Spring #reading #Bookreviews- Queen of Diamonds @Sandra_Cox, The Beauty of Rain @WriterJamieBeck, Bright Lights, Big Christmas @MKayAndrews, Pack Up the Moon @Kristan_Higgins

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Spring has arrived and my grumpy, downer spirit is renewed, lol. I’ve been reading up a storm and have fallen way behind in reviews- oops. Hopefully, in the next couple of weeks I can make inroads on the omissions.

Here are today’s top picks. Click the covers to learn more.

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Logan Hunter is a bestselling author with a penchant for the ladies. Kendall Theron, his efficient publicist is prim and colorless—at least on the surface. Beneath the proper facade is a woman who will do anything to protect her family, even if it’s not quite legal. 

Kendall Theron is well aware of her boss’s philandering ways. As long as he doesn’t turn that lethal charm and inquisitive nature on her, she’s willing to turn a blind eye. After all, her job as his publicist is the perfect cover for a much more lucrative career- stealing diamonds.

The last thing she needed was the interest of a man who solved mysteries for a living. Especially one with a razor-sharp mind whose thought processes had more twists and turns than a country road.

Cox, Sandra. Queen of Diamonds (p. 6). Kindle Edition.

There’s something about his prim and proper receptionist/publicist that Logan can’t quite figure out. She’s an enigma, and since he loves a good mystery…

Sparks fly in this heart-warming romantic suspense novel. Single mother, Kendall, takes extraordinary measures to give her ailing mother the best care she can, leading a double life that threatens to fall like a stack of cards when her too-observant boss takes a sudden interest in her family’s lives.

I love the interplay between these characters!

Ms. Cox is a pro when it comes to story-building. She has the ability to fully invest the reader in a matter of paragraphs. The family dynamics are as engaging as the love interests in her stories. I encourage you to give her books a try, you won’t regret it!

Two devoted sisters at a tragic breaking point discover the beautiful and painful truths of being alive in a powerful novel by Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author Jamie Beck.

The horrifying loss of her husband and child in a boat accident while vacationing destroys Amy Walsh’s perfect life. A winning lottery ticket seems to give her family the answer to every dream they’ve had; instead, it rips the very fabric of her world to shreds, leaving Amy lost, alone, and ready to end her own life- if only her sister will let her go.

Finding her sister after a botched suicide attempt scares the hell out of Kristin. Worried she might try it again, Kristin invites Amy to stay with her chaotic family, hoping it will help her fragile sister to heal. A decision that backfires with petty jealousies and in-house bickering putting a strain on Kristin and Amy’s relationship.

Amy is determined to end her life within a year, but first, she needs to teach her sister what is truly important- family.

This is a deeply emotional read taken from a chapter in the author’s own life. The lesson is a powerful one; cherish every moment with loved ones, you never know if it could be the last.

“I voluntarily read an ARC of this book which was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.”

It’s a long way from a Christmas tree farm in the mountains of North Carolina to a certain street corner in Greenwich Village, but Kerry Tolliver, newly unemployed and romantically unattached, reluctantly agrees to make the trek, and live in a tiny vintage camper with her gruff older brother (and his dog Queenie) out of family loyalty.

Kerry Tolliver is persuaded to leave the comforting warmth of her family’s tree farm and travels to New York with her brusque brother, Murphy, to sell Christmas trees. To add insult to injury, the siblings are staying in a relic holiday trailer they call Spammy.

Eating and washroom facilities are granted by a kindly restaurant owner while showering is offered in a stranger’s condo. Kerry learns the big city is not as cold and impersonal as she expected, and soon makes connections within the neighborhood, including a handsome single father and his adorable six-year-old son.

Childhood memories remind Kerry of Christmas’s past and the joy the season brings opens her heart to future possibilities.

“I voluntarily read an ARC of this book which was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.”

And finally, one of my favorites for 2023!

Emotional, heartwarming, and perfect for book clubs, TikTok sensation Pack Up the Moon illuminates how love always finds a way to carry bring us joy, even when we least expect it.

This story will rip your heart out and sew it up again month by painful month- a must read!

Lauren shares her story through a series of heart-wrenching letters to her father, who passed away suddenly when she was a teen, and the love of her life and husband of three perfect, wonderful years- Josh.

Suffering from shortness of breath on their honeymoon, Lauren puts it down to her asthma. But then, a frightening episode in the office sends her to the emergency room, and the eventual diagnosis of IPF (Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis), a terminal disease that causes scarring of the lungs.

With a time clock on her life, Lauren makes the difficult decision to write Josh twelve letters, one for every month after she’s gone, to help him on the road to recovery. She knows her brilliant, loner husband will be lost without her gentle nudges to move on, and more than anything she wants him to be okay.

Their marriage had been so short, but so happy. Yawning terror combined with utter bliss. Their beautiful catastrophe.

Higgins, Kristan. Pack Up the Moon (p. 117). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

After Lauren’s diagnosis, Joshua floated between bouts of deep depression, rage, and frustration that he, with his many degrees, couldn’t create a tool to save her life.

The first time they’d met, he’d insulted her. Thank God he’d gotten another chance. Not that God existed. Otherwise, she’d still be alive. Who the hell took someone like her at age twenty-eight? A merciful God? Fuck that.

Higgins, Kristan. Pack Up the Moon (p. 8). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

The only thing he could do was make sure her remaining time on Earth would be memorable. Filled with every adventure she ever dreamed of having, every location she craved to travel to, and every moment wondering if it would be her last.

And then she was gone, and he was alone.

I cried so much through this story, but Lauren and Josh’s love also made my heart swell. The death of a loved one is something we all face at one time or another. No one is ever prepared. There is no wrong way to grieve. I’d like to think my family is in Heaven watching over me, but whatever your religion, accept the help of those around you, know that they hurt as well, and together you can find peace, and maybe even a second chance at happiness.

Truly, one of the best books I’ve read ❤

This is an everbearing lilac. It flowers continually throughout the summer and scents the garden with the most wonderful perfume.

30 Replies to “Spring #reading #Bookreviews- Queen of Diamonds @Sandra_Cox, The Beauty of Rain @WriterJamieBeck, Bright Lights, Big Christmas @MKayAndrews, Pack Up the Moon @Kristan_Higgins”

        1. Good other than the extreme weather they’ve been receiving. Lots of gale force hurricanes flooding the city and last night a tsunami warning after a 7.7 earthquake hit southeast of the Loyalty Islands.
          How are you doing in your new home? It must be wonderful to be closer to the kids.


  1. Great reviews, Jacquie! I completely agree about Sandra’s books and this was a good one in her collection. Your review of Pack up the Moon already had tears in my eyes! Beautiful ilacs too, my favorite spring scent. Mine are just starting to bloom.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We had a huge lilac tree in our yard back in Alberta. It was probably fifteen feet tall and draped over the back deck so that the scent drifted throughout the house when the patio doors were open. I miss that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great reviews Jacquie. I have had Pack up the Moon on my TBR since it came out, I think I finally need to read it. Mary Kay Andrews is on my TBR for Christmas in July.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What an interesting selection of books, Jacquie. I did not know Sandra Cox had written anything besides westerns, so I learned something today. The Kristin Higgins book sounds SO good! Thank you for sharing all of these.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pack up the Moon sounds devastating. I don’t know if my heart could take it. I was practically crying as I read the blurb and review. Lots of great reads here, Jacquie. It’s that time of year when us PNWers have to take advantage of our handful of sunny months. Enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

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