The Cat Purrsonality Test | Alison Davies | Book Review

When I saw The Cat Purrsonality Test on Netgalley I couldn’t resist requesting it for review. I’m so glad I did because it was such a cute read. Inside of it are nine different aspects of a cats life and a quiz to take for each of then. It also describes the five traits of cats: neuroticism, extroversion, dominance, impulsiveness, and agreeableness. I found it informative and a fun way to learn more about my cats.

The quizzes are broken into the following categories: confidence, day to day play, mind work, beauty routine, sleeping patterns, purr time, cattitude, chat chat, and cat moves. There are also cute graphics on each page to go along with the reading. These categories break down the uniqueness of cats and what really makes them tick. It is a book based on scientific research but it is more of a guide to help you understand your cat.

I took the quizzes for all three of my cats. Overall, Belle appears to be a dominant and extroverted cat; Simon appears to be an extroverted and agreeable cat; and Bootsie appears to be an extroverted and impulsive cat. I think that this is pretty accurate for who they are personality wise. Of course all of the questions did not line up exactly but it gave enough insight to paint a picture in my mind.

The Cat Purrsonality Test was so much fun to read. It was light and also taught me some British slang such a moggy. The quizzes and results are easy to follow and understand. This would make a good little gift to anyone with a cat or who may be interested in learning more about them.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

**I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

Top Ten Tuesday: New To Me Authors I Discovered In 2021

Top Ten Tuesday is held by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl
Today’s topic is about the authors I discovered in 2021!

1) Traci Chee (We Are Not Free)

2. Mia Sosa (The Best-Worst Man)

3. Elizabeth Acevedo (With The Fire On High)

4. Ali Hazel Wood (The Love Hypothesis)

5. Alexis Hall (Boyfriend Material)

6. Sarah Morgenthaler (Moose Springs Alaska series)

7. Rachel Lynn Soloman (The Ex Talk)

8. Jennifer lacopelli (Break The Fall)

9. Trish Doller (Float Plan)

10. Alexandria Bellefleur (Written in the Stars)

What authors did you find in 2021?

Meet Me In The Margins | Melissa Ferguison | Book Review

In Meet Me In The Margins, Savanah Cade lives in Nashville and works as an editorial assistance at Pennington Publishing. Pennington Publishing is a small independent publishing house. Their focus is catering to the whims of the authors of high brow literature. Hugh brow is the only type of literature that is acceptable at Pennington Publishing. No commercial fiction allowed.

Romance is considered commercial fiction so Savannah has been laying low as she writes her most recent romance novel. She finds a hidden nook within the publishing building and she goes there for peace and to write. One day she accidentally leaves her manuscript in the nook, and when she returns to pick if up there are notes all over it. At first, she is offended but then realizes her mystery editor may have a point with all the suggestions so she decides to continue leaving her manuscript and communicates through notes with her mystery editor.

Meet Me In The Margins has total You’ve Got Mail vibes and I was here for it. Savanah knows that her mystery editor is a man and based on this, she tries to narrow it down with who she works with at the company. Because it is such a small company, she is able to narrow her options down relatively quickly but she still wasn’t one hundred percent certain who it was. I had a sneaky suspicion throughout and really enjoyed how Savanah was interacting with this character throughout the day. This is most definitely the troupe of falling in love over writing while also falling in love in person, and it is so well done.

This is such a fun story. It was well written with an easy flow to it. It kept me engaged from the beginning. I loved learning about the intricacies of the publishing world. The characters were ones that I cared about and wanted to be together. Both characters also had growth throughout which was so good and brought an important balance to the romance.

Meet Me and the Margins is an adorable romantic comedy. It had just the right amount of humor and romance. I did feel it ended kind of quickly though. I wouldn’t have minded more of Savanah and her mystery man. I would most definitely recommend this one to anyone who loves books and who has a craving for a You’ve Got Mail type romance.

Rating: 4 Stars

**I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

One Year At The Zoo | A Reflection

The first entry for this blog went live on January 18th, 2021. I can’t believe it has been a year since that date. At the time, I was reeling personally. I had recently lost my job and was trying to regroup. It was a pretty emotional time for me and I was looking for some form of an outlet. I had co-blogged before but this would be my first time trying it all on my own. Honestly, it was one of the best decisions I could have made at that time.

Having this blog as an outlet has provided me a way to be creative again. It has provided me a way to connect with others again. Through this blog and reviewing books, I was able to find myself again and the things that had always been important to me but, somehow had been lost. All of this was healing for me. I wasn’t sure if I was actually reaching anyone with my words but I still felt so connected with others.

The people in my life recognized these changes in me. They commented how I seemed to be finding myself again. I was able to talk books again with close friends without feeling completely lost. I was able to take recommendations and actually read them. I was also able to diversify my reading. It just felt right for me during a relatively difficult time in my life.

