Thursday, May 30

Audiobook Review: The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

Author: Agatha Christie
Narrator: Richard Armitage
Title: The Mysterious Affair at Styles
Series: Hercule Poirot #1
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Classic
Format: Audiobook
Published: January 1, 1920
Where I got It: Audible

Agatha Christie's debut novel was also the first to feature Hercule Poirot, her famously eccentric Belgian detective.

A refugee of the Great War, Poirot has settled in England near Styles Court, the country estate of his wealthy benefactor, the elderly Emily Inglethorp. When Emily is poisoned and the authorities are baffled, Poirot puts his prodigious sleuthing skills to work. Suspects are plentiful, including the victim’s much younger husband, her resentful stepsons, her longtime hired companion, a young family friend working as a nurse, and a London specialist on poisons who just happens to be visiting the nearby village.

All of them have secrets they are desperate to keep, but none can outwit Poirot as he navigates the ingenious red herrings and plot twists

Been itching to read some Agatha has literally been years! Last time I read one was in the early 2000s....High School time....dang. I've read a handful, but I never read them all. There are just SOOO many. Soooo I decided to start from the beginning. 

Poirot has settled in England after the Great War. He is settled in near Styles Court who belongs to his wealthy benefactor Emily Inglethrop. When Emily is poisoned and the authorities are baffled because everyone is suspicious and have motives, but all of them have alibis, Poirot is called in to crack the case. 

Not that this was bad, but you can tell this is her debut story especially after reading ones MUCH later in the series. However, it was fun seeing Poirot at his creation. You can tell she has a lot of plans for this poor man. 

The mystery was good and I was absolutely unsure of who did it. They all had motive but no real evidence to link anyone 100% to the crime. Lots and lots of red herrings littering the place. 

The ending did drag on a bit and it took everything I had to focus up. The mystery dragged on a bit too much. I would've preferred more time with interviews and looking around. 

The narration was fun! It was done by the famous Richard Armitage! Eee! Adorable. He was fantastic. Loved all his voices. I'm glad I decided to try this version of audio. 

All-in-all, a nice intro into Poirot. Not necessary to read the books in order, but it was nice seeing where it all began. The mystery was good and I had no idea! Nicely stumped there ;) But the ending did drag a touch. I'll give this 3 stars. 


- Audiobook #24
- Cloak and Dagger - #13

Wednesday, May 29

DNF 2nd Chance Time! Cast Your Vote!

I think it is time to give another book another chance! If you want to get in on the action, please feel free! 


- The book must be sitting on the DNF shelf for over a year. Time heals wounds...right?

- Honor the poll choice

- Read at LEAST 125 pages before giving up. 

- Be completely and utterly honest

- If it is a physical book on my shelf and I DNF it again, I MUST rehome it.

Here are some books I am willing to give another chance. Cast your vote on what you would like me to give another try!

Tuesday, May 28

Book Review: The Great Catsby by BK Baxter

Author: BK Baxter
Title: The Great Catsby
Series: A NOLA Tail Mystery #1
Genre: Cozy Mystery, thriller, Contemporary
Format: ebook
Pages: 206
Published: May 30, 2020
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

Watch what you wish for… Some inheritances are literally death.
My life has been turned upside down by my inheritance, but my only complaint is the cat that came along with the new house.
I swear he’s judging me as I settle in and try to make new friends in my new small-town Louisiana neighborhood.
And just when I start to settle into my new job and get back to reading my classic novels, I’m pulled chapters deep into a mystery.
The Beauty Queen in the town has been offed. Someone has killed the darling.
Wouldn’t you know it? An innocent man has been framed.
I shouldn’t get involved, but somehow, my cat seems to have a way with finding clues in some of my favorite stories. Not that any of that makes sense.
Why would it?
The cat is the sleuth, I’m the amateur, and we have alligators in the backyard.
Throw in a dead body, a book club that’s filled with suspicious characters, and you have my new life.
And I thought being a librarian in Louisiana was going to be dull.

Amazon freebie! Look at that cover! How could I resist?????

