Saturday, September 30, 2023

September 2023 EOM Wrap Up

I read 6 books (not including children's books). *These qualify for the 2023 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
West Side Love Story (Queens of Mariachi, # 1) by Priscilla Oliveras
A Faithful Proposal (Memorable Proposal, # 2) by Jennie Goutet
A Queen of Thieves and Chaos (Fate & Flame, # 3) by KA Tucker
A Daring Proposal (Memorable Proposal, # 3) by Jennie Goutet
A Yorkshire Carol (A Christmas Match, # 3) by Jennie Goutet
For Letter or Worse by Esther Hatch

I have reviewed 6 books (not including mini reviews of children's books). *These qualify for the 2023 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
A Lady's Promise by Ranee S. Clark
His Unexpected Heiress (Entangled Inheritance, # 2) by Sally Britton
Letters for Phoebe (Promise of Forever After, # 1) by Sally Britton
An Amiable Foe (Castles and Courtship, # 1) by Jennie Goutet
A Fall from Grace (Clavering Chronicles, # 1) by Jennie Goutet
Sleepless in Dubai by Sajni Patel

Other Posts:
Sunday Post - 09/10/23
Sunday Post - 09/17/23
Sunday Post - 09/24/23
Top Ten Fall 2023 TBR List
Can't Wait for Old Flames and New Fortunes by Sarah Hogle
2023 Series Enders Reading Challenge - September Wrap Up
Homeschool Friday - # 2
Homeschool Friday - # 3

I'm about 13 days ahead on my Bible-in-a-year plan.
I've read 70 out of 52 books (not including children's books).
I've read 4 out of 5-10 series enders.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Sleepless in Dubai - Review

Sleepless in Dubai

By: Sajni Patel

Expected Publication: October 24, 2023 by Amulet Books

288 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Romance

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--From the author of My Sister's Big Fat Indian Wedding comes this hilarious, smart, and swoon-worthy rom-com about two teens traveling to Dubai for Diwali

In this hate-to-love teen rom-com from the author of My Sister's Big Fat Indian Wedding, Nikki, an aspiring photographer, accompanies her family on a trip to Dubai to celebrate the five days of Diwali in style. It should be the trip of a lifetime, if Yash, the boy next door--with whom Nikki has a rocky history--weren't on board. Oblivious to the tension, Nikki's matchmaking family encourages Nikki to get better acquainted with Yash. Turns out a lot can change on a 12-hour flight beyond just continents. But can betrayals and conflicting ambitions be set aside long enough for the two teens to discover the true meaning of the Festival of Lights?

I wrongly assumed, based on the title, this book would be a retelling of Sleepless in Seattle. Obviously, the book description should have told me all I needed to know, but my brain is quite overloaded these days, and I couldn't remember much about the description. Now that I go back and re-read the description, I can say that this is one time that it is all wrong or at least twisted to mislead.

Nikki and Yash have history. They have been best friends since diapers. Their moms were pregnant at the same time. They have been neighbors, and their parents have been best friends their whole lives. Nikki and Yash don't need to get acquainted...they need to get RE-acquainted after they fought over the summer. The gist is that Nikki started sneaking out and going to clubs. Yash was worried about her. They had a fight, and Nikki spelled out what was happening. Her parents overheard and asked them to repeat what was just said. Yash did just that. Which Nikki saw as a betrayal, and then in all self-admitted-pettiness betrayed Yash, also, by spilling the beans about some car damage he did while driving or something. Anyway, these two were former best friends who did everything together. But they've spent the entire summer not speaking.

Sleepless in Dubai starts off with Nikki setting up the perfect photograph she's been trying to get to submit for an internship. Yash runs over her camera, which is in the road for the shot she wanted. And we have another major conflict between these two. Their families are traveling together to Dubai for the Diwali festival to see some of Nikki's mother's family. And both sets of parents are pushing these two kids to make up. There may or may not be hints of matchmaking on the parents' parts, but romance doesn't really appear to be at the heart of their efforts since everyone besides Nikki's younger sister, Lily, seems surprised when it eventually heads in that direction.

I felt like Sleepless in Dubai was completely predictable. But I also felt like there's no way that Sajni Patel thought she was writing some epic plot twister that readers wouldn't pick up on. The clues were so glaringly obvious on all fronts that I can't believe anyone would have missed them. But I didn't mind it one single bit.

Nikki is indeed petty. She got hurt, and she sought to retaliate. It's human nature, but it isn't true love. She had a lot of growing up to do over the course of their trip and book. I liked that Yash was much more mature. He just wanted to talk to Nikki, and he seemed to handle all of his hurt and pain in a responsible way by turning to art. He was definitely the more mature of these two kiddos.

