end but, to be honest, there were more than a few times where I wanted to tell Leo to run and not look back. 

Not that Leo is perfect. Who is, right? Still, I was in his corner from start to finish. And he is in Kitty's. He fell hard for her years ago and shows no signs of getting over it. Even four years away in London hasn't lessened the feelings he has for her. I could feel his yearning for her, the unrequited love he's hidden so well. I appreciate the respect he has for her and the unwavering support for her ambitions. I also cheered loudly when he finally stands up for himself and what he deserves...what they both deserve. It needed to be said. 

In the end, I was happy and confident in this couple's ability to have a happy life together. I didn't love their book but I did like it and I will definitely be reading more from this author.

Have you read any books by Anna Bennett?

What are your favorite romance settings outside London?

One randomly chosen person posting a comment before 11:00 PM, January 28 will receive a print copy of It Takes a Rake

*U.S. only
*Must be 18

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Review - - The Friendship Club

The Friendship Club: A Novel
by Robyn Carr
Publisher: MIRA
Release Date: January 23, 2024
Reviewed by PJ

Four women come together at a tumultuous time in their lives, forging an unbreakable bond that will leave them all forever changed.

Celebrity cooking show host Marni McGuire has seen it all. She’s been married—twice—and widowed and divorced. Now in her midfifties, she’s single. Happily so. She just needs to convince her pregnant daughter, Bella, of this fact. And maybe convince herself, too. Especially after Marni’s efforts to humor her determined daughter result in a series of disastrous dates that somehow prompt Marni to wonder if maybe the right man for her is still out there after all.   

Similarly single, Marni’s best friend and colleague is confident she’s content without a man, but both older women soon find themselves leading by example as the young intern on their show appears caught in a toxic relationship—and Bella reveals her own marriage maybe isn’t built to withstand the stresses of the baby on the way.

Suddenly, all four women find themselves at a crossroads, each navigating the challenges of dating, marriage, loneliness and love. Thankfully, they have each other to lean on. The realities of modern love are far from easy, but there’s no better group to have in your corner than friends who will lift you up, no matter what, and hold fast in the face of any storm.

PJ's Thoughts:

Robyn Carr explores the intersecting lives of four women of multiple generations in her newest women's fiction novel The Friendship Club. I enjoy reading about characters at different stages of life and Sophia, Bella, Ellen, and Marni provide plenty of food for thought as they each approach a crossroads with the possibility of taking them in new, and in some cases unexpected, directions. Carr does a good job of making all of these women - and their circumstances - relatable. While they range in age from twenty-two to sixty, they're developed in such a way that I was able to identify and empathize with all of them even if I had not shared their individual experiences.

The female bonding and support is strong in this book, something I enjoy in real life and on the page. I appreciated the banter among the women, the fun they have, the secrets they share, the way they challenge one another but also have each other's backs, the empowerment that results from that. I also like the fact that Ellen and Marni, at ages when many are contemplating retirement, step forward into new opportunities. Reinventing oneself never goes out of style. 

While the primary focus of this book is on the evolution of the women, there are also romantic elements. Some of the women find themselves entering into promising relationships as well as finding peace with past partners. A marriage faces emotional challenges during an IVF pregnancy, and, as in real life, one toxic relationship goes off the rails. There may be readers who are triggered by this. 

Finally, as one who uses baking to deal with stress, I love Marni's multi-tier cake. Okay, let's be honest, I love everything Marni cooks and bakes in this book. It had me drooling and ready to hit the kitchen myself. Also, as someone who was primary caregiver to my late husband for many years, I closely identify with Ellen and the emotional challenges she needs to overcome in order to move forward into a new relationship. I felt like I was right there with her, facing those emotional hurdles, and feeling an immense sense of relief when she conquered them.

If you enjoy women's fiction, strong female friendships, overcoming adversity, and starting over wiser and stronger, give Robyn Carr's The Friendship Club a try. 