The blog was also a stepping stone for me starting other things in my life that I wanted to do but, never had time. I started crafting again. I used to love to craft when I was a kid – friendship bracelets, painting windchimes, crochet, latch hook – if it was a popular craft during the 90s, I likely tried it. This time around I decided to teach myself how to use yarn with plastic canvas. It has been an interesting journey but, I think I’m starting to finally get the hang of it. I even expanded and tried to personalize the last one I made. I’ve debated eventually opening some sort of Etsy shop with my crafts but, I haven’t fully decided if that is the right route for me or not.

During the time of this blog, I completed physical therapy, started mental health therapy, applied for jobs, was rejected by jobs, reconnected with friends and family, celebrated one year with my boyfriend, got to know his daughters better, spent multiple amounts of money on vet visits for my cats, adopted a kitten, survived a pandemic and found a job that I’m thriving in. When I think about it that is quite a bit for one person especially someone who at the beginning of the year was mentally and physically just…done.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that it has been a good year for me. I look forward to continuing on this journey and finding more pieces of me. I want to continue to find my boundaries and not feel guilty for using them. I want to expand who I am as a person. I refused to go back to the way I was before.

I hear you talking
How I deserve the best
A voice inside my head keeps saying
“Don’t settle for less”
I can’t go back
~Pretty Woman The Musical

Saturday Movie Review | Mixtape

Mixtape was released in 2021 in Netflix. The storyline involves a 12 year old girl who lives with her grandmother because her parents died in a car accident. The girl is named Beverly and she has alot of questions about her parents. Questions that her grandmother is reluctant to answer. One day she comes across a mixtape that her parents made and she decides to go on a journey using the music to understand her parents. This results in a beautiful life changing experience for Beverly and all who encounter her.

Mixtape is set in 1999 which I honestly loved because it was a complete throwback. The clothing, make up, music, and taunts – I remember it all. Beverly’s parents mixtape was filled when the music from the 1980s which introduces her to music that she feels in her soul. I enjoyed the music which was selected for the journey. It hit the emotions right where they were supposed to hit. In fact, this movie actually caught my emotions by surprise.

Beverly is a bit of a loner and often teased due to her circumstances. Through this journey, she connects with two girls and they become a trio of best friends. I really enjoyed this friendship and the shenanigans between these girls. It felt youthful and real – not forced at all. All the girls are just a tad bit eccentric for which is another reason their friendship works so well. I could see myself and my group of friends as that age acting like them.

Beverly’s grandmother can feel her pulling away which terrifies her but, she also fails to recognize that she is also responsible for pushing her away. When she refuses to answer Beverly’s questions about her mother; when she is constantly working to save money for her college fund; when she is so focused on Y2K – all she is doing so creating a rift in their relationship. Beverly’s journey also creates a journey for her grandmother rediscovering joy and that it is okay to express emotions, including loss. Honestly, the scenes between the two of them were the ones that had tearing up the most.

Mixtape was a pleasant surprise for me. I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I clicked on it. The connections that are formed throughout are beautiful especially the connection with the music and the way it can tell a story. Imagine the stories our old mixed CDs could tell! For me I’m thinking of the ones that were made for a road trip to Florida and we “rick rolled” every state as we entered it. If you’re a fan of music and an emotional connection, you should check this one out.

Rating: 4 Stars

How To Love Your Neighbor | Sophie Sullivan | Book Review

How To Love Your Neighbor is a fun enemies to lovers contemporary romance. Grace Travis is attending college for interior design and recently inheritated her grandparents house. The house has been empty for about and is in need of some serious TLC. It also comes with a neighbor, Noah Jansen, who wants to buy her house out from under her. Their initial interaction is filled with negative first impression and so unexpected tension. As they continue bumping into each other as neighbors, they banter and get on each other’s nerves. That is until Noah realizes he needs an interior decorator for his house and agrees to hire Grace. And the more time they spend with each other, they realize maybe they don’t really hate their neighbor.

How To Love Your Neighbor paints a picture of two people who meet as neighbors and have a magnetic tension between them. Yet the more they are in each other’s orbit, the more they realize the that under the tension then just simple dislike. They are pulled closer and closer together as decisions are made to their respective houses. I have to admit I’m a softie for HGTV shows. Back in the day, I used to love to watch Extreme Home Maker and would cry everything the house was revealed. In present day, I love watching the partnership between real life partners Chip and Joanna against. Grace and Noah are not Chip and Joanna but they do form a special connection.

These characters were so easy to like. They both have been hurt and are reluctant to open themselves up. Grace does not have a positive relationship with her mother, and it is because of this that she is so desperate to turn her grandparents house into a home. I seriously despised her mother as a character. I also despised Noah’s father who was awful to him. He is trying to break out of his weather fathers shadow and one of the ways he doing so is by reconstructing this house. Unfortunately, his father continues to throw up road blocks to make things harder for him. With the amount, I despised their parents, I was so glad that Grace and Noah found each other and learned to trust each other.