Of course, there was so much of the cultural aspects that I am clueless about. So I couldn't imagine what the food they were eating was like or the clothes they were wearing exactly. Or even the music they might hear or things they would smell. It would have been nice to have that knowledge, but that didn't stop me from knowing what it tastes like to eat a delicious meal, to wear clothes I feel nice in, to celebrate and fellowship with friends, family, and even new people. I've enjoyed vacations where the senses were overloaded. And I could easily connect to the meaning explained behind Diwali of releasing negativity and holding fast to the light and positivity that we want in our lives, refocusing on the important things and leaving behind the things that drag us down. And most of all, I can connect to the human emotions of hurt, betrayal, forgiveness, hope, love, and joy.

Favorite quote:

-"The point is to start fresh, to be clean and cleansed. Outer appearances are only so much. Our inner self has to mirror our outer self; otherwise, what is the point? May we all unload negative energy and the darkness that perpetually tries to consume us."

Sleepless in Dubai was nothing like I was picturing in a good way. I didn't want to put it down. I was enjoying the vacation these two families went on vicariously. And I enjoyed every second of Nikki and Yash reconnecting and discovering that their relationship has evolved into more. It was just what I needed, and I am not surprised since this makes my fourth Sajni Patel read. Sleepless in Dubai gets 4.5 Stars. I couldn't give it 5 because of the glaringly obvious plot "twists". Have you read Sleepless in Dubai? What did you think? Let me know!

Monday, September 25, 2023

2023 Series Enders Reading Challenge - September Wrap Up

Time for our Monthly Wrap Up for the 2023 Series Enders Reading Challenge hosted by Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know and Holly @ Words Fueled by Love!

Sandy finished A Daring Proposal (Memorable Proposals, # 3) by Jennie Goutet.

Which series enders did you finish? Link the up below. Don't forget to include the title, your name, & your blog name (Ex: Requiem - Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know) Also, the September giveaway runs from September 25th - October 25th. On October 25th we will use and the linky entries to pull a grand prize winner.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Sunday Post - 09/24/23

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

This was a good week. Tuesday, we went to the library and to the park. We met some friends and hung out there. Then we did grocery pickup and school in the afternoon. Wednesday was a really good day. Little Boy was in rare form, and I loved it. He did his handwriting, unloaded the dryer and sorted clothes, and then folded his and put them away before I even got home from dropping Baby Boy off at mother's day out. Then he was ready to do school work and had his finished before we needed to get Baby Boy before lunch. Thursday we went on a field trip to the Alabama State Archives. They had a cool playroom for the younger kids with historical items the kids were allowed to play with. Old cameras, typewriters, telephones, kitchen items, dress up clothes. All kinds of stuff. We didn't get to be part of the guided tour this time, but we were able to walk through and see the displays. We'll certainly go back there in the future. After that we ran by my parent's house for lunch. They were leaving to go on vacation the next day so we wanted to say goodbye, and we'll be doing some things for their house while they're gone. Friday was a regular day, but a good one overall. Saturday, we drove to Gulf Shores, or close anyway, to go to my niece's birthday. She had it at Alligator Alley in Summerdale. We'd never been there before and it was really fun. Shoot it was even educational as well. Despite traveling sometimes being stressful with three little kids, it was a really good day.


Monday: Review of An Amiable Foe (Castles and Courtship, # 1) by Jennie Goutet (3.5 Stars)
Tuesday: Top Ten Fall 2023 TBR List
Friday: Homeschool Friday - # 3 (mini reviews)
Saturday: Review of A Fall from Grace (Clavering Chronicles, # 1) by Jennie Goutet (4 Stars)


Monday: 2023 Series Enders Reading Challenge - September Wrap Up
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday?
Thursday: Review of Sleepless in Dubai by Sajni Patel

Don’t forget to link up for the 2023 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2023 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!


No new books this week.

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Saturday, September 23, 2023

A Fall from Grace - Review

A Fall from Grace (Clavering Chronicles, # 1)

By: Jennie Goutet

Publication: April 7, 2020

244 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction, Clean Romance

Source: YouTube Audiobooks

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--She needs a champion. He needs one less person to worry about.

Selena Lockhart comes with neither fortune nor connections, and she knows better than to expect Society to give her a welcome—especially after her father gambled away his fortune, precipitating the family’s sudden fall from grace and Selena’s betrothed to break off the engagement. It therefore comes as no surprise that her new neighbor, Sir Lucius, treats her with disdain. Why should he look beyond appearances when her own promises so little?

Sir Lucius Clavering is not married, but he may as well be, considering he is expected to escort his widowed mother to watering holes, round out the numbers at his married sister’s dinners, and come to the aid of his scapegrace younger siblings. It doesn’t help that single women and matchmaking mamas jostle each other for his face, fortune, and title so that he’s left without a moment’s peace.

When Selena shows up at Lucius’s doorstep looking for help, he is sure it’s another ploy aimed at cutting up his prized bachelor existence. Although his prejudice does not last long, Lucius fears his first reaction might have ruined his chances with her. How can he save her from Society’s teeth when she continues to hold him at arm’s length?

Nearly 3 months have passed since I finished this book. I've been utterly terrible about writing book reviews this year, and I'm sure you guys are tired of me saying this nearly every review. Unfortunately, I don't remember a ton of the details when it comes to this book. Here's what I do remember.

