Adirondack Audacity (Adirondack for Ladies #1) by L.R. Smolarek

Adirondack Audacity (Adirondack for Ladies #1) by L.R. Smolarek

What happens when Lucille Ball runs smack dab into Marilyn Monroe; meet Ellen McCauley. Ellen wants to escape her demons, namely a step-mother named Helen, and her reputation as the school klutz. A fall down the stairs, in front of the entire varsity football team…while wearing pink polka-a-dot underwear, earns her the nickname “Dots.” And that’s just the beginning. So when a job as nature counselor at Camp High Point in the Adirondack Mountains comes up, it spells escape for Ellen.

Her hopes for an idyllic Adirondack summer do not include Vicente Rienz, the camp lifeguard, known to his friends as Vic. Born to an American mother, but a Spanish grandee by birthright of his Mexican father, he is all male, in denim and leather, aloof, arrogant, and very competent at……..everything. Ellen hates him on sight, until the sparks between them ignite into a passion not to be denied. A summer under the stars leads to unforeseen consequences and separation.

What began as a teenage romance is rekindled when Ellen and Vic reunite as adults. Seeking answers to the past, they return to the Adirondacks in a quest that turns dangerous for a dramatic conclusion.

Adirondack Audacity serves up the titillating flavors of life: romance, drama, hilarious hijinks, a little bit sexy and always fun.

Finally the “beach” read comes to the mountains. So grab a glass of wine, curl up in an Adirondack chair …and indulge! Did someone say…… Thirty Shades of Balsam?  (Summary via Goodreads).


OMG !!!! I could NOT put down Adirondack Audacity.  As soon as you start reading this book, you are captivated by the characters and their story.

You are pulled into the separate lives of Ellen and Vic and then once they meet at camp, you are drawn to them as a couple.  You will love getting to know them as well as their camp co-workers….you will feel like you are right there with them all.  And then as Ellen and Vic begin their relationship, you are drawn to them as their love deepens.  You will feel like you are experiencing the young love they share.

L.R. Smolarek has an amazing talent in grabbing the reader and keeping that hold on you from the first word until the last sentence and that longing for more will stay with you.  But don’t fear there is more to their story in the next book Audacity on the Water…..

If you are a fan of Heidi Sprouse you will definitely love Adirondack Audacity.  The love these two authors have for the Adirondacks, the outdoors and love in generally is captures so realistically, you feel like you are sitting on a dock overlooking clear waters and mountains…… I highly recommend taking the journey.


Review by Missi S.










Deserted on Lake Desolation (The Lost in the Adirondacks Series Book 4) by Heidi Sprouse

Deserted on Lake Desolation (The Lost in the Adirondacks Series Book 4) by Heidi Sprouse

Something is wrong with Officer Jim Pedersen. He isn’t eating. He isn’t sleeping. His easygoing nature has vanished, replaced by a brooding, irritable mood that won’t go away like a dark cloud hovering over his head. No one understands what is going on. Is it gambling? Money troubles? Problems at work? Another woman? 
They haven’t seen the mysterious mailers that have arrived at work. They haven’t seen the disturbing pictures. Read the threats. Been shaken to the core with fear that sends ice running through the policeman’s veins. 

Day by day, the man everyone knows is disappearing. Will his best friend, conservation officer Graham Scott, figure out what’s wrong before Jim vanishes without a trace?  (Summary via Goodreads)


I am ALWAYS amazed when I read a book when I think about the talent of the author but when I read Deserted on Lake Desolation by Heidi Sprouse it was so much more than amazement !!  Talent doesn’t even begin to describe it !!  I cannot wrap my head around the thinking that went into this story !!  And Deserted on Lake Desolation is the fourth book in the Lost in the Adirondacks series but it stands alone in comparison to the others.