Content Warnings: stalking, abusive relationship, cheating

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Review - - Accidentally His

Accidentally His
by Sabrina Jeffries
Designing Debutantes - Book 3
Publisher: Zebra Books
Release Date: January 23, 2024
Reviewed by PJ

As a viscount’s heir, Rafe Wolfford is obligated to take a wife someday. But she must be the right sort of wife—not too independent, and not inclined to delve into his escapades as a spy. The forthright, perceptive Lady Verity is altogether the wrong choice. But Rafe’s courtship is merely a ruse to discover whether Verity or anyone else associated with Elegant Occasions is leaking crucial information to the French. That mission is all that

matters—until fate, and desire, intervene.

After enduring one disastrous engagement, Verity won’t easily open her heart again, preferring to devote herself to Elegant Occasions. Rafe is charming, handsome, and kisses like the very devil, but she knows he’s harboring secrets. Still, when her ex-fiancé tries to ruin her reputation, Rafe offers his hand. For the sake of her family and business, Verity has little choice but to accept. Yet turning this arrangement into a true marriage will require daring and trust—which neither will embrace easily, making surrender all the sweeter.

PJ's Thoughts:

She saved the best for last. I've thoroughly enjoyed this trilogy by Sabrina Jeffries. It's been one of my favorites from her in a number of years. Diana's and Eliza's journeys to love in books one and two had me eagerly turning pages but it's this third book - youngest sister Verity's story - that kept me happily reading until well past my bedtime. Twice. 

After reading the first two books in this series, I had my fingers crossed that Jeffries would pair Verity with the elusive Phantom who kept slipping in and out of Elegant Occasions events. I was beyond curious to discover what he was up to and how that would impact Verity. I was delighted to discover he would be her hero and he did not disappoint. 

I loved Rafe and Verity together. The banter, the sparks, the matching of wits, the food, the reluctance to trust (for good reasons). Following along on their journey was pure pleasure. It was beyond fun to watch Rafe be continually baffled and surprised by Verity's ability to read him, a seasoned spy. She was one smart cookie, to be underestimated at one's own risk. Thankfully, it didn't take him too long to discover that.   

In Accidentally His, Jeffries has crafted an intriguing mystery within a sparkling romance that kept both main characters on their toes. She also threaded it with more than a few twists that kept them - and me - guessing well into the story as well as a depth of emotion that touched my heart. I enjoyed the roles Verity's sisters and their husbands played in this book as well as the questions surrounding Rafe's late parents. As always, family is paramount in the books of this series, helping to push the story forward with humor, conflict, and, at times, poignant emotion.    

You could read Accidentally His as a standalone but for maximum understanding and enjoyment, I would recommend reading the three books in order. They are: A Duke for Diana, What Happens in the Ballroom, and Accidentally His. All three are winners in my book. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Review - - Never Blow a Kiss

Never Blow a Kiss
by Lindsay Lovise
The Secret Society of Governess Spies - Book 1
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: January 23, 2024
Reviewed by Santa

The utterly charming Emily Leverton has a dark past and is determined to leave it behind in her respectable new role as a governess. But when she is recruited by a secret network of governesses who spy on the 
ton, it may just be a way to redeem the dark secrets of her past.

Straddling the worlds of the 
ton and the working class, as an ex-solider turned railroad magnate, Zach hunts killers for the Metropolitan Police by day and dutifully attends balls at night. In neither world has he met a woman with the brazenness to mock him. So when a saucy governess blows him a kiss he is determined to catch her, never expecting that when he does he will find an intelligent, quirky woman hiding more than her true name. As Zach peels back the layers of Emily’s lies, he falls for the street-wise woman who handles a dagger like a pro and kisses like a mistress. But when his affair with Emily intertwines with his hunt for a killer, he discovers Emily is hiding an explosive secret—one that could destroy them both.

Santa Says:

Never Blow A Kiss by Lindsay Lovise is the first book in a series that will keep readers coming back for more. I know that I will certainly be one of those readers. Never Blow A Kiss is a five star read from a new and, very promising, author.

