Review: Five Golden Rings by K.L. Brady

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Kristie fell out of love with Christmas in D.C. when her father died three years ago. But this Christmas is different now that she’s engaged to Zach. She’s ready to embrace the spirit of the season again, at least until she catches Zach with another woman on her way to the National Tree Lighting. She confronts him and runs out of her nightmare, but arrives at Presidential Park just in time to trip over a dream…

A.J. Dawson is back home in D.C. after a whirlwind global music tour. All he wants is to celebrate a quiet, traditional D.C. Christmas with his socialite almost-fiancée, Sabrina, but she’s got different ideas—A.J. serving at her beck-and-call, hanging on her arm at high-class parties, while ignoring his every wish, except one. Fed up, he’s determined to enjoy the season his way and makes his way to the National Tree Lighting, a moment too late to get in before the gates closed, but just in time to fall for the right girl…

When they are unexpectedly parted with only each other’s first name, can a Missed Connection ad and a little Christmas magic bring them back together?

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The secret to an excellent novella is that even though it is short on pages it still delivers on a full story. Five Golden Rings starts by giving us Kristy and A.J.’s backstory. I instantly felt a connection to both of them and wanted them to “win” at the game of love. And, when A.J. said this I had to stop, think about something personal, and then refocus on the book:

“But I’ve come to learn that stuff isn’t important at all. What you need to ask yourself is, when you come home, do you have someone you can talk to who will understand you, even if they don’t always agree with you? Do you have someone you can trust? Do you have someone who believes that compromise must go both ways, that it’s not always one person making the effort? And when special times like the holidays come around, do you have someone who will go to the tree lighting with you? Even if they don’t want to be at the tree lighting, it’s ok as long as they’re with you?”

Brady is one of the few authors I unconditionally support. Her books are always entertaining and well-written. But, my most favorite aspect of her writing style is that she writes realistic characters. All of the females in her books either remind me of myself, of my girlfriends, or at least some type of situation that could happen to us. Five Golden Rings is a welcomed addition to my K.L. Brady collection and it was a great way to kickstart my excitement for the holiday season!!

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Click here to buy Five Golden Rings on Amazon!

REVIEW: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult


#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • With richly layered characters and a gripping moral dilemma that will lead readers to question everything they know about privilege, power, and race, Small Great Things is the stunning new page-turner from Jodi Picoult.


“[Picoult] offers a thought-provoking examination of racism in America today, both overt and subtle. Her many readers will find much to discuss in the pages of this topical, moving book.”—Booklist (starred review)


Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?


Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.


With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn’t offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.



I absolutely have no words for this book. The authenticity, the rawness, and the realness are something I’ve never seen in a fictional book written by a white person on the subject of racism. Heck, maybe by any author. It’ll take me awhile to fully process my thoughts on this book (especially because of current events), but I will say that everyone should read this book if they are really ready to take a look in the mirror and then have an open and honest dialogue on racism.

I could easily write an entire old school book report on this book, but this is one that I truly believe everyone should experience for themselves. It forces you to think. I mean really think on how you feel, what you would do, and examine who you really are at your core. Small Great Things is one of the top two books that I have read so far in 2016!


REVIEW: Swear On This Life by Renee Carlino

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From USA TODAY bestselling author Renée Carlino (Before We Were Strangers), a warm and witty novel about a struggling writer who must come to grips with her past, present, and future after she discovers that she’s the inspiration for a pseudonymously published bestselling novel.

When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J. Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.

Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio.

That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending.

The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction?

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“Why wait if you know it’s right?”

Swear On This Life by Renee Carlino has one of the most original storylines and concepts that I have ever read. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was completely blown away. It’s a book of forgiveness, self-discovery, friendship, redemption, and love.

“We can’t go backward. There are too many regrets. Please just move forward with me?

A lot of us may not have had the childhoods that were described in the book, but there is something about both of their upbringings that we can relate to. Letting go of a lifetime’s worth of baggage is hard, but when you have someone that is willing to stand by your side as you process and work your way through then you have found someone special. Love from another person can be seen and felt in a number of ways but in my opinion there is no greater act of love than when a person helps (or sometimes forces) you to find and see your best self as they see you and this is where the true beauty of Swear On This Life lies.

I’ve said it numerous times and I will say it again: Renee Carlino is a go-to writer for me. She never disappoints and always delivers on exceptional storytelling with emotional depth and character development. I savored every single page and it is my hope that other readers will do the same!!

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