Nothing prepares you for what is in store for the reader when you begin the journey into this book.  As with the first four, the reader is taken on a journey through the Adirondacks and its mountains……and you hang out with some amazing people and become a part of their inner circle.  You feel the love, devotion and strength of these people and you understand their commitment to each other and their surroundings.  You will feel like you know the trails as well as Graham and Jim do, you will feel the love and fear that the two men have towards their families and each other.  You will understand that there is nothing that they would not do for each other and their families.

Even though there is always turmoil and fear within this series, and Deserted on Lake Desolation has that tenfold, you will always have HOPE as you read each word and turn the page……  I will admit reading each word was extremely hard for me as I wanted to get to the end quickly to make sure all I have grown to love were safe and skipping to the end has never been an option for me but it was tested during the reading of this book.

I highly encourage you to read Deserted on Lake Desolation along with the others in the Lost on the Adirondack series and as hard as it will be I recommend reading every single word ….. you don’t want to miss any of it !!!

Review by Missi S.


Rosie and Her Ragamuffin Sam by Heidi Sprouse

Rosie and Her Ragamuffin Sam by Heidi Sprouse

Andie Rose Lane treats herself to a Columbus Day weekend getaway in New York City. Little did she know that a pair of red shoes from a thrift store would transport her into the 1940’s. In the midst of the Depression and World War II, she’ll discover her roots are tied in with those amazing shoes. They’ll carry her into the middle of her great grandmother’s love story. Find out about Rosie and Her Ragamuffin Sam.  (Summary via Amazon)


Rosie and her Ragamuffin Sam is a feel good story……in that it will make you feel really good !!!  Heidi Sprouse has such a way with love and relaying it in her words that you fall in love instantly !!  Not only does she capture your heart, she also captures your imagination.  Once you start reading the story you are lost with Andie as she dreams and hears stories of her great grandparents and the love they shared.

Imagine buying a pair of used shoes in a secondhand store and then having vivid dreams, good dreams that stay with you and make you want to know more.  And then to find out that those shoes tie you to your great grandparents and the dreams are actually true to their love and life.  And then you visit your great aunts and they continue telling you wonderful stories of that love and devotion…….

Rosie and her Ragamuffin Sam is exactly the kind of story the world needs….. a story to remind everyone that love is out there….. devotion is out there……kindness can be everywhere.  We just have to take a minute and look around.  Sprouse reminds us that we make our own memories and there is nothing wrong with those memories being filled with love and hope !!!!


Review by Missi S.





Burning Cold (Cara Walden Mystery #2) by Lisa Lieberman

Burning Cold (Cara Walden Mystery #2) by Lisa Lieberman

Budapest: 1956. Newlywed Cara Walden’s brother Zoltán has disappeared in the middle of the Hungarian revolution, harboring a deadly wartime secret. Will Cara or the Soviets find him first?

Cutting short her honeymoon in Paris to rescue a sibling she’s never met was not Cara’s idea, but her husband Jakub has a reckless streak, and she is too much in love to question his judgment. Together with her older brother Gray, they venture behind the Iron Curtain, seeking clues to Zoltán’s whereabouts among his circle of fellow dissidents, all victims of the recently overthrown Communist regime. One of them betrayed him, and Cara realizes that the investigation has put every person they’ve met at risk. Inadvertently, they’ve also unmasked a Russian spy, who is now tailing them in the hope that they will lead him to Zoltán.

The noir film of Graham Greene’s The Third Man inspires Lisa Lieberman’s historical thriller. Burning Cold features a compelling female protagonist who comes to know her own strength in the course of her adventures.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Again as I read another of Lisa Lieberman’s books, I was seeing the story unfold in black and white.  When I read All the Wrong Places, the first book in the Cara Walden Mystery series, I was so engrossed in the story that it took me back….and I saw the world in black and white.  And Burning Cold had that same effect on me….again I was engrossed in Cara’s life and the story taking her, her brother Gray, and her new husband, Jakub, to another area surrounded by war, fighting, and secrets.

