March 2022 Books #AmReading

As March draws to a close, that means the first quarter of the year has flown by, and I will be starting my Easter break, soon, too! Yay! Honestly, I give up with not requesting arcs, because there are so many great books out there and I am resigned (but very happy) to have a long, long list of fantastic books in my TBR pile, sitting on my reading trolley, or on my Kindle!

My Covid-addled body had a bit more time than usual to read, this month, too. Usually March is filled with school-related stuff, so there are fewer books on my read list, but I think I haven’t done a bad job!

Anyway, what did I read this month?

Workout Wishes & Valentine Kisses: The Wishing Tree Series, Book 5 by Barbara Hinske
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The next book in the rolling series of the Wishing Tree was just as wonderful as the last.
Here, we meet Pam, properly. A divorcee who has returned to Linden Falls, with the magic of the Wishing Tree not shining as bright, in her eyes.
She is working in the local gym with her childhood friend, Steve.
Both have been burned in the romance stakes, and Steve has already pledged a No Date pledge. Pam is convinced to try a bit of online dating, against her will, but several local folks, even though there are some who are convinced the perfect pairing is already there, in front of her.
Pam is a feisty, independent woman, but it’s obvious she eventually wants that somebody, so it’s a lovely journey to see her finally find love.
And the way we see Steve battling with his feelings and his pledge is quite funny, but a little heart-tugging, too.
The way the stories all interweave makes my heart sing.
My only complaint is that I don’t want any of the stories to end!

A Parade of Wishes by Camille Di Maio
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Liz Guidry’s visit to Linden Falls is short and sweet, yet her fleeting meeting with Neva Cabot, and the famous Wishing Tree is life-changing.
She is a successful artist in her own right, but there is a huge hole in her life, which she would love to fill with a family and child-sized piece.
A forgotten children’s wallet along with the wish of a young boy leads her to the town of Camden, en route to her final destination, where she meets Mark and Cameron.
Maybe it’s a twist of fate or a coincidence, but the appearance of Liz seems to be the missing piece of their own puzzle.
A beautifully easy to read addition to the Wishing Tree series, and it just goes to s show that the magic of that tree isn’t contained in Linden Falls, but is far more wide-reaching!
Bring on book 7!

Careful What You Wish by Ashley Farley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book 7 in The Wishing Tree series.
I love how this series has given me a chance to read books from bew to me authors.
Ashley Farley us one such author.
Her addition to the series brings a more fantastical twist to the stories.
As always we are brought to the famous tree in Linden Falls.
Mary May is a cleaner in the house of a rich socialite. Part employee, part friend, she’s been working there for 10 years.
A misjudgement of time means that she is found asleep wearing her employers clothes and jewellery, causing her to lose her job.
Where does the tree come into it?
Well, after wondering why the tree diesbt just grow money to solve peoples problems, strange things begin to happen in her own back yard.
Strange things that mean she is able to renovate her aging house, and begin to do more good for her community.
In doing so, she makes new friends, and is seeing the glimmer of happiness return to. Her life, when her former employer presses false theft charges upon her.
I won’t go into it, but the fantastical element I mentioned earlier is at work, ensuring the right decisions are made and that Mary finds a tribe of her own.
I’m sad I have to wait for more Linden Falls stories now!!

Releasing April 6th, 2022

We Move by Gurnaik Johal
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A set of shorts, loosely connected by characters whose stories loop together.
Johal has written stories with the South East Asian population in mind, from the immigrants to the first/second generation, detailing their experiences.
An easy read, but since the characters and stories are all intertwined, I do wish that there was more detail to really enhance the shorts.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Serpent’s Tail / Viper / Profile Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Releasing 7th April, 2022