There are also some really fun background characters who bring a real homey environment to the story. I really like the room competition and how it brought everyone closer together. It also showed how well Grace and Noah already knew each other even though they were just starting to enter the “just friends” with maybe actual feelings zone. The whole scenario brought such a smile to my face as a reader. It was such a sweet contemporary romance.

How To Love Your Neighbor brings you the classic enemies to lovers story mixed with neighbors falling for each other mixed with a topical character and a typical grump character troupe. It was mixed together so well and created a story that was both funny and sweet. The interior design plot was also so enjoyable and kept engaged from beginning to end. This is such a good story for those readers who enjoy contemporary romances with a enemies to friends story intertwined.

Rating: 4 Stars

**I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

An Heiress’s Guide to Deception and Desire | Manda Collins | Book Review

An Heiress’s Guide to Deception and Desire is the second book in the A Lady’s Guide series by Manda Collins. I had previously read A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem which is the first book in the series. Inside of that book, the reader was able to get a little bit of a preview into the tense relationship between Miss Caroline Hardcastle and Lord Valentine Thorn. In the second book of the series, it is revealed that the two were betrothed once upon a time until Caro broke it off when she found Val discussing her lack of finesse with his brother. Although the two have tried to avoid each other, they both are part of the same crowds and have periodically ran into each other. And now, they are finding themselves having to work together to solve the disappearance of Caro’s close friend Effie.

Caro is far from what would be perceived as “normal” for a woman during the Victorian era. She is not afraid to speak her mind, dive head first into various scenarios, and she is also part of a duo writing a column in the newspaper regarding the crimes in the community. Most men find Caro’s level of brashness unsuitable but, Lord Val is honestly intrigued by it. He enjoys his bantering with her and finds very desirable. Although there is a mystery afoot, there is much more romance involved than mystery.

I really enjoyed watching Caro and Van banter and reconnect with each other on a more personal level. It becomes noticeable very early on that neither character has really gotten over their broken engagement. They try to deny it but it is obvious to everyone around them. This is a historical romance that uses a steamy carriage ride make out session, an awkward situation turned into a fake engagement, and tense family moments to move the story forward. The fake engagement was probably my favorite part because there really wasn’t anything fake about it. It was all real and it was fun to watch these strong-headed characters from different sides of the social stratosphere realize the depth of their love.

The mystery also kept my attention. This time around it was a disappearance versus a murder so I enjoyed seeing a different type of storyline. As Caro, Val, and their friends searched for clues, they had me trying to figure out where the missing woman was as well. I think that there was just the right amount of build up for the mystery to make it both believable and enjoyable. I also liked how the characters from the previous novel were involved and new characters were introduced.

A Lady’s Guide to Deception and Desire was a pretty fast read for me. It was kept light with the romance but gripping with the mystery. There was not anything overly gruesome involve and there was some steamy chemistry between Caro and Val. I look forward to continuing with this series when the next installment is released. I don’t think you necessarily have to read them in order but, A Lady’s Guide To Mischief and Mayhem does give you a good introduction to these characters of Caro and Val. Both stories would be good for readers who enjoy strong female characters, steamy romances, and a touch of mystery in a historical setting.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

**I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

Top Ten Tuesday: 2021 Releases I Was Excited To Read But Didn’t Get To

Top Ten Tuesday is held by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl
Today’s topic is about the books that were released in 2021 that I didnt get a chance to read yet.

1) The Hawthorne Legacy ~ Jennifer Lynn Barnes
I loved The Inheritance Games and am looking forward to the sequel but was not able to pick it up when released. I did just borrow it from Libby so hopefully soon!

2) A Spot Of Trouble ~ Teri Wilson
This one sounded so cute and funny. Hopefully I get to check it out soon.

3. Small Favors ~ Erin Craig
This was a recommendation to me and although I have heard many good things about it I have yet to pick it up.

4) We Are The Babysitters Club Anthology
As a 90s baby who loved The Babysitters Club, I was pretty excited to check this anthology out when I first heard about it. Hopefully soon as I have a hold on Libby for it.

5) You Have A Match ~ Emma Lord
I have borrowed this from Libby so many times but unfortunately have yet to actually read it.

6) The Soulmate Equation ~ Christina Lauren
I usually enjoy books by these authors and wanted to check out their newest work but never did for some reason. I did get it as a gift for Christmas so hopefully I will get to it soon.

7) The Four Winds ~ Kristin Hannah
I tried to read this one but had trouble getting to it. I’m hoping to try again in 2022 as I usually enjoy books by Kristin Hannah.

8) When We Were Dating ~ Jasmine Gullory
I have enjoyed The Wedding Date series and was looking forward to reading the newest installment when it was released. I do own this one so possible soon?