Here we have Jade who inherits her uncle's home down in Louisiana. Not precisely where she wants to be, but she can't resist. Just when things are finally settling down for Jade, she is pulled into the murder of the town's beauty and notorious flirt and an innocent man has been framed. She shouldn't get involved, but her cat keeps finding clues and things aren't matching up. 

This had the ingredients for something I would fall for. A fun small-town, book clubs, books, libraries, a cat, and some quirky side characters. Plus...murder mystery? Yes, please!! However, something was missing for me. 

Jade was okay. She was extremely judgmental of her new surroundings and people. She bothered me especially when she went to the restaurant at the beginning with a new friend and the JUDGEMENT was rude. Little hole in the wall restaurants can be fantastic. Just give it a chance lady!

And where was the sheriff? Why isn't he doing his job? He like talked to one person and was all "eh." 

Now, I did love the cat's small POVs. He was adorable. Can the whole thing be in his POV? LOLLL!

All-in-all, the ingredients were all there, but the blend didn't turn out right for me. I might contemplate book 2 if I can get it free from Amazon or from my library. Maybe...we'll see. 2 stars from me. Kitty gets a whole star to himself ;) 


- Cloak and Dagger - #13

Monday, May 27

Blodeuedd Reviews: A Lady's Guide to Fortune-Hunting by Sophie Irwin

By: Sophie Irwin

Narrated by: Eleanor Tomlinson

Series: A Lady's Guide, Book 1

Length: 9 hrs and 40 mins

Release date: 12-05-22 by Harper Collins romance

This one was fun. It was def more Austen then your traditional historical romance. Those usually go meeting-drama- lusty times-drama- lust. While here it was more an Austen adventure, and I really enjoyed that.

Kitty has 3 months and then they are out on the street. She has 4 sisters and as of now, no prospects. She takes matters into her own hands, goes to find a friend of her mother, and launches herself into the pre season. Hunting for a good match. Not too low, not too high. 

Sure she is a pure mercenary, but she does it for the love of her sisters. I can respect that.

But as always, someone is watching and does not want a mercenary into their family. But hey I totally got Lord Radcliff too, he saw her for what she was.

Just a really good time. Fun, cute, some danger, blackmail, good times indeed. I will definitely  be reading more.

Great narration too. At times though some voices blended into each other, but it did not take away from my enjoyment

The season is about to begin—and there’s not a minute to lose…

Kitty Talbot needs a fortune.

Or rather, she needs a husband who has a fortune. This is 1818 after all, and only men have the privilege of seeking their own riches.

With just 12 weeks until Kitty and her sisters are made homeless, launching herself into London society is the only avenue open to her. And Kitty must use every ounce of cunning and ingenuity she possesses to climb the ranks.

The only one to see through her plans is the worldly Lord Radcliffe, and he is determined to thwart her at any cost.

Can Kitty secure a fortune and save her sisters from poverty? There is not a day to lose and no-one—not even a Lord—will stand in her way…

Saturday, May 25

Book Review: Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Author: Emily Henry
Title: Book Lovers
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit
Format: Paperback
Pages: 377
Published: May 3, 2022
Where I Got It: My shelf (Xmas gift)

One summer. Two rivals. A plot twist they didn't see coming...

Nora is a cut-throat literary agent at the top of her game. Her whole life is books.

Charlie is an editor with a gift for creating bestsellers. And he's Nora's work nemesis.

Nora has been through enough break-ups to know she's the woman men date before they find their happy-ever-after. That's why Nora's sister has persuaded her to swap her desk in the city for a month's holiday in Sunshine Falls, North Carolina. It's a small town straight out of a romance novel, but instead of meeting sexy lumberjacks, handsome doctors or cute bartenders, Nora keeps bumping into...Charlie.

She's no heroine. He's no hero. So can they take a page out of an entirely different book?

Got this as a giftie at Xmas and I was waiting for warm weather to read it. Look at that cover! Def a spring/summer book. 

We have two rivals. One is Nora who is a cut-throat literary agent. The other is Charlie who is an editor with a gift for creating bestsellers. The two find themselves in a small town for the summer. Nora is there to get-away with her very pregnant sister. And Charlie is there to help his family. They keep bumping into each other and maybe, just maybe, love will blossom. 

