Book Reviews · Romance · RomCom

Book Review: “Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish” by Bethany Turner

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Thank you @revellbooks for my gifted copy of “Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish” by Bethany Turner! (pub date 5/5)

Celebrity chef Maxwell Cavanaugh is known for many things: his multiple Michelin stars, his top-rated Culinary Channel show To the Max, & most of all his horrible temper. Hadley Beckett, host of the Culinary Channel’s other top-rated show, At Home with Hadley, is beloved for her Southern charm & for making her viewers feel like family.

When Max experiences a very public temper tantrum, he’s sent packing to get his life in order. When he returns, career in shambles, his only chance to get back on TV & in the public’s good graces is to work alongside Hadley.

As these polar-opposite celeb chefs begin to peel away the layers of public persona & reputation, they will not only discover the key ingredients for getting along, but also learn the secret recipe for unexpected forgiveness . . . & maybe even love. In the meantime, hide the knives.

Fan-favorite Bethany Turner serves up a heaping helping of humor & romance with this thoroughly modern story centered on cooking, enemies, & second chances.

*****Could I picture this as a Hallmark Channel movie of the week? Absolutely! It’s an utterly delightful book that foodies & fans of rom-com’s, romance & cooking shows will absolutely swoon for! Turner will make you laugh out while also charming the sin right out of you! Hadley is such a well-written character that you will just adore: smart, caring, a dash of sass, a little bit sugar & spice, while Maxwell is the salty & bitter one…but of course, that is subject to change in rom-com’s.

Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish” is a satisfyingly, scrumptious treat you will surely love! I definitely plan to read more of Bethany Turner’s books in the near future!

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Bethany Turner is the award-winning author of “Wooing Cadie McCaffrey” & “The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck,” which was a finalist for The Christy Award. When she’s not writing (and even when she is), she serves as the director of administration for Rock Springs Church in Southwest Colorado. She lives with her husband and their two sons in Colorado, where she writes for a new generation of readers who crave fiction that tackles the thorny issues of life with humor and insight. For more, visit www.seebethanywrite.com.

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“The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck” (pub 10/17): Becoming a Christian is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to Sarah Hollenbeck. Best because, well, that’s obvious. Worst because, up to this point, she’s made her very comfortable living as a well-known, bestselling author of steamy romance novels that would leave the members of her new church blushing. Now Sarah is trying to reconcile her past with the future she’s chosen. She’s still under contract with her publisher and on the hook with her enormous fan base for the kind of book she’s not sure she can write anymore. She’s beginning to think that the church might frown on her tithing on royalties from a “scandalous” book. And the fact that she’s falling in love with her pastor doesn’t make things any easier.

With a powerful voice, penetrating insight, and plenty of wit, Bethany Turner explodes onto the scene with a debut that isn’t afraid to deal with the thorny realities of living the Christian life. 

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Wooing Cadie McCaffrey” (pub 5/19): After four years with her boyfriend, Cadie McCaffrey is thinking of ending things. Convinced Will doesn’t love her in the “forever” way she loves him, Cadie believes it’s time for her to let him go before life passes her by. When a misunderstanding leads to a mistake, leaving her hurt, disappointed, and full of regret, she finally sends him packing. But for Will, the end of their relationship is only the beginning of his quest to figure out how to be the man Cadie wanted him to be. With the dubious guidance of his former pro-athlete work friends and tactics drawn from Cadie’s favorite romantic comedies, Will attempts to win her back. It’s a foolproof plan. What could possibly go wrong?

Bethany Turner is back with more of the heart and humor readers love. Anyone who enjoys a good romance or binges romantic comedies on Netflix will devour this delightful story.

Book Reviews · RomCom

Book Review: ‘Adult Conversations: A Novel’ by Brandy Ferner

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Thank you @adultconversation @shewritespress & #JKSCommunications for my gifted copy of ‘Adult Conversations: A Novel‘ by Brandy Ferner!

In her hilarious debut novel, ‘Adult Conversation: A Novel‘ (May 5, 2020, She Writes Press), podcast host & parenting expert Brandy Ferner takes readers on a wild journey toward self-rediscovery amidst the absurd expectations & double standards placed on women in motherhood & marriage. With a mix of Ali Wong-style edgy humor & therapeutic insight, Ferner says out loud what others will not as she delivers a fiercely relatable & empowering read that highlights the importance of reclaiming autonomy, the liberating power of female friendship, & the desire to bail on your family & high-tail it to Vegas. Growing up, many women are taught to be invested in a very specific version of the “American Dream”: a perfect marriage, a perfect family, a perfect house, with only organic produce. But what happens when mothers continually sacrifice their needs & sanity in pursuit of  perfection?

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April is a thoughtful yet sarcastic mother of two who tries her best to be a caring, connected mom in a middle-class culture where motherhood has become relentless. April rages at modern motherhood’s impossible pressures, her husband’s “Dad privilege,” & her kids’ incessant snack requests. She wants to enjoy motherhood, but her idealist vision & lived experience are in constant conflict with one another. Is she broken—or is motherhood?

Desperate for an answer, she seeks out a therapist, & lands with an unexpected woman whose validation & wisdom gives April the clarity to reclaim herself & even start designing clothes—her pre-motherhood passion. But when the ever-elusive babysitter cancels last-minute, April finds herself back at square one. She seeks guidance, but her therapist is now dealing with her own crumbling marriage—& instead of counseling April, she convinces her to speed off to Las Vegas with her to help catch her husband cheating. With a little weed, alcohol, & topless pool hopping, plus a male stripper & some much-needed autonomy, the two find lost pieces of themselves that motherhood swallowed up. But neither one is prepared for how tested—& tempted—they will be, or for the life-altering choices their journey will force them to make. Who is guiding whom anymore?

Brandy Ferner, author of ‘Adult Conversations’

‘Adult Conversation’ is a laugh-outloud, hilarious, & fairly accurate depiction of motherhood in general. It’s relatable, authentic, honest & poignant, & with the struggles I have been having during 2 mos of isolation & homeschooling two autistic, teenage boys (who act like 7 yr olds most of the time) & my complete lack of ‘me time’ & mental self-care, this was just the bookish therapy I needed! I loved April’s witty (& often inappropriate) sarcasm, which is totally my style with people who know me well.

This book comes out next week on May 5th & would make an excellent Mother’s Day gift for the bookish mom that has a sense of humor in your life (or for yourself)! Look for it locally or order it via an indie bookstore using BookStoreLink website. Just type in your book title, your city/state, & it shows you all the indie bookstores & their info. Let’s do our readerly part & help the indie book sellers. They really need us right now!

Brandy Ferner is a mother, wife, & the creator of the Adult Conversation podcast, social media pages, & blog. Her writing has been featured in Good Morning America, HuffPost, Romper, CafeMom, TODAY Parents, & more. In addition to writing & fulfilling her kids’ endless snack requests, she spent the past decade working as a doula, childbirth educator, & birth trauma mentor, ushering clients through the intense transition into motherhood. The insight gained from watching moms crack wide open — literally & figuratively — & her own experience as an independent woman who suddenly traded autonomy for snuggles, led her to say out loud the things that modern mothers are thinking. Sometimes it’s serious, sometimes it’s comedic, but it’s always honest. She currently lives in Southern California, & her love language is sleep.

Be sure to check out my latest posts on Instagram & I would sure love it if you would give them some LIKE love & comments. Also, watch for a new GIVEAWAY coming soon! And as always, Stay Home, Stay Safe, Stay Sane…now go wash your hands!