Burning Cold takes them to Budapest where they hope to find and rescue a brother they have just found out about.  Once in Budapest they also find out that their brother, Zoltan, is married and has a daughter.  Unfortunately it isn’t a happy family reunion when they finally meet up with Zoltan and they struggle to convince him to leave the area and go with them where he and his family will be safe.  Throughout their travels and everything that they are faced with, Cara remains positive and cannot help but daydream about the happily ever after that will occur when they finally do get everyone home.

Lieberman opens the readers eyes to the terror and the turmoil that surrounds Cara and her family …. you see the love Cara and Jakub share as well as the devotion to family as they try to find Zoltan and bring him and his family to safety.  You witness the connection that the brothers, Gray and Zoltan, share even if it is war related.  And as with All the Wrong Places, you are left with a better understanding and appreciation of the world around you.


Review by Missi S.









All the Wrong Places (Cara Walden Mystery #1) by Lisa Lieberman

All the Wrong Places (Cara Walden Mystery #1) by Lisa Lieberman

Seventeen-year-old Cara Walden arrives in 1950s London with her half-brother Gray‚ a blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter and closeted homosexual. Gray has looked after Cara ever since her mother‚ glamorous actress Vivien Grant‚ was found drowned in the pool at their estate. As Cara embarks on a film shoot in Sicily and begins a love affair with a temperamental actor‚ she cannot help pondering the mystery surrounding her mother’s death‚ but the questions she asks soon put Cara’s own life in danger.  (Summary via Goodreads)

As I was reading All the Wrong Places by Lisa Lieberman, I was seeing everything in black and white…like an old movie.  Maybe because the story starts in 1941 or maybe it was the storyline.  The storyline follows Cara Walden and her older brother Gray as they leave Hollywood and travel to London. The majority of the story takes places in London and follows Cara to Sicily.

You are instantly drawn to Cara and will love her immediately.  You will feel for her as she struggles with things, mainly her mothers dead when she was only 10 years old.  Cara cannot help but think that there is more to her mother’s drowning and by the time you finish All the Wrong Places, you will know that there was.  But it will NOT be anything near what you may have thought.

All the Wrong Places has a captivating story with some very colorful characters (even if I did see it all in black in white, they had color when needed….you’ll understand when you read it.)  The journey that Lieberman takes the reader is an educational and emotional trip but you will be very glad that you took it !!

I am already looking forward to hanging out with Cara and crew in Burning Cold.  I cannot wait to see where this book takes us……


Review by Missi S.






How to Be Loved by Stacey Wiedower

How to Be Loved by Stacey Wiedower

From USA Today bestselling romantic comedy author Stacey Wiedower comes a story about bucket lists, reality TV, and love despite all modern obstacles…

Interior designer Quinn Cunningham has spent her life competing with her sisters, struggling with her weight, and breaking up with one jerk after another. She’s currently at war with her mother, who wants nothing more than for Quinn to land a man and fall in line with her wealthy Southern family’s traditional path of marriage, kids, spin class, and social climbing. But all Quinn really wants is to build a thriving career and make her own way.
When she lands an assignment to design a London townhouse for her boss’s brother, Quinn is ecstatic to get out of her hometown of Memphis and embark on an exciting adventure outside the bounds of her mother’s stifling social scene. As she learns the ropes in a new city and tackles the restoration of a stately old home, she meets a quirky fellow designer who pulls her easily—almost too easily—into her inner circle, along with not just one, but two hot British men with secrets she’s dying to unravel. The question is, will transatlantic romance unravel her, or will love finally find a place alongside Quinn’s ambition?

The Fixer-Upper novels:
How to Look Happy
How to Be Loved

What critics are saying about Stacey Wiedower:

“I thoroughly enjoyed the story with all of its twists and turns, and I really connected with the author’s writing. I can’t wait to read her other novels and I highly recommend you get a copy of all of them for yourself too!”
—Living Life with Joy, 5 out of 5 stars!

