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It's officially been more than 90 days at my new job, back in the work force, 40 hours a week. Luckily I really enjoy what I do, because I feel my biggest sacrifice is the things I did just for me, like blogging and reading. Now by the time I finish my work day, the kids are standing on their heads trying to get my attention, and I still have dinner and regular household laundry, kitchen cleaning, etc, staring me in the face. (I got up twice during writing that paragraph to help with baths.) I've got to say, I also like having a disposable income again.
In April 2020, I read a staggering 14 books (staggering for me - yay for social distancing and staying home!). This April, I feel I fudged the numbers a bit to say I read seven. Goodreads still says I'm around my 10 books/month goal. I just keep reminding myself it's not a competition, and I read for fun ;)
So here's the seven books I finished in or around April 2021. My book titles link to Goodreads, and my full reviews are posted either here at SweetlyBSquared, or over at Books I Think You Should Read. Thanks to the participating publishers or NetGalley who provided me with five of the seven books in exchange for my unbiased review.
The Kindred Spirits Supper Club by Amy E. Reichert - This was a fun contemporary romance with a ghostly twist. Sabrina Monroe moves back to her hometown, the infamous water park capital of the world, the Wisconsin Dells, to save up some money and get back on her feet when her life in the big city isn't quite going as she plans. Instead of making the quick escape back to big city anonymity, she meets Ray, the new owner of the supper club in town. They can't seem to avoid each other in the small town, but she's sure he'd never want to be with her if he knew her secret - she sees ghosts! This was a quirky and amusing tale that I gave 4 out of 5 stars to in my full review. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
At the End of the World, Turn Left by Zhanna Slor - Reading the college days in Milwaukee of sisters Masha and Anna made me think back to my own college days. While I've never lived in another country, the way they described being on the outside looking in can be familiar to anyone. The pull of family may have been all that kept them thinking of each other sometimes, but heritage is a strong thing to try and deny. I especially liked knowing that while there were some loose ends, they both seemed to end up following their own dreams, and not just those of their parents. I gave this unique story 3 out of 5 stars in my review here. ⭐⭐⭐
The Stranger Inside (Strangers #4) by Jennifer Jaynes - I never guessed the ending of this page-turner! As we met the new people in Diane's life, a few seemed suspicious, but as soon as I thought I was figuring it out things would move in a whole new direction. With things changing that fast, there were a few loose ends I never did figure out, but the surprise ending threw it all past caring. I gave this one 3 out of 5 stars. As I said in my full review, it was a fun-ish thriller (well, except for the victims!), and I bet others by the same author would be similar. ⭐⭐⭐
A Promised Land by Barack Obama - This book is completely what you'd expect. I miss Obama being president, so I loved reading his words about his first term. I also learned a lot about world and national politics, okay, I learned some. My favorite was reading about the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, since that's pretty central to my job now. It never occurred to me that it was so NEW (formed in 2010). I reviewed this one on my blog and gave it 3 out of 5 stars. So glad the kindle version still had all the pictures too! ⭐⭐⭐
Better Choices by Rod Pennington and Jeffery A. Martin - This reminded me a bit of the vigilante justice thrillers I enjoy, except instead of a thriller, it was a woman finally coming to the long-awaited end of her marriage. When she took back her power, she took back all of it! In about one day Allison Clark finished filing for divorce, took on her twins' school board, stood up to her mother, and then fought for what was right for all of them. While it didn't ring as very realistic, it was a satisfying read. My full review gave it 3 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐
It Had to Be You by Georgia Clark - While some books lend themselves to being a 'beach' read, or a 'holiday' read, this book had a little of everything. It was a fun big-city read with a variety of characters. Old, young, different sexual orientations, unique jobs, something for everyone! A New York City wedding planner loses her husband and her business partner when he dies unexpectedly in a hotel room with his girlfriend. Who could have guessed that he also willed his half of the business to the girlfriend his wife knew nothing about? I gave it 4 out of 5 stars in my full review (and there's still a giveaway with my review open til 5/13/21!). ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Life She Was Given by Ellen Marie Wiseman - A friend insisted I read this one, and I'm glad I did. Lilly Blackwood thinks being sold to the circus by her mother is the scariest, worst thing to ever happen. In the story of her whole life, that may not be the worst. Julia Blackwood is convinced that life nearly on the streets is better than life with her abusive mother, but when she returns to the family home, she's desperate to find out what secrets her parents had been hiding for so long. While it felt like the author finally reached for a happy ending, the sad definitely outweighed the happy by the time I was done reading this one. I'm still thinking about it and furious with at least one character days later. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars in my full review. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I'm just starting Across the Winding River by Aimie K. Runyan. I've sort of sworn off the overabundance of WWII stories for a while now, but this one was still lingering on my to-be-read-and-reviewed list. So here goes nothing! :)
The only one still on my commitment list for May is The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley. Then I'm not sure if I'll work on some more older ones, or try and get a jump on June.
What have you read lately that you'd recommend?