Monday, February 28, 2022

Hello Monday/ the books I read in February


Happy Monday, friends! I'm sharing all about the books I read this month. These posts are always my favorite to write and to read. I hope you gain some reading inspiration and if you have any for me, please share. I'm always looking for new books/authors to read! You can click on each image of the book to be directed to Amazon, if you're interested. 

What Happens in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand is the second book in a trilogy that I loved. 

Here is what Amazon had to say about this book:

A year ago, Irene Steele had the shock of her life: her loving husband, father to their grown sons and successful businessman, was killed in a helicopter crash. But that wasn't Irene's only shattering news: he'd also been leading a double life on the island of St. John, where another woman loved him, too.

Now Irene and her sons are back on St. John, determined to learn the truth about the mysterious life—and death—of a man they thought they knew. Along the way, they're about to learn some surprising truths about their own lives, and their futures.

Lush with the tropical details, romance, and drama that made Winter in Paradise a national bestseller, What Happens in Paradise is another immensely satisfying page-turner from one of America's most beloved and engaging storytellers.

Next up was the third and final book, Troubles in Paradise.

After uprooting her life in the States, Irene Steele has just settled in at the villa on St. John where her husband Russ had been living a double life. But a visit from the FBI shakes her foundations, and Irene once again learns just how little she knew about the man she loved. 

With help from their friends, Irene and her sons set up their lives while evidence mounts that the helicopter crash that killed Russ may not have been an accident. Meanwhile, the island watches this drama unfold—including the driver of a Jeep with tinted windows who seems to be shadowing the Steele family.

As a storm gathers strength in the Atlantic, surprises are in store for the Steeles: help from a mysterious source, and a new beginning in the paradise that has become their home. At last all will be revealed about the secrets and lies that brought Irene and her sons to St. John—and the truth that transformed them all.

Here's the thing—I loved books one and two and this third one let me down. The book went on and on for far too long and the last fourth of the book was about the island and what happened after a storm. It had nothing to do with the rest of the story and seemed too much of an afterthought, so while I did enjoy the series, I was just ready to be done with them after this last book.

The next three books I read were in a set by Pamela Kelley, The Quinn Valley Ranch series. The three books were Ryder Revisited, Calling Charlie and Hannah's Home. 

This is a collection of Pamela Kelley's three sweet romances in the Quinn Valley Ranch series. This is a family saga series, set in a small Idaho town near a big lake and mountains. The books are tightly connected and feature a loving family and siblings.

You can click on the image to read more about the books, but they were all so good! I love Pamela Kelley and know that I can always count on her books to entertain. 

The sixth book for me was Chic Inspiration, by Fiona Ferris.

Do not let the title fool you! This was a great little book full of practical and useful advice about having a different and better perspective. Here's the description from Amazon:

I love how you can read something uplifting and it switches your mindset so you end up having a better day than you might have otherwise. What you focus on becomes more prevalent in your life, so why not choose to focus on something beautiful?

Chic Inspiration is a collation of mini-essays from my blog How to be Chic, focused on the topic of creating your own inspiration to live a magical life.

I bought another book by her as soon as I finished this one.

Next up was Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan.

When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford professor and the beloved writer of The Chronicles of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters.

Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, found a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.

In this masterful exploration of one of the greatest love stories of modern times, we meet a brilliant writer, a fiercely independent mother, and a passionate woman who changed the life of this respected author and inspired books that still enchant us and change us. Joy lived at a time when women weren’t meant to have a voice—and yet her love for Jack gave them both voices they didn’t know they had.

At once a fascinating historical novel and a glimpse into a writer’s life, Becoming Mrs. Lewis is above all a love story—a love of literature and ideas and a love between a husband and wife that, in the end, was not impossible at all.

This was an excellently written book, but historical fiction is just not my thing. So while I did love reading about the life and love of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis, I feel like I persevered my way through it at over four hundred pages. I wanted to love it so much! And I did love the style of writing and all that I learned, but I do feel that I checked off a certain type of book off the list of books that I need to stretch my reading repertoire. 

Lastly, I read another Pamela Kelley book, Plymouth Undercover.

Meet Emma McCarthy, a thirty-year-old failed actress that just moved home to Plymouth, MA.

And her mother, Cindy, a yoga instructor in the Pinehills, an exclusive golf community in Plymouth.

They’ve just inherited Court Street Investigations, a private detective agency.

And its one part-time employee, eighty-year-old Mickey, a retired police detective.

They expect typical cases like cheating spouses or workman’s comp, but quickly learn that the agency also has a reputation for solving murders when they are hired to find a local missing woman.

This is one of those books that I would consider a cozy mystery. So good! 

It was a good reading month, it was a good weekend with a great service at church Sunday—present world considered, I can't ask for much more. Thanks for reading my blog post, friends! I'm linking up with Sarah and Holly for their Hello Monday link party.

Love to all! 


  1. Your books sound good. Thanks for sharing about them.

  2. I'm not sure I would care for the Mrs. Lewis book. I've found that I don't care for most books that are based on real life people yet the book is still fiction. It's impossible to know if you're learning about the person is true or not. Yah for a good reading month for you!

  3. Maria, that was exactly how I felt. I couldn't remember if I was reading fiction or non- it definitely read like non fiction.

  4. I enjoy Pamela Kelley books too and I don't think I've read any of the ones you've listed here! I'm going to have to add them to my list.


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