What I love about this book most is that Nora and Charlie are both the archetype characters who are ALWAYS dumped for the local hottie in a small-town. This is the romance for those characters who aren't evil or bad....but city folk who loves the city and their jobs. I simply LOVED this trope. Such a refreshing thing to read. 

Love Nora. Love Charlie. They are perfect for each other, but like lots of takes a cute small town for them to stop and smell the roses and fall in love. CUTEEEEEEE!

This book took me a while to read. It was like a dry, strong wine. Tasty, but best in small sips. There is a lot at play here and Nora has a LOT of demons to work out before she can get her well-deserved HEA. Charlie also has some stuff to work out as well. I loved watching them go from enemies, to friends, to lovers. It was well-done.

OOOO the banter was great!

That ending had me teary-eyed. And I literally "AWWWWED" so loud that it woke the puppy up from his nap. Whoopsies. 

All-in-all, this was a gem. I really, really enjoyed it. I had to take small baby sips so it took me a while to finish it, but not all books are races. Great characters. Great town. And lots and lots of book references. This is perfect for book-lovers who love love. 5 stars. 


- Romance Reading Challenge #15 (Waterfront on cover)

Friday, May 24

Book Review: Once Upon a Winter's Eve by Tessa Dare

Author: Tessa Dare
Title: Once Upon a Winter's Eve
Series: Spindle Cove #1.5
Genre: Historical Romance, Novella
Format: ebook
Published:  November 15, 2011
Where I got It: Library

Some wallflowers bloom at night...

A Spindle Cove Novella

Violet Winterbottom is a quiet girl. She speaks six languages, but seldom raises her voice. She endured bitter heartbreak in perfect silence. The gentlemen aren't beating down her door.

Until the night of the Spindle Cove Christmas ball, when a mysterious stranger crashes into the ballroom and collapses at Violet's feet. His coarse attire and near-criminal good looks would put any sensible young lady on her guard. He's wet, chilled, bleeding, and speaking in an unfamiliar tongue.

Only Violet understands him. And she knows he's not what he seems.

She has one night to draw forth the secrets of this dangerously handsome rogue. Is he a smuggler? A fugitive? An enemy spy? She needs answers by sunrise, but her captive would rather seduce than confess. To learn his secrets, Violet must reveal hers—and open herself to adventure, passion, and the unthinkable... Love.

Warning: The heroine packs a pistol, the hero curses in multiple languages, and together they steam up a cold winter’s night.

I'm feeling a Dare read-a-thon happening again LOL. Dare is always fun. 

Here we have Violet who is a member of the ladies at Spindle Cove. She has been suffering a broken heart in silence. She came to Spindle Cove to hide away from the ton and her family while she recovers. Everything is going okay, but she isn't ready to go home yet to find a husband. It is the night of the Spindle Cove Christmas ball and a mysterious stranger crashes into the ballroom and collapses at Violet's feet. He is muttering in a language that only she understands, so she agrees to watch over him and question him when he awakes. She has one night to draw forth his secrets. He looks oddly familiar, but it can't be....The Disappointment...could it? No. Of course not.......

This is short (hair over 100 pages) but it was the perfect length. I really enjoyed this little novella! Love Violet. Love her story even though it made me sad for her. She is an angel and deserves the best. 

Spoiler, not spoiler, this "stranger" is the man who broke her heart. We learn that he had to live abruptly without a word because he enlisted as a spy for the Crown. Scoundrel. Yes, yes, he couldn't say a word because he has to keep it secret. But damn man!!!! He really has to make it up to her because he tore her heart apart. Poor Violet. 

This was a unique romance and I loved it. It's a second chance, but so much more complex. I loved watching them talk and him apologize. 

The ending had me squealing. Adorable! I would love a short story or SOMETHING on their new adventure. Awwww. 

This was def worth the read. You should read book 1 first, but read this immediately after. I really adored this novella. 

All-in-all, quick and lots of fun. A complex love story that gets the HEA we all want. I hope there is a short story because this couple is fun. 5 stars from me. 