Selena's family has fallen out of the good graces of the ton. Her family is no longer wealthy enough to be part of higher society. She has gone to live with her aunt, I believe, to work as a companion. I can't remember if she was only to be a companion to her elderly aunt or also working as a governess/companion to her aunt's charge/ward. And, of course, I can't remember the girl's name. Regardless, she is nearly wanton. She throws herself at Sir Lucius Clavering every chance she gets, but he isn't the only one. Selena is run almost ragged trying to balance both tasks set before her. And her aunt holds her responsible for what her charge does even when Selena is at her aunt's side helping her. How she can be in two places at once is beyond me, but it seems to be expected of her.

Also living with them is the new duke/earl (sheesh, I can't remember). He inherited when Selena's uncle passed away. He's a man who lives above his means and gambles away whatever funds he has left. And if he's not careful, what happened to Selena's family is going to happen to his also.

Debutantes and their mothers have been trying to lock Sir Lucius into a marriage for years. He hasn't been interested, but Selena shows herself to be different from all those who are trying to ensnare him. She doesn't seem to want anything from him beyond friendship, and even that is not something she's actively pursuing, given the difference in their social standings now. But he can't help but be pulled towards her.

The side characters were rich and came off the page. Lucius's sister Miranda with her snobbery, Philippa with her easygoing and sincere nature, George who still needed to grow up a bit. I would say I look forward to their stories, but I've already listened to them and have reviews to come for them as well.

Overall, A Fall from Grace was such an enjoyable listen. I wanted to smack Lucius in the head a few times. I felt so bad for Selena having to face her old life and society in their brutality. Plus Selena's aunt had unattainable expectations of her. But of course, I loved their happy ending. I really enjoy the narrator, Stevie Zimmerman. A Fall from Grace gets 4 Stars. Have you read (or listened to) A Fall from Grace by Jennie Goutet? What did you think? Let me know!

Friday, September 22, 2023

Homeschool Friday - # 3

Homeschool Friday is a feature here at Somewhere Only We Know that showcases books my family reads during homeschool and provides a mini-review for each.

Goodreads description--Glenn and his goat go everywhere together. That silly little goat simply provides Glenn friendship and laughter until, one day, the goat helps Glenn find “gold” hidden in plain sight. This whimsically illustrated Silver Tales Series story is just right for Level 2 readers who will grow in their appreciation of hard work, family, tradition, and nature’s gifts.

We happened to be studying maple syrup the week we read Glenn and His Goat. It was the perfect addition to our science lesson this week. Glenn wants so bad to help his family out that is struggling financially. Glenn also wants his own pair of boots. Instead of sitting by and doing nothing, Glenn finds maple sap when his faithful goat starts licking a tree. The story of Glenn, and his goat's determination is something I want my kids to grow up with.

Goodreads description--From the creator of Ready Rabbit Gets Ready! comes a hilarious photo-story of sisterhood and one-upmanship.

Philomena needs new glasses. Her sister Audrey wants them, too. And if Philomena and Audrey have them, shouldn't their sister Nora Jane also have them?

In this utterly amusing tale of sisterhood, glasses, purses, and dresses, these girls soon make an important discovery. Not everyone needs the same things !

Philomena's New Glasses is about how often times we see what others have and think we have to have the same. Philomena needs new glasses, so Audrey's wants some too. And since Audrey gets some too, Nora Jane doesn't want to be left out. Eventually all of the sisters want new things, and all end up getting the same things as each other even though they don't need them. I can't remember all of the items they got off the top of my head, but the lesson is simple. We don't have to always have the same things as everyone else. PREACH IT!

Goodreads description--When Peter finds out that his blue furniture is being painted pink for his new baby sister, he takes the last unpainted item, a chair, and runs away.

A sweet book about a little boy who realizes that things he's outgrown are being revamped for his baby sister. At first, Peter is resistant. He doesn't want his things to be changed. And he doesn't want to give up his things. But he comes to realize that even if he doesn't want to outgrow his things (his chair or his bed), he truly can't use them anymore. And he changes his mind to be excited about giving his things to his new sister. A cute book with a good message.

Goodreads description--Charlie and friend Marv are in search of strange and tricky creatures. And they would like to search without Lola bothering and interrupting. But Lola knows EXACTLY how to catch strange and tricky creatures, and enlists a little bit of help from her invisible friend, Soren Lorensen, and, of course, one or three drops of pink milk. "Child is as visually inventive and verbally dexterous as ever ...classic." - Guardian "The Child recipe at its fresh, playful best." - Observer "A typically exuberant, imaginative whirl of a story." - Angels and Urchins "Child is second to none when it comes to capturing the imagination of young children." - Daily Express "A witty book that reminds us why we fell in love with Charlie and Lola in the first place." - Junior

This was a funny one. Charlie and Marv want to play without Charlie's little sister, Lola. Totally relatable. I had an older sister, and I always hung out with her and her friends. Every now and then she would tell me that it was time for me to leave and let them hang out together. And I wouldn't always be happy about it, but I understood her point. Now that I have children, I'm seeing my oldest want to play with her friends without her little brother bothering them. And I hate him being left out, but I understand it all at the same time. Well Lola had a great strategy to be involved in the play. She suggested her invisible friend, Soren Lorensen, could find the creature Charlie and Marv were trying to find. Lola is brillant. And I kind of wish my two would take a page out of her book.

