The Housewife Assassin’s Handbook by Josie Brown

25253781I downloaded this book during an ebook sale quite a while ago and just now got around to reading it. I was not compensated for this review in any way.

Donna is just your typical housewife, going into labor with her third child, when she is told her husband has been killed. Following that shock is the news that he was a secret spy on an important mission. Donna is in need of a job when her husband’s former boss offers to have her trained for the same position. So she starts her double life: by day she’s a soccer mom, by night she’s out getting information and killing people.

Finally, she gets the news: they’re closing in on the group who had her husband killed. And she wants revenge. But who can she really trust?

Just when you think you know where this story is going, it twists… then twists again. I’ve always been good at guessing where a book is going to end up, and I love when they surprise me. This book will keep you guessing right to the end. There’s a whole series of books, no surprise there, but this book doesn’t leave a terrible cliffhanger to leave off on. It’s a good opportunity to continue the story with characters you like if you want to.

Diary of a Fat Girl by Moira Mugweni

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I downloaded this book during an ebook sale quite a while ago and just now got around to reading it. I was not compensated for this review in any way.

Bernadette is tired of being the fat one. The fat friend, the fat sister, she’s just tired of it. She’s leaving for NYU at the end of the summer and she’s determined that this summer is going to be the summer she gets fit. She goes to a gym to get a personal trainer but is disappointed at how expensive it is. That is, until the owner’s son catches her and offers to train her himself for half the price.

Warren is a tough coach, but he doesn’t let her give up. He puts her on a diet and has her out of bed at 6 am to work out. At least he’s nice to look at. They get closer and closer over the summer as Bernadette loses the weight and gains confidence in herself. Except he’s not the only one to notice the change…

She reaches out to a boy she met on a school trip that she ended up sleeping with, as she feels they never got closure. Fred is very interested in reconnecting and she looks forward to the day they can meet again when he’s in town. Except she can’t get Warren out of her head either.

Bernadette spends the summer improving herself and her relationships, including bonding with her twin sister who she had grown apart from. Both guys have their own secrets, so that’s not an easy decision for her to make, but she has the help of her friends.

This book left off on a serious cliffhanger, which I hate, but I do like her journey and where she is at the end of the book (pre-cliffhanger). The two guys into the same girl (that we’re supposed to consider unattractive) thing is a bit overdone but unlike most books, I feel like she made the right choice and didn’t get hung up over the decision and string us along.

 

 

The Harvest Baker by Ken Haedrich

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This book will be released on June 27, 2017. I received a copy through NetGalley.

The author of this book grew up in a family that loved to bake. His first opportunity to cook as a career came when he got a job as the cook in a group home. The gardener there constantly brought him stuff he had grown, and Ken had to figure out how to cook with it.

Every recipe in this book has a base of some fresh fruit or vegetable. The recipes range from breads to quiches and pizzas to, of course, dessert. There’s something for everyone’s taste in here. In the back, there’s a small section dedicated to sauces and glazes as well to top off the recipes.

This is a great book to try if you want to experiment with the strange and delicious looking things you find in the produce section or your local farmer’s market.

Breaking Up with Barrett by Katy Regnery

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I downloaded this book during an ebook sale quite a while ago and just now got around to reading it. I was not compensated for this review in any way.

Emily has known Barrett her entire life, despite their 8 or so year age difference they’ve always been somewhat close. Their only problem, he’s an English, the oldest son of a wealthy family, and she’s ‘the help’, the daughter of the gardener and the housekeeper.

When Barrett, who can’t be bothered to take a relationship seriously enough to find someone, needs a woman on his arm to take to business dinners, he offers Emily a semi-regular gig to pose as his fiancee. Emily needs the money for rent, so she accepts. The job is easy enough, Barrett is nice looking and they’ve always gotten along, but Emily feels uneasy about the job as she’s starting to have feelings for him.

After they share a passionate moment or two, she’s ready to back out: she’s not comfortable accepting money when passionate moments are involved. Barrett is close to closing a deal, so he pleads with her for one more weekend, and she agrees with one condition: keep things professional.

Can Barrett and Emily survive a weekend suppressing their feelings?

I don’t read a lot of traditional romance these days but I really liked this book. It was refreshing in that it was predictable enough to tell exactly how it was going to end, but it didn’t feel like I was reading the same old book again. It was also refreshing in that both parties acted maturely and there was none of the contrived ‘one person sees something that looks bad for the other person and doesn’t give them a chance to explain’ or even ‘they’re trying to deny their feelings so they just fight all the time’ either. It was simple and lovely and well-written.

After the Cure by Deidre Gould

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I downloaded this book during an ebook sale quite a while ago and just now got around to reading it. I was not compensated for this review in any way.

After a plague has wiped out most of the population, Nella is one of the Immunes left to pick up the pieces after the remaining Infected have mostly been cured. A psychologist, Nella has been asked to assist with a court case against one of the scientists responsible for leaking the bacteria that caused the plague. The scientist’s defense attorney, Frank, is one of the Cured.

The scientist confesses that there is a worse strand of the disease out there somewhere, and it can’t be cured. It’s up to Nella and Frank to find the missing vials and the remaining scientists before it’s too late and someone releases another worse plague on the world. They get close over the course of the investigation, but will the fact that she’s an Immune and he’s Cured come between them? Will they figure out who has the vials in time to prevent another disaster?

 

 

Dying for a Living by Kory M. Shrum

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I downloaded this book during an ebook sale quite a while ago and just now got around to reading it. I was not compensated for this review in any way.

Jesse Sullivan has a bit of a strange job. She is what is known as a necronite, she can’t die. Necronites are recruited to perform a very specific service: death replacement. Now information is available to tell people what day they are going to die, and rich people can hire death replacements. Their death replacement agent will spend the day with them, and when the death happens, the agent will take their place.

Everything goes wrong when one of the people Jesse is meant to replace turns on her and attempts to cut her head off, the only way to kill a necronite. Luckily it doesn’t work and she just dies normally, but now she has to not only solve her own murder but help figure out who is trying to stop the death replacement program.

I’m not a big fan of paranormal fiction, but I love it when the premise is unique or interesting. The idea of death replacement is super interesting and very realistic if we had that kind of power or technology. This is one of the few books that do a series right, everything is not neatly tied up at the end so you have to read the next book or more to actually see how things turn out.

The Haven’s Kitchen Cooking School by Alison Cayne

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This book was released on April 4, 2017. I received a copy through NetGalley.

Not only is this a cookbook, it reads like a cooking textbook, but very approachable. It has nine overall chapters/lessons with a specific food group for each, such as cooking eggs to teach timing or meat to teach temperature and heat. Each section has step by step instructions plus some recipes to try for practice. To teach mise en place, there’s a chapter on different kinds of fritters such as broccoli quinoa fritters or falafel.

I think this book would make a great gift for anyone who really wants to dive into cooking, or simply pick it up for yourself to learn something new. I like how along with basic cooking techniques there are a lot of international recipes to use them in, made simple for beginners. I would be happy to own a paper copy of this for myself.