Tag: Harper Impulse

Guest Review: Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe By Debbie Johnson

Posted October 21, 2016 by Tina R in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe By Debbie JohnsonReviewer: Tina
Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson
Series: Comfort Food #2

Publication Date: September 23, 2016
Pages: 187
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

The brand new Christmas romance from best-selling author Debbie Johnson and the follow up to ‘Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe’.

The Comfort Food Cafe is perched on a windswept clifftop at what feels like the edge of the world, serving up the most delicious cream teas; beautifully baked breads, and carefully crafted cupcakes. For tourists and locals alike, the ramshackle cafe overlooking the beach is a beacon of laughter, companionship, and security – a place like no other; a place that offers friendship as a daily special, and where a hearty welcome is always on the menu.

Every year when the holiday season rolls around I am always on the look-out for some new books filled with that festive vibe to get me in the spirit of the season. After reading the synopsis for Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson, I figured that this novella would be right up my alley, seeing that I am a sucker for those quirky, feel-good kind of holiday stories.

I am also one of those readers who is a self-proclaimed “cover snob”. If the cover of a book doesn’t reach out and make me immediately want to pluck it off the shelf, I am very likely to skip it altogether, no matter how good that book might be. I am a complete pushover for a beautiful cover. It is my humble opinion that any book worth reading should have a captivating well thought out cover that reels the reader in from the first glimpse. That being said, the cover for this book does just that – with it’s brightly colored mug topped with a billowy pile of whipped cream and set against a snowy background it practically screams “holiday”.

Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe is the story of two very different sisters. Growing up, Laura has always been the “good” sister, while Becca was more of the problem child. Now adults, Laura is slowly recovering from the untimely death of her husband and building a new life for herself and her two kids in Dorset. She decides to reconnect with Becca and invite her for a visit at her new home, although she knows that Becca is not a fan of the holidays.

Having never read anything by author Debbie Johnson before, I didn’t know what to expect. What I found was characters that were unconventional, endearing and fun. I admire the fact that she shows us that a person’s flaws are what makes us interesting and that people do not need to be wrapped in perfect packages to be memorable. The charming Comfort Food Cafe provides the perfect backdrop for this cozy, holiday novella. I found myself totally captivated by the festive atmosphere.

Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe was a fun way to kick off my annual holiday book-fest. It is a delightfully quick read that should definitely put the reader in that “Christmas” kind of mood.


Tagged: , , , , ,

Guest Review: Put It Out There by D.R. Graham

Posted July 7, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Put It Out There by D.R. GrahamReviewer: Tracy
Put It Out there by D.R. Graham
Series: Britannia Beach #1
Publisher: Harper Collins, Harper Impulse
Publication Date: July 1st 2016
Format: eARC
Genres: Young Adult
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

Returning home to Britannia Beach a year after her life was shattered is bittersweet for Derian Lafleur. Although some things settle back into place, others don’t click like they used to…especially her friendship with Trevor Maverty.

Derian suddenly wishes the boy next door would see her as more than just a kid sister type. She tries to be everything she thinks he’s looking for―bolder, more experienced. But is that who she wants to be?

With the fate of her family’s historic inn on the line and Trevor making life more complicated by the day, Derian struggles to manage her unexpected feelings, and deal with a past she’s not quite ready to leave behind.

Derian grew up in Britannia Beach with her dad and her maternal grandfather. Her mother and father were married but lived separately – with the mom living in an apartment in Vancouver.  Unfortunately, Derian’s dad got in an accident while driving to see her mother and died.  Derian tried living with her mother for a year but she missed her grandfather and her friends too much.

She’s now back and starting her junior year in high school.  She’s happy to be helping her grandfather with his Inn even though it’s falling down around their heads.  She’s also excited about her next door neighbor, Trevor.  Trevor’s family is like her family so she never really thought of Trevor as anything but a friend but now she sees him and realizes that she loves him.  Derian’s not sure about Trevor’s feelings and in a typical teen fashion tries to get the information from him without actually coming out and asking him.

Derian is a sweet girl and pretty well liked at school.  She’s asked out by Steve who she thinks is cute but she’s not sure how she feels about him. She still ends up going out with him and becoming his girlfriend but she always has Trevor in the back of her mind. Then there’s Mason who is new to the school and she thinks is super cute but she gets tongue-tied around him.  He seems to go out with a lot of girls and has a rep but Derian sees another side to him that others don’t seem to.

Derian’s one confused girl when it comes to boys but she wants nothing more than for Trevor to tell her that he wants to be with her.  When Derian does something that Trevor specifically asked her not to do he’s pissed and it might ruin anything they might have had together.

This was an cute story.  It was definitely in the Young Adult category as it deals mostly with Derian and her high school friends.  Trevor is considered an adult but plays a big part in the story. Trevor confused me at times.  He obviously likes Derian but gives her total mixed signals.  I just wanted to smack him upside the head and say, “Make a decision already!”  Was she a friend or more?  Figure it out!

Derian confused me at times as well.  I couldn’t figure her out as she loves Trevor but still dates Steve and likes Mason as well.  I guess in high school I was the type of person that if I liked someone I didn’t go out with anyone else.  Not so with Derian.  She looked at it as getting life experience so that she could be more mature for Trevor but I thought it made her look a little wishy-washy.

There was also a slight paranormal aspect to the story.  Since Derian was little she’d been having visions.  She would see things happening but couldn’t figure out when they were going to happen.  Trevor tried to help her with this and as the story went on she did seem to be getting better with identifiers in her visions.  I felt horrible for her because she had a vision of the crash that killed her own father but couldn’t do a thing about it.  So sad.

Overall I thought it was a good start to this series.  I’m not normally a big YA reader but I will definitely be reading the other books about Derian.  I think DR Graham has talent for pulling people into her stories (I’ve read her Noir et Bleu MC books and loved them – adult contemporary) and this one was no different.  She’s got me intrigued and I’m curious to see how things pan out.

Rating: 4 out of 5


Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,