One Night With You by Laura Jane Williams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have loved reading Laura Jane Williams’s books since the first one and gobbled up her latest offering One Night With You, with as much anticipation and excitement as the rest.
Ruby and Nic are so similar but different.
Both are starting new chapters in their lives, and moving away, after events that changed the course of their lives.
There’s just one night, where they both collide, by pure coincidence, and the sparks that fly are undeniable to both themselves and Ruby’s housemates.
But the sparks are just not enough to keep one from changing their new plans.
Thing is, when you meet someone like that, they are pretty hard to forget.
Nic immerses his new life in London, making friends, and tentatively begins dating.
Ruby puts her whole self into her Masters up North, revelling in her Year of Me.
but neither of them can forget the other,
Add in the fantastic character, JP, the nonagenarian, with a love story that captures Ruby’s interest, and encourages her to think more deeply into what she really wants, and you have a pretty good read!
There are friendship politics here, as well as grief, passionate encounters and tearful partings. All in all, a whole lot of almosts.
Will almost ever be enough?
I enjoyed reading this because it wasn’t just some sort of simple romance, but a tale with a whole load of side stories to add spice to it,
Many thanks to NetGalley and Avon Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Releasing 26th May, 2022

Duckling by Eve Ainsworth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a rollercoaster of emotions I have just felt, reading this book today!
Lucy is a quiet, unassuming woman in her 30s. She’s a loner, in her little council flat, with no one but Boris for company, a few weekly visits to her elderly dad, and her job at the book shop.
She’s always kept herself to herself, even resisting the efforts of her older neighbour, Joy, to bring some light into her life.
When Joy passes away, it’s not long before Lucy has new neighbours and the little girl, Rubi, seeks her out.
What happens through this book is absolutely not what I was expecting, at all, but the way Lucy finally finds herself, through the support of a stranger’s daughter, her boss, Jimmy, her father and good old Columbo, is nothing short of genius!
I was gripped all the way through and though I hated what was happening, all I was doing was praying for the right things to happen!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK, Cornerstone, Penguin for an ARC, in exchange for an honest review.

Releasing 26th May, 2022

The Last Summer by Karen Swan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A very different book to the Karen Swan stories I have already read, but my was it a good un!
Effie Gillies is one of a group of thirty-six residents of St Kilda, a tiny island off the coast of the Highlands, It is the 1930s and many have begun to feel the strain of living the extreme rural life, and tempted by the lure of stories told of the Mainland by visiting tourists, they find themselves all moved off, to ‘civilisation.
Effie may be young, at eighteen, but she has been the backbone of her family, just her and her elderly father, ensuring that they never go without.
A chance meeting with an affluent Lord and his son, Sholto, as they visit the island, changes the course of her life indelibly.
New adventures mixed in with old skills, and a murder mystery thrown in, with romance, too, what more could you ask for?
Honestly, I really loved the whole book. The beginning started slowly, as the beauty of the island was described, and the way the islanders lived, showing Effie in her element, as the tomboy she was. It really picked up pace in the second half, as Effie attempted to get to grips with life as a mainlander, not being able to commune with nature the way she has, her whole life.
And the way it ended. Well, I now am going to wait impatiently until I can read more about the ex-residents of St Kilda!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Pan Macmillan, for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Releasing 21st July, 2022

Ten Years by Pernille Hughes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A true Enemies to Lovers story, here with a bit of a twist.
Becca and Charlie know one another well. But that doesn’t mean they like each other.
They are only in contact because of the one person they have in common. Ally.
Becca’s best friend, and Charlie’s Fianceé.
Who tragically passes away, leaving them tied together via. bucket list of things she wants them to do, whilst scattering her ashes.
Over the course of ten years, we see the way their relationship changes, from that pure hate to questioning each other, revealing certain secrets, pushing each other away, while something stronger keeps pulling them together.
There are little twists along the way that give the story a little oomph, too,
This will be a good beach read!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collines, One More Chapter for an ARC in exchange for an honest review

Releasing 18th August, 2022

The Setup: An absolutely hilarious, feel-good rom-com from the author of The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was another fun read by Lizzy Dent.
Mara is forever basing her life decisions on her horoscopes. They feel like the only reliable thing in her life. And when a fortune-teller gives the details of her imminent future, she takes it all to heart.
But sometimes you have to learn to take life at face value.
Throughout the story, you could see how her personality develops and how she realised she was more worthy than she ever thought before.
She finds a niche for herself, and makes new, good friends, who help her to overcome a lifetime of self-doubt, and makes herself rather useful, too, with the local Lido, where she works.
The twist in who she would choose when it came to matters of the heart though… Joe, who she is apparently destined to be with, or Ash, who her heart is telling her to trust…
It was an enjoyable read.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Penguin General UK – Fig Tree, Hamish Hamilton, Viking, Penguin Life, Penguin Business, Viking for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Releasing on 9th June, 2022