Emily Leverton is struggling to keep her job as a governess. She is not a particularly good governess as any training she had was from the streets of the London slums and not from any finishing school. But being a governess meant having honest work unlike her mother or father had ever engaged in. Her ineptitude eventually got her fired but she was soon approached by a woman who only identified herself as The Dove. The Dove runs an exclusive agency of governesses whose real charge is to gather information about her employers.

Emily’s latest assignment brings her directly in the path of Zachariah Denholm. Like Emily, he is not all he seems to be. He is a self-made man whose wealth has gained him entry into many of the balls and soirees of the Ton. An ex-soldier, he has lent his expertise to the Metropolitan police as a detective constable. Not a bad resume for a butcher’s son who hailed from the same streets as Emily.

Their chance meeting across a ballroom sparks Zach’s interest when Emily blows him a kiss. Color him intrigued at this point. He follows her several times and learns that Emily is not the dreary governess she appears to be. Throughout they discover they each harbor secrets about their lives and in Emily’s case, her very identity. It also turns out they are also both in pursuit of an increasingly dangerous killer.

The mystery they are embroiled in is just one layer of this story. Their verbal sparring and increasing attraction to one another keeps the story and pages flying. As you can imagine, the identity and story behind The Dove and her band of governesses is what will bring this reader back for more of this author. I will be looking forward to the next book and more of this brilliant series and author.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Winners - - Jeanne Adams CMCon24 Spotlight


The randomly chosen winners from

Jeanne Adams' CMCon24 Featured Author Spotlight are:


Patricia B

Nicole B


Please send your email address and 

your choice of an e-book copy of

Anything With Nothing 


Love and Valentines at Caynham Castle to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Second Chance Winner - - Happily Ever Alaska


The original winner of a print copy of

Happily Ever Alaska by Patience Griffin

did not respond. 

The new winner is:

Cherie J


Please send your full name and mailing address to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

Winner - - The Lily of Ludgate Hill


The randomly chosen winner of

a print copy of The Lily of Ludgate Hill is:



Please send your full name and mailing address to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

Winner - - The Bright Spot


The randomly chosen winner of a

print copy of

The Bright Spot by Jill Shalvis is:

Jami Birnbaum


Please send your full name and mailing address to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

Winner - - Always Remember


The randomly chosen winner of

a hard cover copy of

Always Remember by Mary Balogh is:

Diane Sallans


Please send your full name and mailing address to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

Friday, January 19, 2024

Coastal Magic Featured Author Spotlight & Giveaway - - Jeanne Adams


This month, Jeanne Adams is in the Coastal Magic Convention Featured Author Spotlight. Jeanne has been a friend of The Romance Dish since our early days in 2009 and it's a pleasure to welcome her back. Jeanne is an award-winning author of thrilling suspense, wicked Urban Fantasy, paranormal romantic suspense, and dramatic space adventures. Something for everyone! She also recently spent a year in Scotland (more on that in the Q&A). Please give her a warm Romance Dish welcome. 

Hi, Jeanne! Welcome back to The Romance Dish for your Coastal Magic 2024 Featured Author Spotlight!
Hi PJ! Thanks for having me! Always love talking with you.
You have a new novella (novelette?) coming out on November 28. What can readers expect from Trouble in Althor?
I do! Thanks for asking! It’s a short story set in Mercedes Lackey’s world of Valdemar and it’s a bit of a murder mystery. I had so much fun just being invited, much less having a story included. I’ve been a Lackey fan for a long time.
Your story is part of Anything with Nothing, the new Valdemar anthology. Please tell us a bit about this world, its history, and what makes writing a story set within it special.
Valdemar is an interesting country, a monarchy with a twist – the monarch and the heir, along with a huge contingent of guardians are Heralds. That means they’ve been chosen by white-coated, blue-eyed, intelligent and otherworldy horses called Companions. This particular anthology was interesting because the prompt was to create characters in a situation where they had to get themselves out with little to no help – or little to nothing to work with. (Hence the title, Anything with Nothing) I chose to use the Heralds only peripherally.
Writing a story in this world is so fun and such a challenge because Ms. Lackey is thorough and creative and there are already a lot of rules to what you can and can’t do in the world. That was part of the delight though, so I didn’t mind.