“(30 First Dates) was so poignant and funny and true to life. It doesn’t happen often that a book inspires me outside of the pages. I liked this book so much that I decided to make my own bucket list.”
—The Bad Mommy Diaries, 5 out of 5 stars!

“I absolutely loved this book! Highly recommended!”  —Chicklit Club  (Summary via Goodreads)


I love reading a story where there are little mentions that the reader can relate too.  In How To Be Loved by Stacey Wiedower, she mentions little things like television shows and characters, that I can wholeheartedly relate.  She mentions Chandler Bing and his character on Friends in relating his relationship woes to the main character Quinn.  Quinn and Chandler both find the littliest thing wrong with a member of the opposite sex and have the relationship doomed before the first date has even officially started.  And then later in the story Wiedower references another great show, How I Met Your Mother and how the character relates to Ted.

I also love that Quinn is an interior designer living in Memphis Tennessee but work has her traveling to London to redecorate her bosses brother’s home.  I love everything about London….from the way they speak, to them drinking a cuppa tea, hanging at the pub….  And with Quinn being an interior designer you get a glimpse into the artistic aspect London has to offer.

The story is very captivating from the very beginning and the reader has no problem getting to know Quinn’s family and her 2 best friends in Memphis, Savy and Jules and when she jets off to London and meets Miranda and her crew in the pub, you are instantly a member of that circle as well.

The independence of Quinn and the way she handles herself with all the different situations that arise are page turning addicting.  Even when she is having problems with her London crew, she handles it to the best of her ability and you love and admire her even more.   Her vulnerability is what will have you tearing the pages as you turn them quickly to see how she happens the situation when the pot really begins to boil……

I loved the beginning, the end and the middle….I hated the end not for the way it ended but the sheer fact that the story had to end at all….


Review by Missi S.









It’s Never Water Under the Bridge by Rianne Moss

It’s Never Water Under the Bridge by Rianne Moss

When Tess Iverson’s husband vanishes one morning, she is left to pick up the pieces. After many years, a mysterious letter arrives in the mail, renewing lost hope. It leaves Tess with a desperate search for answers. 

Andrew Iverson is being held against his will with no idea why. After years of captivity, he begins to lose hope of rescue and wonders if he will ever make it out alive. 

Secrets and truths surrounding his disappearance unravel. Tess and Andrew find themselves in an emotional tailspin neither could have seen coming.  (Summary via Goodreads)

One of my favorite things when reading a book is when the author devotes one chapter to one person’s viewpoint.  In It’s Never Water Under the Bridge by Rianne Moss, that is exactly what I am talking about.  The first chapter starts with you getting to know Tess whose husband, Andrew, has been missing for 5 years.  Tess and their daughter, Hannah, don’t know what happened to him or if he is even alive.    However, you the reader find out when you read chapter 2 where you find out that Andrew is alive but being held captive in a basement.

Throughout the book you volley back and forth where one chapter you are hanging out with Tess and seeing how her and Hannah are dealing without Andrew in their lives and the next chapter you are witness to Andrew and his torture.  I really enjoy this technique writer’s use … it makes you feel like you are really reading 2 different stories even though it is only viewpoints of the characters.

There is a lot that can be said about It’s Never Water Under the Bridge but by doing so it will take some of the nail-bitting, sitting on the edge of year seat, glued to the pages excitement.

It will amaze and frighten you when you see how one person can wreck havoc on people and when you finally find out the reasoning behind it, it will blow your mind !!!  For one person to be so consumed over another person makes you wonder about commitment….in a bad way.  But then on the other hand, you also witness the love and devotion between a husband and wife and you will long for that relationship.

I will leave you with this……  I highly recommend reading It’s Never Water Under the Bridge but make sure the doors are locked and you have a few lights on……because this story is going to take your breath away !!!

Review by Missi S.