Reading Wrap-Up {1}

Hey, there! So, some changes are coming to my blog. Book of Secrets is at a crossroads, should I quit or do something different? I love reading and books more than ever, but writing reviews – not so much.

I’ve decided that most of the books I read will just get a super-quick mention in a “Reading Wrap-Up” post every few weeks, monthly, or longer. Books I’ve received for review will probably get a separate post, though there will probably be fewer of those in the future. I’ve been utilizing the library more and more for new releases, as opposed to requesting them from NetGalley, etc. (Though I still have plenty of NetGalley & Edelweiss books to get through!) Anyway, I hope this new system works. I’d hate to give up 5½ years of blog work!!

Without further ado, here is my reading wrap-up (for non-review books) for the past several weeks (click on the title to find on Goodreads):

WutheringHeightsNovel

Wuthering Heights
by Emily Bronte
★★★★★

“He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” Now that’s my kind of love story. A tad melodramatic, sure, but dang. Haunting, haunting.

 

MagicAndMacaroonsMagic and Macaroons
by Bailey Cates
★★★★½

This is book five in the Magical Bakery series, and it was just as wonderful as the previous ones. I loved meeting the infamous voodoo queens of Savannah. A strong mystery with a dash of witchy woo-woo.

 

WhereTheyFoundHerWhere They Found Her
by Kimberly McCreight
★★★★★

One of my favorites this year. It’s told from the point of view of three women, Molly, Barbara, and Sandy, who become entangled in the mysterious death of an infant. Strong characters, intriguing psychological suspense, and a fantastic ending. Loved it!

 

BonesOfYouThe Bones of You
by Debbie Howells
★★★★

This was a dark and chilling tale, partially narrated by the murder victim postmortem. Fast paced and multi-layered mystery. I enjoyed the small English village setting too.

 

JaneEmilyJane-Emily
by Patricia Clapp
★★★½

The malevolent ghost of a hateful girl haunts young Jane and her Aunt Louisa. This is a Gothic classic first published in 1969. The story is set in Massachusetts around the turn of the last century. Spooky in parts, but nothing too scary. Lots of drama, and some romance too.

 

RuinFallsRuin Falls
by Jenny Milchman
★★★★½

I swear I had a knot in my stomach the whole time I was reading this book. So suspenseful!! While on a family vacation, Liz Daniels wakes up to find her children are missing. Many layers to this mystery, and Liz is reluctant to trust anyone. Milchman’s first book was okay, while this one was great.

Book Review: SOME ENCHANTED ECLAIR by Bailey Cates

SomeEnchantedEclair
Series: A Magical Bakery Mystery, #4
Publisher: Signet
Released: July 1, 2014
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Rating: ★★★★½


When Hollywood invades Savannah’s historic district to film a Revolutionary War movie, magical baker Katie Lightfoot, and her witches’ coven, the Spellbook Club, take a break from casting spells for casting calls. One of the witches snags a part as an extra, while Katie’s firefighter boyfriend, Declan, acts as on-set security. Katie and her aunt Lucy decide to stay out of the action, but after the movie’s “fixer” fires the caterer, the Honeybee Bakery comes to the rescue, working their magic to keep the hungry crew happy.

But when someone fixes the fixer—permanently—and a spooky psychic predicts Katie will find the killer, the charming baker and her fellow conjurers step in to sift through the suspects…before someone else winds up on the cutting room floor…


SOME ENCHANTED ECLAIR is my favorite so far in the Magical Bakery Mystery series. Baker and witch Katie Lightfoot gets wrapped up in another murder mystery, this time on the set of a Revolutionary War movie being filmed in Savannah.

The murder victim was a “fixer,” as in he was in charge of fixing personal and professional problems for the cast and crew, which means he had some interesting connections, and knew a lot of dirt on a lot of people. The movie’s big star has a personal psychic who tells Katie that she’s meant to find the murderer, and luckily she’s got her Spellbook Club coven to help out.

This was a puzzling mystery with just the right amount of paranormal intrigue. Katie learns a little more about her powers and why she seems to be a magnet to murder mysteries. Katie’s boyfriend Declan gets a big surprise from a long lost family member in a rather amazing way. I can’t wait to see what happens with this new revelation. I felt like I got to know the Spellbook Club members more in this book, and I enjoyed seeing their characters develop.

I love this series, and it just keeps getting better and better! Highly recommended to fans of light paranormal and culinary cozy mysteries.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: CHARMS AND CHOCOLATE CHIPS by Bailey Cates

CharmsChocolateChips
Series: A Magical Bakery Mystery, #3
Publisher: Signet
Released: November 5, 2013
Source: Borrowed from the Library

Between brewing magically spiced treats at Honeybee Bakery and volunteering with a local conservation group, Katie Lightfoot barely has time to see her firefighter boyfriend, Declan McCarthy, much less delve further into her destiny as a witch. But avoiding her fate won’t be as easy as whipping up a new recipe—especially when Katie finds herself once again mixed up in murder.

When a fellow volunteer for the conservation group is found dead, Katie’s mystical senses tell her that there’s more to the death than meets the eye. Her suspicions are confirmed when members of her coven are targeted next. Katie will have to embrace her powers quickly…or she may find herself chewed up and spit out by some serious black magic.

 ———

CHARMS AND CHOCOLATE CHIPS is a delightful continuation of the Magical Bakery Mystery series. This time around, Katie is faced with murky, woo woo filled swamps, endangered bats, and the mysterious murder of a local environmentalist.

First, I’ll get my complaint out of the way. In the first two books, Katie was being wooed by firefighter Declan and Druid/reporter Steve. She’s finally made her choice, and she picked the wrong guy! That’s strictly my opinion, of course. ;-) I’m still holding onto a glimmer of hope for my man.

Katie is a recent transplant to Savannah, and a lot has happened in her life since her arrival. She’s running an enchanted bakery with her aunt and uncle, practicing her craft as a hedge-witch, and becoming a skilled amateur sleuth. Katie also discovered that she is a light-witch and magical catalyst, which she’s having a hard time with. Basically, she must fight evil, and wrong situations seem to find her so she can right them.

The murder mystery in this book grabbed my attention. I really enjoyed the environmental angle, and the subtle magical elements too. When a volunteer at a the conservation group Georgia Wild is murdered, Katie is compelled to help track down her killer. The group is trying to stop a land development deal of a swamp from going through which threatens the habitat of an endangered, possibly extinct, bat. There were plenty of viable suspects, and though I picked out the killer early on, I wasn’t clear on the “why” until the end.

Katie is a down-to-earth, sensible character who’s doing a fine job as a newbie in the world of magic. She’s still very confused over the light-witch revelation (me too), and I’m hoping that gets explained better in the next book. Sweet Aunt Lucy and the rest of the Spellbook Club (a.k.a. Katie’s coven) play a big role in this story. I don’t know why, but I still have a hard time keeping track of who’s who, even after three books! I was a little annoyed with coven member Cookie this time. She was cold and distant to Katie the whole book, and her reason was kind of silly.

Overall, I enjoyed CHARMS AND CHOCOLATE CHIPS. Exciting mystery, enchanting setting, and bewitched baked goods. Looking forward to Katie’s next adventure.

Rating: 4 Stars