This 17th anthology of short stories set in the beloved Valdemar high fantasy universe features tales by debut and established authors and a brand-new story from Mercedes Lackey.

The Heralds of Valdemar are the kingdom's ancient order of protectors. They are drawn from all across the land, from all walks of life, and at all ages—and all are Gifted with abilities beyond those of normal men and women. They are Mindspeakers, FarSeers, Empaths, ForeSeers, Firestarters, FarSpeakers, and more. These inborn talents—combined with training as emissaries, spies, judges, diplomats, scouts, counselors, warriors, and more—make them indispensable to their monarch and realm.

Sought and Chosen by mysterious horse-like Companions, they are bonded for life to these telepathic, enigmatic creatures. The Heralds of Valdemar and their Companions ride circuit throughout the kingdom, protecting the peace and, when necessary, defending their land and monarch.

Join a variety of authors as they ride with Mercedes Lackey to the beloved land of Valdemar and experience the many facets of this storied high fantasy realm.

Sounds like a lot of fun. 

You recently spent an extended length of time in Scotland. We’d love to hear about that experience and any highlights of your travels while there. Do you have plans to return?

Oh, my goodness, it was SO MUCH FUN!! I loved spending a year in Scotland doing my Master of Arts in Creative Writing with Edinburgh Napier University. I went as part of a dual-degree program with Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania. I’m in the second half of the program now, getting the MFA. It was hard being away from my family but thanks to Zoom, WhatsApp and other connection apps and programs, I talked to them every day!
Studying abroad was amazing. I honestly thought my opportunity for that was long past me, but this program helped me fulfill a dream I’d long given up on. Immersing myself in my “home” culture (I’m Scots/English/Irish) was amazing. Exploring Edinburgh was amazing. The rugby was amazing. It was one wonder after another pretty much for a whole year. (Except that week with Covid – that sucked).
I was able to travel to so many places I’d only read about – Durham, Aberdeen, Glen Coe, Carrbridge in the Highlands, and Shetland. One of the highlights was Shetland. I was there over 4th of July weekend and I’ve never been so bundled up on July 4 in my life! Ha! Shetland was amazing, the people were fabulous and the puffins were beyond cool.

I absolutely hope to return next year for Cymera, the Science Fiction and Fantasy convention and/or for RARE, the romance author and reader event. Both are held in Edinburgh. Oh, and to go to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo again – that was an amazing experience!!
Did your time in Scotland generate any plot bunnies? Any plans to set a future story there?

SOOOOO many plot bunnies! There is a story on every street, around every corner, in every stone wall or cannonball-pockmarked alley. There are stories in doorways and chimneys and parks and that’s just in Edinburgh. Ha! The mountains will set you sighing. The beaches and lochs make you long to sight a kelpie or a mer-person. I have a story started in my Slip Traveler series that is set in Scotland…may be a few years in the making with what’s in front of it, but oh, yeah, Scotland will show up!
Let’s talk about you a bit. What are your passions (aside from writing, of course)?
Well, how long do you have? Ha! I love hanging out with my family, and reading, of course. I adore football and am an avid fan. My eldest son is a baseball player, so I’m definitely a sports mom there too. I used to show dogs, though have pretty much retired from that, I’m still into my doggoes and Labrador Rescue. I love history and film and all sorts of things in those realms. I’m a planner geek too, by the way. Love all the planners and stickers and stuff.
What would readers be surprised to learn about you?