- Library Love #11

Thursday, May 23

Audiobook Review: Smoke Signal by Marie Benedict & Kate Quinn

Author: Marie Benedict & Kate Quinn
Narrator: Nicola Barber & Saskia Maarleveld
Title: Smoke Signal
Genre: Historical Fiction, Short Story, Mystery, Thriller, Novella
Format: Audiobook
Published: February 11, 2021
Where I got It: Audible

Recruited as a code breaker of enemy ciphers, ex-debutante Osla Kendall spends her days translating Axis military messages and her nights reading mystery novels. When Osla gets her hands on Agatha Christie's most recent work, N or M?, a mysterious signal within its pages catches her eye, and she and her eccentric book club get in touch with the famous but reclusive writer. Osla's outreach is a welcome distraction for Agatha, who feels restless and underestimated toiling away in a London pharmacy while men like her husband can contribute to the war effort from the front lines.

So begins the story of an unlikely friendship and the secrets that bind two brave women embroiled in war. Based on true events and told by two beloved authors and champions of history's heroines, Smoke Signal is a breathtaking novella of espionage and the unforgettable women who risked everything to serve their country.

To learn more about Osla Kendall and Agatha Christie, see Marie Benedict's The Mystery of Mrs. Christie, a novel of Agatha Christie's disappearance in 1926, and Kate Quinn's forthcoming The Rose Code, a novel of the female code breakers of Bletchley Park.

Randomly stumbled upon this while searching for something else. It caught my eye...1) the cover and 2) the 2nd author of the book...Kate her! So why not?

Osla was recruiter as a code-breaker. She spends her days translating Axis military messages and her nights reading mystery novels. While reading one of the newest Agatha Christie mysteries...something catches her eye. She turns to her fellow book club members to track down the elusive author. On the other side, Agatha has been feeling restless so when Osla reaches out it is a welcomed distraction. Together these two ladies will work together to serve their country. This is based on true events. 

This has everything I love. A great author. A great narrator. Mystery. War. Friendship. Spies! took me forever to actually attach myself to the story. At one point I left the room and realized I didn't pause it. I wasn't truly paying attention. I rewound it and made myself listen. 

After a certain point I found myself getting involved and caring, but it took at least to the halfway point when things were cooking.

Honestly? I think this just needed one narrator. I love Saskia Maarleveld and she was perfect. The other narrator didn't really hit it for me. The voices didn't match. and I just didn't....vibe. 

I still need to read 'The Rose Code' by Kate Quinn. Osla is in that book! Osla was a gem so I def need to get my rump to read where it all began. 

The ending? I simply ADORED it. It was nice. It was perfection. 

All-in-all, this was a mixed bag for me. The things I liked...I LOVED. There were things I could've been okay without. Honestly, the beginning just didn't catch me. I kept pushing because I wanted to really like this. Luckily I did push on because I loved the last half so much. I shall stamp this with.....3 stars. The last half and Saskia gave this life. 


- Audiobook #23
- Cloak and Dagger - #12

Wednesday, May 22

Audiobook Review: A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare

Author: Tessa Dare
Narrator: Carolyn Morris
Title: A Night to Surrender
Series: Spindle Cove #1
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Audiobook
Published: August 30, 2011
Where I got It: Library

Welcome to Spindle Cove, where the ladies with delicate constitutions come for the sea air, and men in their prime are... nowhere to be found. Or are they?

Spindle Cove is the destination of choice for certain types of well-bred young ladies: the painfully shy, young wives disenchanted with matrimony, and young girls too enchanted with the wrong men; it is a haven for those who live there.

Victor Bramwell, the new Earl of Rycliff, knows he doesn't belong here. So far as he can tell, there's nothing in this place but spinsters... and sheep. But he has no choice, he has orders to gather a militia. It's a simple mission, made complicated by the spirited, exquisite Susanna Finch—a woman who is determined to save her personal utopia from the invasion of Bram's makeshift army.

Susanna has no use for aggravating men; Bram has sworn off interfering women. The scene is set for an epic battle... but who can be named the winner when both have so much to lose?