There was no description on Goodreads. This was included in my daughter's level 2 language arts curriculum. This is a reader meant to be read with both parent/teacher and student. I can't say that my daughter always looked forward to reading this book. As a matter of fact, she often huffed and puffed when it was time to pull this out. However, there were also chapter breaks where she was excited to find out what was going to happen next. Wesley and the Wolves is essentially a boy-who-cried-wolf story. Wesley literally cries wolf, but instead of having multiple instances of lying, Wesley really only lied one time, but this book shows that once trust is lost it can be really difficult to win back. But I loved how Wesley did in fact work to earn trust back with every single person that he broke trust with. A great message in this story.

Goodreads description--The Sour Grape holds grudges for every reason under the sun. Lime never returned a scarf they borrowed? Grudge! Orange never called back? Grudge! But when a friend holds a grudge against the Sour Grape without listening to an explanation, the Sour Grape realizes how unfair grudges can be. Could a bunch of forgiveness and compassion be enough to turn a sour grape sweet?

Jory John and Pete Oswald serve up another heaping plate of laughs and lessons with this empowering, witty, and charming addition to their #1 New York Times bestselling series!

This book is really, really good! I wasn't expecting it to be so good. Honestly, I could have used this book growing up. And I certainly have one child that naturally veers toward being a "sour grape". The concepts in this book were so clear. Seeing how easily and how quickly we can turn into a grudge-holding, bitter, angry person in an illustration was really impactful. I recommend this book to EVERYONE!

Goodreads description--How can we give our children an understanding of the value of love, kindness, empathy, and compassion?

It's challenging to explain the importance of giving and receiving love. Why do some people behave hurtfully? How can we respond with kindness and compassion?

I liked this book. I actually got a copy of this book for review from the publisher via NetGalley, but all of my thoughts are my own. The Love Tank is a really good concept in a way that children can understand. I liked the specific difference mentioned between your love tank and being hungry and how trying to fill your love tank with food or shopping will only leave you still feeling empty. I asked my daughter (7 years old) what she thought of this book. She said it was good, and she liked it, but that it was too similar to another book she read. And that made me think of Have You Filled A Bucket Today?, and she verified that was the book she was thinking of. I agree with her. I didn't get both books out to compare one to the other (since we own Have You Filled a Bucket...), but I feel like it went more in depth. If you had to buy one of them only, I would recommend Have You Filled a Bucket Today?, but I like that they both address a similar concept, and this can be great for repition that children need. And having both to use in teaching your kids would be a great way to address their emotional needs and teach them about how to treat others.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Top Ten Fall 2023 TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This week's topic is Top Ten Fall 2023 TBR List
  1. Fairest of Heart (Texas Ever After, # 1) by Karen Witemeyer
  2. Someone You Loved by Robin Constantine
  3. Champion of Fate (Heromaker, # 1) by Kendare Blake
  4. A Girl Called Samson by Amy Harmon
  5. Dark Age (Red Rising Trilogy, # 5) by Pierce Brown
  6. Finding Us (Pictures of the Heart, # 2) by Tracie Peterson
  7. Pixels and Paint (Trinket Sisters, # 1) by Kristi Ann Hunter
  8. For Letter or Worse by Esther Hatch
  9. Old Flames and New Fortunes by Sarah Hogle
  10. Tree. Table. Book. by Lois Lowry

Which books are on your fall 2023 TBR list? Let me know!

Monday, September 18, 2023

An Amiable Foe - Review

An Amiable Foe (Castles and Courtship, # 1)

By: Jennie Goutet

Publication: March 24, 2023 by Millefeuille Press

322 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction, Clean Romance

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--She wants to be left alone with her family’s castle. He wants to show off the home he has just inherited. Neither of them can win.

Marianne Edgewood is perfectly capable of running Brindale Castle, if only the task would be left to her. A centuries-old house of stone is solid, unchanging, whereas people are not to be relied upon. It little matters that a stranger inherited the castle. She simply must find a way to stay.

At last, fate has been kind to Peregrine Osborne, and he has won the approval of his baron uncle, his London friends, and the deed to a castle in Kent. He certainly deserves his success after suffering a series of setbacks through no fault of his own. If only the castle’s pretty resident, Miss Edgewood, didn’t stand in the way of his urgent attempts to bring the castle to its proper glory.

When Perry embarks on a whirlwind renovation of Brindale, Marianne proves to be confoundingly resistant to his efforts. As Perry finds it increasingly difficult to force her to his will, he begins to question whether having his way at all costs is worth forcing Marianne from everything she has ever known. And Marianne must decide whether a cold pile of stones is truly a replacement for a warm, beating heart.