9) The Keeper of the Night ~ Kylie Lee Baker
This was one of my book of the month selections that I was unable to get in 2021

10) Black Out Anthology
I am really interested in checking this anthology about Black teens falling in love as the power is out in the city. I always am on the look out to diversify my readings.

What are some 2021 releases that you did not get a chance to read yet?

When You Get The Chance | Emma Lord | Audiobook Review

Why did I listen to When You Get The Chance by Emma Lord?

When You Get The Chance sounded like a modern day Mamma Mia type story and I was here for that. It also sounded like an ode to Broadway which was definitely right up my alleyway. Broadway is one of my favorite places. There was also a hint of a hate/love relationship. Basically, it sounded like the perfect book for me.

What’s the story here?

Millie Price is a junior in a dream: she wants to be a Broadway star. When she is accepted to a special musical arts program, she thinks she is finally on her way. Except her father does not want her going clear across the country for school and without a mother in her corner, she feels like she is all alone. When she comes upon her father’s LiveJournal from 2003 (his first year in college), she makes a decision to finally find her mom and hopefully have an ally on her side.

How did I like What You Get The Chance?

When You Get The Chance is a hilarious and heart-warming love letter to family, friends, and the theater community. I really enjoyed reading about Millie and all of her little and big moods and experiences. This is a character with alot of heart and a wide range of human emotions. This journey takes her through so many experiences including an internship with her arch nemesis, a local dance class, and an unexpected kinship with a young girl. It tests her relationship with herself and those around her. This story is also a journey across NYC and is filled with a sweet romance between arch nemesis which I also enjoyed. It was a delight to read. I laughed, smiled, and even got a little emotional as I went on this adventure with Millie and an excellent supporting cast.

How was the narration?

This audiobook was an advanced reader copy from Netgalley. The story is narrated by Jesse Vilinsky and is approximately 10 hours and 18 minutes long. I listened to it at 1.5x speed and found that it flowed along easily. It kept my attention and also kept with the various emotions of the story. And trust me, there are alot of mixed emotions through out for Millie and the various other characters! I recommend When You Get The Chance to anyone who enjoys strong family dynamics, enemy to lover troupes, and who has a sense of adventure and a love for Broadway and NYC.

Rating: 5 Stars

**I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

Audiobook Review layout courtesy of Good Books and Good Wine

The Lost and Found Necklace | Louisa Leaman | Book Review

The Lost and Found Necklace is a mixed bag for me. I read it in one day so it was a simple comfort book. The tone is easy, warm, and inviting but the characters and overall story was not that memorable. I didn’t find myself yearning to know more or stay with the characters which was a disappointment.

The Lost and Found Necklace follows jewelry designer Jess and she searches for a missing family heirloom – a necklace – that she thinks will finally heal her ailing grandmother. There is a story behind the necklace which she has never fully heard but she is hoping to bring peace to her grandmother in her final days. She attends an auction but loses out on the necklace to an appealing and mysterious stranger. In order to get it back, she must spend time with him, and as she does she starts questioning everything in her “safe” life she has built for herself.

Jess has chosen to be safe after multiple experiences and relationships have made her both emotionally and physically wounded. Each time she took a risk it has blown up in face and after healing herself mentally and physically she has decided that the safe route is the best route to take. This is how she winds up with her boyfriend Tim. He is dependable and solid – the type of man she should settle down with – unlike the mysterious guy who has her challenging her need for adventure.

Honestly I felt that Jess was a little immature in the way. She handled the whole situation with the two guys. These guys were obviously complete opposites so there were different things that attracted her to each of them. The differences were very narrow minded for starters and I really don’t see the appeal for any of the characters – Jess included. Like why did she have these two men desperately wanting to be with her? The sparks between these characters is honestly lacking. Thankfully the story regarding the necklace held my attention a little bit better.

The necklace gave a background of fleeting romance and adventure. Since it was first created, it has impacted all of the loves of the women who have worn it. These women find their passions and their happily ever afters; in Hollywood, photography and art. And yet the necklace was sold off never to found again due to its ability to also cause pain. The necklace is held in very high self esteem and this is why Jess is so desperate to have it reunited with her aunt before she passes. She thinks it will give her final peace.

The Lost and Found Necklace has a pleasant easy going reading vibe to it but it just felt lacking in the character and romance department. I would have liked more development in both of those and I think that would have strengthened the connection with her necklace and family history. I also think the message of not wasting a single day would have had mor emphasis. It just disappointing that the story did not pan out in a memorable manner for me.

Rating: 3 Stars

Chasing the Four Winds

Reading, Writing, Nerding, and Honoring the Oxford Comma Since 1987.

A. A. MacConnell

When you write drabbles, you relieve the pressure of the epic novel expanding in your head.

The Calico Books

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