Oh Dare. I do love you. I think I am getting all caught up with reading her stuff. Mmmm. I'll have to double check. 

Here we have Bram and Susanna. Spindle Cove is the destination of choice for certain types of young ladies......the painfully shy, unhappy wives, bluestockings, and young girls too enchanted with the wrong men. It is a haven and lead by Susanna. Bram comes exploding on the scene. He takes on the task to gather a militia in the area. It's a simple mission, but made complicated by Susanna. Both have no use for love and they have a different mindset on what this town needs.

This one took me longer than normal to finish. Not that it was bad, but.......mmm. I don't know. Something just didn't meet up for me. It all seemed unrealistic and I didn't buy the love right away. YES, the lust was there from the moment they met but even by the end I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. 

There was a moment near the end that I wanted to drop kick Bram. F you man. I get WHY he had that reaction (trauma and etc) but dang dude. Yes, he apologizes and blah blah blah, but what he said was beyond cool. 

Once they patched things up it was very sweet seeing them be comfy in love. Finding the rhythm. Even though I wasn't a huge fan of this coupling, I enjoyed the story nonetheless. They actually talk...eventually...and it was nice seeing two damaged people finally find peace. 

Oh! The narrator was good. I liked her voice. 

In the end, this wasn't my favorite of the Dare books but I still had fun. I'm curious to get to book 2. There are some side characters I really want to watch fall in love. I'll give this 3 stars. The side characters and the epilogue gave the rating a boost.  


- Audiobook #22
- Romance Reading Challenge #14 (A MC with a name that starts with 'S') 
- Library Love #8

Tuesday, May 21

Book Review: Kent and Katcha by Larry & Rosemary Mild

Author: Larry & Rosemary Mild
Title: Kent and Katcha
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Romance
Format: ebook
Published:  February 21, 2024
Where I got It: My shelf (given to me by the author/publisher for my unbiased opinion)

Larry and Rosemary Mild breach the deeper cover and higher intrigue to bring you a fictional novel full of spy-craft, espionage, and adventure drawn from Larry’s former association with real agents and their spook agencies. The year is 1992. The Soviet Union has collapsed, but danger persists. Young Kent Brukner, a freshly trained American spy, arrives in Moscow for a high-risk to infiltrate and compromise a Russian Federation Army facility. Under an alias, in a military uniform, he plies his skills—unprepared for the brutal confrontations and irrational consequences. Kent meets the innocent and passionate Katcha, daughter of a British expatriate and a Russian dissident. Together the lovers embark on a near-impossible journey, beginning in the foothills of the Ural Mountains. Stalked by the evil Major Dmitri Federov, they must escape from St. Petersburg to Helsinki, Finland, or face life in a Russian prison.

I couldn't resist picking this up. You guys know how much I loveeeee spies and all that!

The year is 1992 and the Soviet Union has collapsed, but there is still danger and instability. Kent is a freshly trained spy who is sent to Moscow to infiltrate and compromise a Russian Federation Army facility. While there he meets Katcha who is the daughter of a British expatriate and a Russian dissident. Together they will work together and fall in love. They must escape from St Petersburg to Finland or they could face life in a Russian prison. 

This literally has everything I could want. Mystery, espionage, love, and a good baddie. *chef kiss*

I loved over characters. They were fun and obviously perfect for each other. You can't help route for those crazy kids. I did have to wonder why such a new spy was sent out. This seemed like a big task for the guy. But hey...I guess the best way to learn is to sink or swim. That is how I learned to swim....

The Russians are scary so I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I had no idea what was going to happen and if they would make it with both of their lives intact. 

Now, I will say the beginning was slow for me. It took me a few chapters to truly be invested. There is some build-up so I get it. However, keep that in mind. It was worth it! I didn't want to stop reading! I stayed up WAY TOO LATE to finish it because I couldn't leave our characters were they where. 

The ending was good. I feel like there will be more, but it ended where you feel content. 

All-in-all, I really enjoyed this. It was for sure hitting all the buttons for me minus the slow beginning. There are spies and love and baddies that will make you shake your fist! I'll give this 4 stars. 