Jennie Goutet is a new author for me, and I have already added several of her books to my TBR list. The audiobook version is narrated by Stevie Zimmerman, who does a marvelous job and will be added to my list of favorite audio narrators.

The description covers a lot of the story. Marianne's parents passed away in short succession. Her uncle inherited Brindale Castle, but he has also passed away. Since her uncle's passing, Marianne has waited on pins and needles for the next inheritor to seek her out and kick her out of her home. Marianne is truly secluded. Her companion is no help at all and actually hinders her. She is only friends with the servants and one local family. I can't remember their last name, but the son's name is Robert. Marianne and Robert have grown up together. Robert does expect there to be a marital alliance between them eventually, but he hasn't done anything as of yet to try to work towards that goal.

Perry inherited Brindale Castle from his uncle, who already owns an estate. For Perry, Brindale Castle is a test from his uncle to see if he is worthy or ready to be his successor. Perry arrives at Brindale very cold and aloof, with all kinds of ideas on how to renovate. What he doesn't expect is an inhabitant that is tied to the castle. Thankfully, Marianne has inherited the cottage on the property from her uncle before he died, so it isn't like she has nowhere to go.

Perry is so excited to finally have an estate of his own that he invites 3 of his friends from London. He doesn't trust these friends, and to be honest, two of them aren't really friends so much as acquaintances, and acquaintances he isn't even sure he wants to keep up with after the house party is over.

Perry can't explain why he feels so protective over Marianne, but that feeling only grows into more overtime as he learns more about Marianne, her resilience, and her character. Marianne isn't used to relying on others. She hasn't been well taken care of and has had to look out for herself. I related to her search for a true friend. The mystery in this book wasn't a surprise for me at all. But I think Jennie Goutet handled it well enough.

An Amiable Foe was a wholesome, quick listen with a happy ending. I wasn't completely blown away by it or surprised by any twists or mysteries, but sometimes that is what I'm looking for in a book. I find I appreciate these types of stories in audiobook format even more. An Amiable Foe gets 3.5 Stars. I have already listened to another by Jennie Goutet and have added even more to my TBR list. Have you read (or listened to) An Amiable Foe? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Sunday Post - 09/17/23

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

This was a challenging week. Husband left Tuesday morning to go to Massachesettes for work. He was gone until late Thursday night. Little Boy's behavior wasn't up to standard this week while Husband was gone. Little Girl was giving me attitude too. And Baby Boy is just hitting a stage of wanting to take things apart to understand how they work. So there's destruction everywhere. Wednesday I had a breakdown. Thursday we had to go shopping for a birthday present. Then we ran to the doctor for the two boys. My car broke down at the doctor's office, and my parents had to come to our rescue since Husband was on his flight from MA to GA. It was an exhausting day. Friday wasn't much easier. Friday night we went to Husband's alumni tea and homecoming game since his graduation year was being honored. Saturday morning I took the kids to a birthday party and then we went out to dinner with Husband's high school class.


Monday: Review of His Unexpected Heiress (Entangled Inheritance, # 2) by Sally Britton (4 Stars)
Thursday: Review of Letters for Phoebe (Promise of Forever After, # 1) by Sally Britton


Monday: Review of An Amiable Foe (Castles and Courtship, # 1) by Jennie Goutet
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday?
Thursday: Review of A Fall from Grace (Clavering Chronicle, # 1) by Jennie Goutet

Don’t forget to link up for the 2023 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2023 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!


No new books this week.

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upc

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Letters for Phoebe - Review

Letters for Phoebe (Promise of Forever After, # 1)

By: Sally Britton

Publication: July 1, 2020

124 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction, Regency

Source: YouTube Audiobooks

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate link. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--When Phoebe starts receiving anonymous letters, she never once thinks the most irresponsible man in London is her correspondent. Or that she will fall in love with him.

Phoebe Kimball grew up believing in love, but after failing to find a gentleman capable of capturing her heart, she has turned more practical than romantic. She is determined to find a husband in London this Season. If only the annoying Mr. Fenwick would stop appearing every time she sets her cap at someone! When an anonymous letter arrives warning her that her current target is unsuitable marital material, Phoebe begins a relationship with the letter writer that promises something more than a practical alliance.

Griffin Fenwick does not usually care for women on the hunt for a husband, but Miss Kimball's quick wit and refusal to admit she enjoys his company intrigues him. When he realizes the gentlemen on her list of eligible bachelors is full with scoundrels, he warns her the only way he can - through a letter. As he comes to know Phoebe better, he soon realizes he wishes to put his own name on her list. If only she liked Griffin as much as she liked her anonymous correspondent.

When Phoebe realizes its been Griffin writing her all along, will she put aside practicality for love, or spurn Griffin for even trying to woo her?

Letters for Phoebe is the first in a series of books about five friends. The next four novellas will be written by authors Joanna Barker, Megan Walker, Heidi Kimball, and Arlem Hawks.