Readers are seldom surprised by us crazy authors, but I guess they might be surprised to discover that I’d raised and trained show dogs for so long. Mostly Dalmatians and Irish Water Spaniels.
Valentines Day is just around the corner. Do you have any traditions?
We don’t have many Valentine’s traditions here at Chez Adams. My husband and I agreed when we were dating that we’d rather go out to dinner when it’s not quite so crowded, but we always DO have a Valentine’s Day date, even if it’s a bit after the celebrated holiday. I usually try to make a heart-shaped cake too. (One year I did it with food coloring and coconut flakes – they don’t take red food coloring very well…)
If you could time travel anywhere in the future or past, where would you go and who (real or fictional) would you take with you?
Oooh, that would be fun! If I could go and just observe (rather than having to live there!) I think I’d have to go to ancient Egypt. I’d love to see the court and the Pharoahs and the pomp and circumstance there. I’d also love to be a watcher along the walls in the court of Elizabeth the First. What an incredible woman!
As to whom to take with me…I’d have to take my friend and sometime co-author Nancy Northcott. (Given that, we’d probably have to go to the court of Richard III). Or my husband, who’s a major history buff as well, but with him along, I’d have to go to the European Theater in WWII, or Corregidor in WWII!
What are your goals/hopes for 2024?
My goals for 2024 are multiple! I have a number of books that have been languishing in my computer because of how complex my life became over the last few years. With so many family issues on my plate, I didn’t get to finish and publish many of the books in my arsenal. So 2024 should be the Year of Jeanne Publishes Books! Ha! My hopes, of course, are that readers like them – and all my books – and find escape, solace, fun and adventure in between the covers…of a Jeanne Adams book!
Thanks for visiting with us today, Jeanne! I’m excited to see you in Daytona Beach next February for Coastal Magic Convention 2024.  
Again, Thanks, PJ!  I’m SO looking forward to Daytona in February! See you all there!

Readers, if you could spend the next year anywhere of your choosing where would you choose and why?

Three randomly chosen people who post a comment before 11:00 PM, January 21 will each receive their choice of an e-book copy of Anything With Nothing or Love and Valentines at Caynham Castle

*U.S. only
*Must be 18


Click for more information about Coastal Magic 2024. Weekend and single-day registrations are still available. It would be wonderful to see some of you there! 

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Review - - Finding Mr. Purrfect

Finding Mr. Purrfect
by Codi Gary
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: January 16, 2024
Reviewed by PJ

Frenemies + Fake Dating = Falling for the wrong person…for all the right reasons
Charity Simmons may have great taste in friends, felines, and fruit tarts, but if there’s one thing the baker and co-owner of Meow and Furever Cat Café knows, it’s that she has horrible taste in men. Case in point: Will Schwartz. He may be the best friend of 
her best friend’s boyfriend, but after their one night together, Charity is positive Will’s nothing but a womanizing charmer—despite his nice-guy persona and adorable, crooked smile. So why then did she pick him to pretend date to get her parents off her back about being single?

Will Schwartz may give relationships a hard pass, but he’s not about to say no to fake dating Charity. She’s brilliant, hilarious, and best of all, she’ll put an end to his mother’s interrogations about his love life. And maybe, after all this time giving him the cold shoulder, Charity will finally warm up to him.  But it’s not long before Will and Charity realize they got much more than they bargained for--and they’re freaking out. What if what they have isn't make believe but the real, forever kind of love?

PJ's Thoughts:

I have mixed feeling about this one. I liked the Cat Café. Any story that spotlights rescue animals is a plus with me. The marketing menu blurbs at the start of each chapter were fun and more than a few had me drooling. I want recipes! 

The first few chapters of this book were light and fun, setting up what I thought was going to be the vibe for the rest of the book. But then the story took a hard left and, whoa, dysfunction city. Suddenly we're knee deep into toxic family relationships (Charity), work stress, looming financial crises, misunderstandings, childhood emotional trauma (carried into adulthood), health crises, family secrets (Will), a fake relationship with physical attraction but a decided lack of understanding and compromise (from both main characters), and more. For me, all the side issues kept getting in the way of connecting with the two main characters as a couple. Others may not have that issue but I wanted more development of their relationship without all the extraneous issues. It's not that I didn't like the book - it has a lot of positives going for it - it's just that I wanted a deeper connection with the characters and less noise steering me away from their romantic journey. 

If you enjoy a frenemies-to-lovers romcom with flawed characters, a fair number of romantic obstacles, family you'd just as soon toss off a cliff, but also solid friends and rescue cats, this book might be a good fit for you.