- Cloak and Dagger - #11

Monday, May 20

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: A Sinister Revenge by Deanna Raybourn

Series: Veronica Speedwell (#8)

Format. 310 pages, Hardcover

Published: March 7, 2023 by Berkley

Historical mystery


Yay, a new Veronica Speedwell book. The last one ended with Stoker leaving. Damn these two have issues. In this one she is trying to get him back, and it is going so and so.

And there is a case of his brother getting death threats.

And a dinosaur skeleton

A death long ago

Someone after revenge.

And Veronica trying to get lucky

Good book, I want that next one.

Veronica's natural-historian beau, Stoker, has been away in Bavaria for months and their relationship is at an impasse. But when Veronica shows up before him with his brother, Tiberius, Lord Templeton-Vane, he is lured back home by an intriguing job offer: preparing an iguanodon for a very special dinner party.

Tiberius has received a cryptic message-along with the obituaries of two recently deceased members of his old group of friends, the Seven Sinners-that he too should get his affairs in order. Realizing he is in grave danger but not knowing why, he plans a reunion party for the remaining Sinners at his family estate to lure the killer out while Veronica and Stoker investigate.

As the guests arrive and settle in, the evening's events turn deadly. More clues come to light, leading Veronica, Stoker, and Tiberius to uncover a shared past among the Sinners that has led to the fatal present. But the truth might be far more sinister than what they were prepared for.

Tuesday, May 14

Book Review: A Song of Silence by Steve N Lee

Author: Steve N Lee
Title: A Song of Silence
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: ebook
Pages: 308
Published: May 14, 2024
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

War thrust them together. Love will tear them apart.

Inspired by a true story...

When the Nazis invade a sleepy Polish town in 1939, Mirek Kozlowski swears to keep everyone in his orphanage safe at all costs. However, despite his struggles and sacrifices, the war drags him and his children deeper and deeper into its violent nightmare.

With 89 children looking to him for hope, Mirek must do whatever it takes to protect them — no matter how criminal, distasteful, or perilous it may be.

And just when he thinks things can’t get any worse, the arrival of a sadistic SS captain brings unspeakable atrocities to his town — and surprisingly, a glimmer of hope for Mirek to save all those he cares about if only he has the courage to grasp it…

A story of love, bravery, and compassion, A Song of Silence explores history’s darkest hour and how, even in the face of overwhelming evil, one man can become a dazzling beacon of light.

Discover what it means to be human. Discover A Song of Silence.

I couldn't resist this because I have adored previous books by this author and there is something with books about the Holocaust and WWII that always calls my name. 

Here we follow Mirek Kozlowski who wants nothing more than to keep his orphanage safe and happy. Everything changes when the Nazis invade his small town. Despite Mirek and his crew's struggles and sacrifices, the war drags them all deeper and deeper into its violent nightmare.

I didn't want to put this down!! I found myself staying up too late reading. 

The story is tragic and heartwarming and gripping. I just wanted a happily ever after for everyone, but you know that isn't the case. Times are dark and the light gets dimmer, but never goes out. There is hope. 

The author really knows how to get the reader to think and feel. Especially at the end I felt a tear rolling down my cheek. So good! 

I had zero issues with this book. 

In the end, I def recommend this for people who want to read an amazing people story. This poor man and his community will go through a terrible time and it will hit you in the feels. 5 stars. 

ONE WORD SUMMARY: Enthralling 

Monday, May 13

B's Monday Review: Sing a Song of Sixpence by Agatha Christie

By: Agatha Christie

Narrated by: Hugh Fraser

Length: 37 mins

Release date: 01-21-21

Publisher: HarperCollins mystery

So the text at storytel did not say anything about Pelliser. I thought this was a Marple one. But eh, the guy solved the crime pretty quickly.

A short who did it. It had to be someone in the house. And he solved it. The end

Good narration. Very British and fitting

Retired Scotland Yard detective Sir Edward Palliser is called upon by Magdalen Vaughan to help solve the murder of her wealthy, eccentric aunt, Miss Lily Crabtree. The authorities believe only members of the household could have committed the crime, and this suspicion is tearing the family apart. Who really killed Lily's aunt?