Oh, I wasn't ready for this novella to end. In the best way. Is there a bad way to not want something to end? I guess if it feels incomplete. And while I certainly could have had more of Griffin and Phoebe, I suppose their story feels complete enough.

Griffin is a fun-loving guy. He isn't looking to settle down at all right now. Phoebe, however, is on the hunt. She's on her 3rd season, and she's a bit weary of the whole thing. She's decided this will be her last season, so she must be successful. And so she has a plan and a list.

Phoebe and Griffin meet through Phoebe's sister-in-law, who grew up on the estate bordering Griffin's family estate. Phoebe asks Griffin to introduce her to another gentleman, but Griffin happens to know this man is up to his eyeballs in gambling debts. Phoebe's almost immediate dislike of Griffin means she won't likely take his warnings against this gentleman willingly. So Griffin decides to write to Phoebe anonymously. Only Griffin and Phoebe don't stop at one note. They continue to pass notes as they also continue to get to know each other in person. Only Phoebe, of course, still doesn't know the author of her anonymous letters.

I won't say any more on the plot so as to not spoil things. I will only say that things ended right when they were getting good. I guess that's as good of a place to end things. Letters for Phoebe gets 4 Stars. Have you read (or listened to) Letters for Phoebe? What did you think? Let me know!

Monday, September 11, 2023

His Unexpected Heiress - Review

His Unexpected Heiress (Entangled Inheritances, # 2)

By: Sally Britton

Publication: July 10, 2019

234 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction

Source: YouTube Audiobooks

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--An unexpected fortune falls into a tradeswoman’s lap, a gentleman insists it rightfully belongs to him, will falling in love make matters better or worse?

A third son to an earl, Adam Gillensford knows his only hope of an inheritance is through his great uncle. But when the Will is read, Adam learns most of the wealth has been left to a complete stranger, and a seamstress at that. If he hopes to salvage any kind of funds for himself, he has two choices: adhere to his late uncle’s wishes and assist the new heiress in finding her way, or sabotage her so the courts will find her unfit to inherit. Deciding his course would be easier if the heiress wasn’t so enchanting.

Elaine Chapple, a woman in trade, is rather used to being seen as unusual. But running her own dress shop is far different from discovering a man she barely knew left his entire estate in her care. As unexpected as the fortune is, the help of the gentleman attached to it is even more perplexing. Does Mr. Gillensford mean to make her a success, or a fool?

With a greedy family urging Adam to act for his own good, and Elaine’s difficulty in adapting to her new life, only love could possibly untangle this mess.

I put off listening to His Unexpected Heiress because I noticed that it was 2nd in a series. But this isn't your normal series. Sally Britton has contributed to multiple book series where different authors have written each book in the series. I presume this is an attempt to get readers to read books by the other authors...whichever one they might not have been familiar with prior to the series. Since His Unexpected Heiress was labeled as a book 2, I didn't want to start it at first, and I chose to listen to Her Unsuitable Match first since it was book 1 in a different series. The two series are definitely connected as they share characters. And His Unexpected Heiress comes first chronologically. In my review of Her Unsuitable Match, I mentioned that Adam and Elaine felt like they must have had their own story. They were written in a way that the reader is almost expected to be familiar with them.

Elaine is a seamstress. She learned the trade from her father before he passed. And she's taken on two wards through the years. They are truthfully more like her children than anything else but are not biologically related to her in any way. Elaine is kind to a gentleman during a rainstorm one day, and he decides to leave his estate to her when he passes. Elaine knows nothing about how to run an estate, so she's very thankful for the gentleman's nephew who helps her navigate her duties.

Adam expected to inherit his uncle's estate. He isn't angry that he didn't. Just confused. But his uncle said that if Adam made himself useful to Elaine then he would inherit a sum of money to be paid out by the uncle's solicitor. Adam's family is pushing him to do whatever is necessary to sweep the inheritance out from under Elaine's feet. But Adam has learned the lesson his uncle was wishing him to learn/remember.

I appreciate Sally Britton publishing her audiobooks on YouTube. It's been so enjoyable for me to listen to these books. I wasn't sure I could work audiobooks into my current day-to-day. But it turns out that I can at times. And Jessica Elisa Boyd is a wonderful narrator.