An Island Wedding by Jenny Colgan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, there’s nothing more to say except I think I shall have to go back and read the first 4 in the series!
I have enjoyed a number of Jenny Colgan’s books but hadn’t ventured to the Isle of Mure before, and An Island Wedding was a wonderful way to be introduced.
Not having read the first few books didn’t hamper my enjoyment at all, but whet my appetite, as there were certain elements to the storyline which referred back to previous happenings which only raised my curiosity!
I love a huge cast of characters, and the different veins of the story all tied together in the end.
Flora and Joel and their ‘will it happen or won’t it’ wedding, Lorna and Saif’s heart-wrenching romance, Jan and Olivia’s relationship as sisters. So much happening, but written in a great way.
Yes. I’ll be sure to look up the rest of the series!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown Book Group UK, Sphere for an ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.

Publishing on 23rd June, 2022

Why Mummy’s Sloshed: The latest laugh-out-loud book by the Sunday Times Number One Bestselling Author by Gill Sims
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Having kids of such ages, Gill Sims books have always resonated and made me really laugh.
This was no different, and knowing that my own two are navigating that near A-Levels time, and the hormones of teenagers, I could totally relate.
Hilarious recount of how a woman deals with life as a single mother, to two teens with two dogs and her chickens. With vast quantities of alcohol, a good set of friends, and an ex, who is learning how to be a better parent, too.

A Light Last Seen: When Jaynie Was… by Grace Greene
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jaynie Highsmigh is a girl with a lot of confused emotions and ideas swimming around in her head. With no on in her own house to rely on for emotional support, she ends up creating a special bond with her older neighbour Ruth.
All she wants to do is get away from her current life, and when she gets the opportunity, Jaynie leaves behind her mother, brother, the memory of Ruth, and her grandson Wayne and also, her name.
Change is overrated, though. As she navigates a new life, Jaynie, or Ruth, as she calls herself, finds other obstacles to her idea of a simple, happy life.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story, as I have done with other Grace Greene books.
Jaynie has a lot to contend with, and it’s only coming back to her childhood home that helps her finally come to terms with the past, and be able to lay her demons to rest.

Well Matched by Jen DeLuca
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I truly love this series by Jen Deluca, and though it has been sitting on my kindle for a little while, I knew I would savour another trip to the Ren Faire!
This time the story centres around April Parker a single mother, who is dreading the whole Empty Nest syndrome which she is about to experience when her daughter Caitlyn graduates from school and disappears to college.
There will be plenty of time for her to get her life back, but there is also plenty that is happening that she might not want to change.
April gets talked into pretending to be her child’s Gym teacher, Mitch’s girlfriend, for a family dinner. Not a bad shout considering he is one of the hottest guys around, but things get a little sticky, as feelings begin to erupt. But that can’t be happening because he is much younger than her.
Added into the mix, she is planning on selling up her house and leaving, plus, he’s one of the Renaissance Faire’s main players. And April has no interest whatsoever… or does she?
As much as I wanted to savour it, I finished it in a day. Loved being back there, and even more excited to find out there is another instalment coming this year!

Sweet Memories by Steena Holmes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A short, sweet read about an estranged couple, brought together again at a family function.
Why did he leave? What had she done? Was it the right choice?
I’d happily read the next to see what happened.

Trey Releasing April 28th, 2022. Sirens Releasing 28th May, 2022

Now, these two, I shall keep the reviews until a little closer to the release date, but I can say I was blown away by our Sacha’s end to her first fiction series!

I have been eagerly awaiting Trey, and to get a bonus Novella, Sirens, too, was just a really cherry on the top of a fantastic YA iced bun!

Sixteen books I managed in the end, and there were still few arcs in there! How do I manage to end up with so many, despite managing to whittle my NetGalley requests down? Still, I regret none!

So which one caught your eye? Any good reads you can recommend to me?

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Marje @ Kyrosmagica
    Apr 02, 2022 @ 17:07:18

    Lots of great reviews Ritu and interesting about Sacha’s new releases… x

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Book Club Mom
    Apr 02, 2022 @ 17:03:12

    Thanks for sharing your reviews, Ritu. Some of my friends have recommended Jenny Colgan books. Good to know that you can jump in and not be hampered by not knowing the backstories.

    Liked by 1 person


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