Friday, May 10

Movie Review: The Little Mermaid (2023)

The Little Mermaid
Length: 2h 15m
Released: 2023
Genre:  Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Romance, Family
Rating: PG
Where I Got It: Disney+

The youngest of King Triton's daughters, Ariel is a beautiful and spirited young mermaid with a thirst for adventure. Longing to find out more about the world beyond the sea, Ariel visits the surface and falls for the dashing Prince Eric. Following her heart, she makes a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula, to experience life on land.

Well....I bit the bullet and decided to watch this. I'm not crazy about Live Action adaptions so I'm so picky on what I'll watch. This had such mixed reviews so I wasn't sure...well...the siren's call finally got me.

Here we have Ariel who is a mermaid and she wants more. She wants a different life...she wants to be human. This desire becomes more ardent when she sees Prince Eric and how amazing he is. He is compassionate, passionate, adventurous, kind to animals, and handsome. When her family won't listen, she turns to the evil sea witch to help. 

Oh Ariel you innocent gal. I will say this version of the Prince I can see why she fell for him. She actually got to see him in action and hear him speak. Any young gal would find it hard not to fall for him. 

Now...there are some minor changes to the plot and to some of the songs. I didn't mind them at all. I did appreciate the mention of the siren's song and how its magical and actually saved Eric at the same time as cursing him. That addition made me happy. I also loved the addition that when Ariel was turned she was given a little bit of amnesia. She couldn't remember the fact that she HAS to kiss him before the sun sets. I honestly felt like this made her not seem desperate. She got to know him and fall for him and then WANT to kiss just to kiss him. I liked that. 

I am SUPER bummed that they cut out the French cook. Booo! I loved his little feud with the crab and the song lives in my head rent free.

The cast was okay. Surprisingly....I felt the weakest was King Triton. The actor is amazing but...he didn't seem hot-headed enough for the role. He had the sad thing going well, but when he was supposed to be angry....I just didn't buy it. I loved our Ariel and our evil witch. The voice acting was fun! I liked how they made the creatures look like actual creatures. Very cute. 

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the whole race thing. People lost their minds. But let's be's a damned mermaid in a FANTASY movie. Who cares? She had the red hair still and a beautiful voice. That's all Ariel really is. I found it interesting pretty much all the daughters were of a different race. That was different. Did they all have different moms? I'm curious about the lore there. 

But again......everyone chill on the race thing. It's a mermaid movie for kids. No one cared when they casted Brandy as Cinderella with an Asian prince who had a white dad and black mom..............Not sure why THIS is the hill people want to die on. The actress did a wonderful job and that is all I care about. 

All-in-all, I did enjoy this much more than I thought I would. Some changes were great...some cuts I missed, but not enough to naysay the whole film. This was fun and a nice nod to the original. Casting was 95% okay. I had some issues with King Triton (he was too kind). Def worth the watch if you like the original. I'll give this 4 stars.


Wednesday, May 8

DNF: The Sound of Murder by KL Montgomery

Author: KL Montgomery
Title: The Sound of Murder
Series: Musical Murder Mystery #1
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Cozy mystery
Format: ebook
Pages: 173
Published: March 24, 2022
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

How do you solve a problem like... a murder?

Ruby Ecco has been a chorus girl her whole life. “You have a great voice and such a pretty face, but we don’t have a leading role for someone your size,” is what casting directors have always told her.

But she’s finally landed a nice gig, touring with a traveling theatre troupe. Being in the chorus affords her the opportunity to sightsee in every town they visit....and to shine in a brand-new role when one of her castmates turns up dead.

Can Ruby solve the mystery of what happened to Mother Superior in their production of The Sound of Music? Would someone actually murder a woman who was in town to play a NUN?!

Ruby intends to climb every mountain on her quest to bring the murderer to justice...or else it might be so long, farewell for our favorite chorus girl!

Picked this up as a freebie over at Amazon. It seemed like the perfect cozy mystery. Music and murder? Oh my! 

Sadly...I couldn't connect. Everything started out fine enough, but I started yawning and I could not give any energy to care. I didn't care who dunnit....I didn't care about our main character. 