His Unexpected Heiress was a quick and easy listen for me. I love being able to squeeze "reading" in when I otherwise wouldn't normally be able to read (like when I'm washing the dishes or cleaning the bathrooms). Adam and Elaine were wonderfully adorable. I enjoyed their journey. His Unexpected Heiress gets 4 Stars. Have you read (or listened to) His Unexpected Heiress? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Sunday Post - 09/10/23

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

The last week of August was more of a struggle bus for us with school. But we survived. We did go on our first field trip on Wednesday the 30th to a local nature center. They had fishing, a creek walk, and a lesson on amphibians and reptiles. We got to pet some animals. I can't believe I actually touched a snake. I was trying to be brave for my son, but he still didn't end up touching it. And it didn't feel anything like what I expected. I expected it to be hard and scaly, kind of like the alligator, but he was actually very soft. The kids had a blast, and we were all worn out. Friday, I started feeling a sore throat. I knew I was officially getting sick on Saturday, but we traveled to Georgia to celebrate my nephew's 4th birthday. The kids had so much fun. Sunday, my voice was gone. Monday was a totally relaxing day for me. Husband went to cut grass at his mom's house so he took the kids with him and I was able to rest. Tuesday we ran library books back and picked up some new ones. We went to the park but the kids weren't feeling it this week. And then we did grocery pick up. Tuesday we got back into the groove of homeschool. Thursday, my parents came to hang out with us. And then Friday, we went to a "field day" with a local homeschool group. One of Little Girl's friends from softball is homeschooling this year too, and she and her mom went to field day too. It wasn't as organized as I'd imagined, but it was nice to break things up. My parents had asked if the kids would spend the weekend with them so after field day, I dropped them off with my parents. Husband and I had a date night Friday night with dinner out and some shopping. Saturday, I went back out to get some items we'd spotted Friday night, and then I did my fall decorating. We went for a walk and also watched some TV together. It was a nice a break.


Monday 8/28: Review of Her Unsuitable Match (Supposed Scandal, # 1) by Sally Britton (4 Stars)
Wednesday 8/30: Can't Wait for Rocky Mountain Promise (Sisters of the Rockies, # 2) by Misty M Beller
Thursday 8/31: August 2023 EOM Wrap Up
Wednesday 9/6: Can't Wait for Old Flames and New Fortunes by Sarah Hogle
Thursday 9/7: Review of A Lady's Promise by Ranee S Clark (3.5 Stars)
Friday 9/8: Homeschool Friday - # 2


Monday: Review of His Unexpected Heiress (Entangled Inheritance, # 2) by Sally Britton
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday?
Thursday: Review of Letters to Phoebe by Sally Britton

Don’t forget to link up for the 2023 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2023 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!


Old Flames and New Fortunes

By: Sarah Hogle

Expected Publication: April 2, 2024 by G.P. Putnam's Sons

384 pages

Genre: Adult, Contemporary

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--From the celebrated author of You Deserve Each Other and Just Like Magic , a steamy second-chance romance about a magical florist’s unexpected reunion with her high school sweetheart as she fake dates his soon-to-be stepbrother.

A small, magical town tucked away in rural Ohio, Moonville is the perfect place for flora fortunist Romina Tempest to expand her shop, where she uses the language of flowers to help the hopeful manifest their love lives. After giving up on her own big romance eleven years ago, at least she can bask in the promise of others’.

So, when the shop’s potential financier shares news of his wedding, Romina jumps on the opportunity to discuss buying the business. What better place to negotiate a deal than at a wedding, even if she has to fake-date her chaotic colleague Trevor to get an invitation? But all hell breaks loose when she discovers Trevor’s soon-to-be stepbrother is none other than Alex her high school sweetheart. Her greatest love. The boy who, eleven years ago, broke her heart, and who now thinks she and Trevor are dating.

What starts as an innocent misunderstanding becomes a week-long fake dating scheme, as Romina resolves to make Alex pay for breaking her heart. The only issue? She can’t deny their still-burning connection. Caught between proving to Alex what he lost, and coming clean and risking her business, Romina must decide whether giving Alex another chance means going back on herself, or finally releasing her hold on the past.

A Queen of Thieves & Chaos (Fate & Flame, # 3)

By: KA Tucker

Publication: September 5, 2023

606 pages

Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--From internationally bestselling author K.A. Tucker comes the third novel in her Fate and Flame series, an adult fantasy novel that should be read in series order.

"You betrayed your brother to steal a broken crown."

The kingdom stands on the brink of chaos. Atticus' grip on the realm is faltering, and as threats arise ever closer to home, he is driven to increasingly desperate acts to hold onto power.

With Islor's fate now in the balance, Zander stands to defend the Rift from the oncoming Ybarisan army. With the king's forces scattered, he must risk unlikely new alliances.

And behind the walls of Ulysede, secrets wait for its new queen. Romeria knows that the paths of the hidden city will lead her to answers. But will they be enough to save the realm – or is their fate already sealed?

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Friday, September 8, 2023

Homeschool Friday - # 2

Homeschool Friday is a feature here at Somewhere Only We Know that showcases books my family reads during homeschool and provides a mini-review for each.

Goodreads description--A Massachusetts Book Awards Must-Read for 2022!

Sometimes Lulu wants to play, but her big sister Zoey doesn’t. Sometimes Zoey tries to share, but Lulu won’t. Sometimes, it is HARD to get along with a sister! But, sometimes, sisters come together and create something wonderful. This charming story follows the adventures of Lulu and Zoey as they navigate the ups and downs of sisterhood and find there is room in their hearts for each other.

