Friday, January 19, 2018

Small Business Spotlight: Bookish Pins!

Hey guys and dolls, you've made it Friday! Congratulations!

I thought I'd give you a reward, by doing a special Small Business Spotlight that's going to make you want to pull out your wallet and shop. Were you paid today? Excellent... EXCELLENT. Let me tempt you with some awesome bookish pins!

Now, before I start, you should know that I am an avid collector of pins. Which means, of course, that a lot of these are either already in my collection or on my wishlist. I can vouch for these amazing stores, and hope you find something that you love!

Let's get to it.

**note that all photos are property of the store owners**


Henrietta the Hedgehog Pin from The Clever Clove

Okay, fair warning, EVERYTHING in The Clever Clove is absolutely adorable. 100%, scrumptiously, squee-inducingly, adorable. So if you aren't prepared to just throw your money at your computer screen, don't click the link. Oh, who am I kidding? You can't resist. Henrietta is too cute! Just do it. Click the link, buy this pin, then by 20 more because they are all too perfect. Did you know that Henrietta even knitted her own scarf? *melts* The cuteness factor is over the moon.

Bookshop Pin from Fable & Black

When it comes to pins, I'll gladly wait patiently for something to ship from overseas. Especially when they're pins from Fable & Black. This woman is amazing! She radiates talent and, lucky for us, puts her heart and soul into making adorable bookish items. Who doesn't want a tiny bookshop to carry around on their purse or tote bag? Oh, and you can rest assured that the rest of the pins, totes, and everything else in this shop are equally wonderful. It's okay, click. I won't tell.

I'll Show You Mine, If You Show Me Yours Bookcase Pin by Punky Pins

If you didn't chuckle at this, I'll be surprised. The first time I saw this pin, I sent it to at least 10 other people via Instagram DM with a message that said something along the lines of "YOU NEED THIS." to hammer the point home. What I love about Punky Pins is that whether you're a proud feminist, an avocado lover, a cat obsessed person, or a bibliophile, they have something for everyone! Yup, it's dangerous. I'm not even sorry.


Okay, okay I'll stop. For now. Plan on a a bookish pin post PART 2 very soon! In the meantime, please go and check out these amazing shops! Get yourself some new bookish swag, and support a small business. It's a win/win really.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Book Review: Cake At Midnight by Jessie L. Star

Title: Cake At Midnight
Author: Jessie L. Star
Publisher: Pocket Star
Pages: Ebook; 464
Release Date: January 15, 2017
Source: NetGalley / Publisher
Genre: Contemporary Romance

HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy sweet, foodie romances with just enough drama to make them compulsively readable.

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
In this deliciously sweet foodie romance, a twenty-something pastry chef falls out of sync with her old childhood crush and falls into the arms of the quiet but charming boy next door.

Giovanna, Zoë, and Declan have always been a trio—their fierce friendship has seen them through every heartbreak and hardship and helped pave the way to brighter futures. Gio is a passionate baker of cakes, pastries, and all things delicious, Zoë a take-no-prisoners beauty, and Declan an ambitious businessman on the way up.

Best friends forever, Gio thinks—until Gio's lifelong crush on Declan is exposed, leaving her humiliated, and Gio realises she needs to cut him loose to get over him once and for all...
It's been a while since I sat down and read a romance novel. I open with that thought because you need to understand why it took me a while to settle in to Cake At Midnight. Expecting a fun and food filled romance, I was instantly smitten with Gio and her glowing personality. However as soon as Declan entered the picture, well, let's just kindly say that I didn't get their connection. This book has a lot more drama than I expected and, while that's not necessarily a bad thing, I felt like it took me a while to really get on board with it.

Before anything else though, let me praise Jessie L. Star for creating such a wonderful character in Gio. Her passion for baking, her deep love for her friends (even when they might not quite deserve it), and her endlessly glowing personality all had me smitten. Gio is the type of main character that we'd all love to be friends with. She's the character who you cry for, cheer for, and yell at all in the same ten minute span. In other words, Gio is a human. I loved her for that.

In the same respect, despite my disdain for Declan, all the other characters feel distinctly human as well. They love, they loathe, they make mistakes, and they forgive. It's no surprise that Theo steals center stage once he's introduced. Starting as the stoic "Nod Next Door", and slowly moving towards someone that Gio genuinely feels for, he was definitely someone that I adored. It's always nice to see a relationship on the page that isn't perfect, and takes real time and work to create. While I didn't agree with all of the choices the characters made in this book, I can say that at least I understood them.

My biggest issue with this story was that it felt slightly too long. The drama that unfolded between Theo and his family, and then between Declan and Theo, started to feel a little forced. That and I'm not sure I was entirely satisfied with Gio's growth by the end of the book. She started as a character who was too willing to let her friend walk all over her, and she ended not too far from where she started. I understand happily ever after endings, I just wish Gio had gained a bit more backbone. I know, it's romance. I'm being nitpicky. Still, I admit that would have made me extremely happy.

Overall, this was a sweet and well-written read. If you're looking for a foodie romance, with realistic characters, add Cake At Midnight to your reading list.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion. Amazon links are affiliate links and compensation will be provided if you purchase through this link.


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