Nothing clicked. I gave it a solid 100 pages but I found myself skimming to even make it to my self-imposed rule. The moment I hit 100 I stopped. It was in the middle of a chapter and a convo I believe, but I just sat my phone down (this is an ebook) and went on to greener fields. 

Not for me. Maybe I'll retry one day. 


Tuesday, May 7

Audiobook Review: Canadian Boyfriend by Jenny Holiday

Author: Jenny Holiday
Narrator: Joshua Jackson & Emily Ellet
Title: Canadian Boyfriend
Genre: Sports romance, Contemporary, fiction
Format: Audiobook
Published: January 30, 2024
Where I got It: Audible

A charming and heartfelt romance about a woman who comes face to face with the fake Canadian boyfriend she made up as a teenager.

The fake Canadian boyfriend. It's a thing. The get out of jail free card for all kinds of sticky social situations. “I can't go to prom; I'm going to be out of town visiting my boyfriend in Canada.” It's all over pop culture. But Aurora Evans did it first. Once upon a time she met a teenage hockey player at the Mall of America. He was from Canada. He was a boy. She may have fudged the “friend” part a little, but it wasn't like she was ever going to see him again. It wasn't like she hurt anyone. Until she did—years later—on both counts.
When pro hockey player and recent widower Mike Martin walks into the dance studio where Aurora Evans teaches, he's feeling overwhelmed with the fact that his wife may not have been exactly who he thought she was and the logistics of going back to work. As one of the few people his angry, heartbroken daughter connects with, Aurora agrees to be a pseudo nanny to help him navigate the upcoming school year and hockey season. To his surprise, she turns out to be the perfect balm for him as well. Aurora gets him. The real him underneath his pro jersey. And yet, he still finds himself holding back, unable to fully trust again—especially when he finds out the secret Aurora’s been hiding from him.

Picked this for book club because why not? We needed a little bit of fluff, plus this matches up with a couple of my reading challenges. Win-win-win. 

Here we follow Aurora (aka Rory) and Mike. The two met years and years a mall. From there it was history. Rory found herself a fake Canadian boyfriend so she wouldn't look like a loser at her school. Time went on and she slowly moved on. However, things changed when they met again. Mike is a star hockey player who thought he had it all until his wife died in a car accident and now he is a single dad who is picking up the reigns his wife left behind. Which includes getting their child to dance class. Enter in the teacher....Aurora Evans. He's overwhelmed and she's great with kids. Maybe she can be a nanny while the season goes? However, will they be able to fully trust each other? They both have secrets and guilt. 

I did really like this one. There is a lot of mental health talk in here (so be prepared) but it was fitting. Rory was a ballet dancer with a Godzilla of a Ballet-mom. Poor thing did develop an eating disorder and anxiety issues. Poor thing. 

Mike, of course, is dealing with his wife who passed and he uncovered that his wife was not FULLY telling the truth. There is guilt and anger and sadness. Plus, dealing with a sad daughter? Oof. 

They both have a lot on their plate, but it was nice seeing them become friends first. They def are super supportive of each other and I loved it!

However there was ONE thing that bothered me. When Rory's whole "fake boyfriend' thing came out (yes not a know it will) he.....acted like shit. I won't spoil anything but I was SO annoyed at him. Yes, how and when she revealed her big ol' secret wasn't great.'s not that big of a deal. Yes, he felt like she betrayed his trust by not telling him the truth right away. But like dude....chill.

Besides that whole exchange, I really liked this book. Great characters. Lots of internal things for them to fix. I loved Rory at the end. So proud of her. This was very sweet. 

The narrators were great. It was a duo set so it was fun to hear them sound like they were actually conversing. He would read Mike's dialogue and she would read Rory's. It was nice. I wonder why duo narrators don't do that more?

All-in-all, this was a nice sports romance dealing with mental health issues. I think Mike was overdramatic at the end, but it was resolved and they made up. The narrators were great and I def recommend listening to this. 

I'll stamp this with 4 stars. 


- Audiobook #21
- Romance Reading Challenge #13 (Sports romance)