I love the illustrations in this one. My 7-year-old daughter read this during independent reading time and told me I needed to read it too because it was so good. And she was right. It was. The challenges of having a sister is so tricky. One the one hand, your sister can be your best friend. On the other hand, sometimes you just want things for yourself. This is always the case with age gaps too. But we both loved this book, the message behind it, and the ending. It would easily be applicable to siblings of different genders, but there's certainly something special and unique about sisters.

Goodreads description--A silly, noisy bedtime book that will have readers squealing, croaking, and laughing along before settling down for a quiet night's sleep!

It's time for bed, but one little mouse just can't get to sleep—it's TOO QUIET! However, the night is actually full of sounds, from the croak of the bullfrog to the howl of a coyote on a distant hill. As the rhythmic symphony of nighttime noises build in this rollicking read-aloud, the mouse starts to wonder whether he wouldn't like a little MORE quiet.

• From the bestselling author of the Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site series

• Sweet illustrations by renowned artist Tony Fucile

• A hilarious read-aloud perfect for bedtime or story time

Little readers will delight in the humor and interactivity of It's So Quiet —which concludes by encouraging an appreciation of nighttime's soothing quiet.

• Children's books for kids ages 3–5

• Funny, rhyming picture book

• Perfect for kids who love animals and animal noises

Meh, I didn't like it. The illustrations aren't my favorite. The animal noises or sounds the mouse heard weren't phonetically what I would imagine each time (some were, some weren't). Ultimately it just wasn't a favorite. I think we all kind of looked at each other disappointedly and then moved onto the next book in our stack. This was picked out by our 2-year-old boy.

Goodreads description--Perfect for all children experiencing loss or grief, A Flood of Kindness gracefully confronts difficult feelings and celebrates the healing power of kindness.

"The night the river jumped its banks, everything changed."

So begins A Flood of Kindness, a poignant picture book that addresses grief and loss and demonstrates how kindness can bring hope. Written in spare prose and told from an intimate first-person point of view, the story follows Charlotte, a young girl who watches floodwaters rise in her home and is forced to evacuate to a shelter with her parents. Kind people she doesn't know give her food, socks and shoes to keep her feet warm, and a place to sleep. As Charlotte adjusts to the shelter--a strange, crowded place that is not home--she grapples with feelings of anger and sadness. But as the days go by, Charlotte starts to realize how grateful she is for the things that she does have--her parents, a cot to sleep on, food to eat--and starts looking for ways to help others in the shelter.

All children deal with sadness and loss in some way, whether it stems from a natural disaster, the death of a pet, or moving to a new place. A Flood of Kindness acknowledges those difficult feelings and helps readers process them in a healthy way. Children will be encouraged to be kind to those who need a friend and to help others in whatever way they can, no matter how small.

I saw "kindness" and picked this up from the library without even flipping through the book at all. It deals with the heavy situation of a family being forced from their home due to a flood. The little girl in the book is so scared, and she just wants to be back home with her things and everything that makes her comfortable. I could tell that my kids were somber when I was reading this book to them. The story is really sweet even if heavy. I felt like this was a great lesson and exposure to them, but I also felt like I needed to liven the mood with something silly after we read this book. Great story and meaning though.

Goodreads description--A sweet sibling story about one fed-up big sister who wants to find a space of her own, perfect for fans of Ashley Spires's The Most Magnificent Thing .

Mia loved her big, bright room . . . until she had to share it with her new brother. With Brandon's toys, books, and even underwear taking up space, Mia has finally had it. "I'm moving out!" There are lots of new and interesting spaces she could settle into--the bathroom, the basement, even a pillow fort. But something is always missing. What could it be? Tackling the oh-so-relatable topic of finding a space of one's own, Mia will inspire siblings everywhere to work together as a team. Because sometimes the best place of all is a shared one.

This one sparked some discussion. I remember trying to run away from home when I was little. I don't even know how old, but I packed my things and was ready to leave, but my mom asked if maybe I shouldn't wait to leave until after dinner and I thought that was a pretty good idea. I might get hungry out there. And then she said well it's mighty dark out there, you might get scared. And I thought "yep, better wait until morning", and then by morning I forgot I was planning to run away. Having to share space with your siblings isn't always easy, but this was a nice lesson in learning to live together and share space. And hey, you might just be able to find a fun space for you and your sibling.

Goodreads description--A tender tale to remind the youngest of children that Mommy always comes back. "I want my mommy!" Three baby owls awake one night to find their mother gone, and they can't help but wonder where she is. What is she doing? When will she be back? What scary things move all around them? Stunning illustrations from striking perspectives capture the anxious little owls as they worry. Not surprisingly, joyous flapping and dancing and bouncing greet the mother's return, lending a celebratory tone to the ending of this comforting tale. Never has the plight of young ones who miss their mother been so simply told or so beautifully rendered.

I confess I had a little bit higher hopes for this book. I thought the little owls were going to have to work together to survive with their mom gone. Instead, this was just a realistic view of the potential responses a little one might have to their mom being away. It was cute, but didn't blow me away.