Tag Archives: highly recommended

Book Review: Serving Up Secrecy, by H.M. Shander


The first book I read by H.M. Shander was Ask Me Again, the second book in her Charlotte Cooper set and I was an instant fan. I’ve been spending so much time under deadlines lately that I haven’t had enough time to read so when I saw the blurb I knew I had to read this one too. I love secret baby stories, and this one was fantastic.

From the first pages where Josephine finds herself in a hotel room with a very hot, very naked man, I found myself thoroughly engrossed in the story. Both she and James are flawed but very likeable, and her best friend Ana is hilarious. HM has a gift for writing characters that you feel like you’ve known all their lives and a great, conversational way of writing that makes it easy to lose yourself in the story, as if a friend is telling it to you, and it makes the pages fly by. When I wasn’t reading it, I found myself thinking about Josephine and James and hoping they’d make it through.

I’ve still been crazy busy with the book release but when I got to the last third of the book I planted my tattooed butt in the bathtub and devoured it. For a little while I wasn’t sure Josephine would get her happy ending, and I couldn’t stand the tension! When I finished the book, my eyes were filled with tears. Whether they were tears of sadness or Joy (see what I did there?) I’m not going to tell you – you have to read it and find out for yourself!

As with her Charlotte Cooper books, I highly recommend Serving Up Secrecy and am looking forward to reading the others in the series. I’ve already downloaded Serving Up Devotion! Pick your copy up now at your favorite retailer!

Kindle: http://mybook.to/SUSecrecy

Kobo: http://goo.gl/dv6YsV

Nook: http://goo.gl/hfBQNc

iBooks: http://goo.gl/STf1ip

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Book Review: Blackbird Summer

Blackbird Summer

In the cornerstone of the rural south, Brooklyn, Mississippi, no one dares make eye contact with the strange Caibre family. Until the rewards are worth the cost. The townsfolk come, cash in hand, always at night, to pay for services only a Gifted can provide.

No matter the Gifts prevalent in her family, at twenty-one, Tallulah is expected to follow the path laid out for her: marriage, babies, and helping her mama teach the family home school program. She’s resigned to live the quiet life and stay out of trouble…until she meets Logan.

An outsider and all around rebel, Logan doesn’t care about her family’s reputation. Yet after a tragic loss wreaks havoc on the crumbling relationship between the Caibres and the townsfolk, Tallulah must decide if love and freedom are worth risking everything.

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of Blackbird Summer and it may be the best book I’ve read in a long time. I said on Twitter that I wish Goodreads let me give a book 6 stars and it’s not a joke.

The Gifted members of the family are all so wonderful that I found myself wishing I was related to them. Their Gifts were awesome but it was the love they shared and the close-knit quality of their family that drew me to them, and it was the same love that tore me apart when tragedy struck them. I was so invested in their family, in fact, that when the unthinkable happened I cried.

The forbidden love story between Tully and Logan moved at a natural pace for a couple of twentysomethings, with just enough romance story trappings to make me swoon. I was rooting for them the whole time, and hoping things would work out between them in the face of the Caibre family traditions.

The Caibre family had such strong traditions and folk-like tendencies that when Tully mentioned things like dial up internet and cell phones it almost seemed foreign. She and her sister Delia were complete opposites but Delia seemed to serve as the story’s link to the “future” while Tully represented the traditional “past” even though she was only a few years older than Delia. The disparity between the two sisters made their characters all the more real and when they faced some very real-world problems I felt like they were my own sisters in need of support and love.

The true genius behind Shotwell’s writing is her ability to make you lose yourself in the story. I had a hard time putting it down, always telling myself I would read just one more chapter. I was also excited to see that there’s another Blackbird novel in the works and hope it’s about Delia, though I can’t imagine what can still happen in Brooklyn.

I highly, highly recommend Blackbird Summer to everyone. I honestly cannot wait until it comes out so I can point people in the direction of buy links, and you can bet I’m going to be reminding you when it comes out.