Coral by Sara Ella Review

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

I was very excited going into this book because I love the original story of The Little Mermaid and love fairytale re-tellings so this sounded like a great story.  The cover immediately drew me in and the synopsis sounded great.

Let me first start off by saying my pros for this book.  I loved all of the characters for their own individual reasons, they were all well developed and I loved how each chapter was told from a different character’s perspective.  

I also loved the storyline of this book, it immediately intrigued me and the author has a whimsical, lyrical way of writing that I really enjoyed.  It is a little harder to read but I found by slowing down my reading speed I was able to fully understand everything and appreciate the story more.

Now we get to my cons; I didn’t really understand this story.  Quite a few times while reading this book I had to second guess myself and almost had to reread large chunks of it due to how confused I was.  What you originally think is three main characters in this book is actually only two but if you’re not paying close attention to what’s going on, you really don’t understand how two of the characters are the same.  

Another problem I had was how much this story jumped ahead without really giving you any warning.  All of a sudden we’re months ahead in the story without finding out the details or why it skipped ahead so far.  That was another thing that really threw me off when reading and I thought I had missed something.

I know the author tried to make it all a big plot twist at the end but I feel it fell a little short.  I might just be too used to reading thriller novels but it was a very anticlimactic plot twist for me.  

The only other con about this book for me was I felt like it could have been shorter.  There was a lot of information thrown in that I didn’t feel was entirely necessary.  

This still was a pretty good book overall and I commend the author for writing about the touchy subjects she did and bringing light to so many illnesses but this just wasn’t a great book for me.  The cover is very deceiving as it doesn’t deal much with underwater sea life so I feel like that will throw a lot of readers off.

Review of Off the Grid by Robert McCaw


Thank you so much to Oceanview Publishing and FSB Associates for the free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

This genre of book was something entirely new for me. I normally don’t go for military, politics, male character as the main character books but I decided to give this one a try. While it was good and the writing did keep me intrigued, I had a really hard time with this one.

One reason this book was hard for me was all of the Hawaiian language. Sometimes the words were translated and explained and sometimes they weren’t so I had to look them up. Well, really I had to look up the pronunciation for almost every Hawaiian word which kind of got irritating when trying to read, I don’t want to have to stop constantly so I can google a word. I understand the book is based in Hawaii and obviously their language is going to get thrown in but I feel the author should have had a better way for readers to understand it.

The other reason I had a hard time with this book was because I didn’t get attached to or relate to any of the characters. I’m not big into politics and I don’t know much about the police force and every big character in the book was either on the force or had something to do with politics. Don’t get me wrong, the writing style was great and kept me reading the entire book even through my other complaints but for a book to be great to me I need to have some kind of connection with at least one of the characters.

Seeing as how this was the second book in the series and I have not read the first one I did feel a little left out when certain parts of the book referenced things that happened in the first so I would recommend reading the first book before you read this one.

The plot and action of this book were good and I did enjoy the mystery that was going on. I didn’t have the ending of the book figured out so I was in for a surprise which I liked.

Overall not a bad book, his writing and the plot kept me from DNFing but I think this will be the last book in this kind of genre that I’ll read.

About the author:

Robert B. McCaw is the author of Death of a Messenger (2016) and Off the Grid (to be published July 2019).

He grew up in a military family traveling the world. After graduating from Georgetown University, he served as a lieutenant in the US Army before earning his JD degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Upon graduation from law school he spent a year as a judicial clerk for Supreme Court Justice Hugo L. Black. He practiced law in Washington, DC, and New York City, representing investment banks, lawyers, directors, and other clients in complex civil and criminal cases, including many that generated significant press coverage.

For a number of years, Bob maintained a home on the Big Island of Hawai’i, studying its history, culture, and peoples. Archaeology and astronomy are among his many interests. In researching his books, he talked story with Hawai’i County cops and walked the streets where his stories take place. He and his wife live in New York City.

Review of Only Ever Her by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen



Thank you so much to Lake Union Publishing and Little Bird Publicity for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

I honestly had a really hard time getting into this novel.  A lot of characters were thrown at me in the beginning and I had a hard time keeping straight who was who.  I felt no connection to this book and honestly would have DNFed it if I wasn’t honestly a little curious about the outcome.

Annie Taft’s wedding is soon approaching and it’s speculated to be the wedding of the year if not the wedding of the century.  Her Aunt Faye is happy for her but can’t help think about Annie moving away after the wedding.  Annie is like a daughter to her as she took her in when she was 3-years-old after her mother was murdered and Annie helped convict the killer.  Now all these years later the killer is claiming innocence and Annie now isn’t so sure he was guilty.  Then Annie goes missing days before her wedding, right after the man who killed her mother is released.  

To me it seemed like the book wasn’t really about searching for the missing bride, it was more about all these different characters living in a small town and all of their individual problems.  Like I said above I had a hard time keeping up with the characters when every other chapter switches between their POVs.  I thought this book was supposed to be about the suspense surrounding finding the missing bride but really it’s about everyones story while they’re searching for Annie.  I wound’t have minded that if the characters had been more interesting and compelling but all of them fell short and were honestly a little annoying to me.  

Having never read anything by the author and after reading this book, I honestly don’t think I really want to explore her other novels.

Purchase Links:


About the author:


Marybeth Mayhew Whalen is the author of When We Were Worthy, The Things We Wish Were True and five previous novels. She speaks to women’s groups around the US. She is the co-founder of the popular women’s fiction site, She Reads Marybeth and her husband Curt have been married for 26 years and are the parents of six children. The family lives in North Carolina. Marybeth spends most of her time in the grocery store but occasionally escapes long enough to scribble some words. She is always at work on her next novel. You can find her at

Review of The Mother-In-Law by Sally Hepworth


Thank you so much to St. Martins Press and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

This book had so much potential to me and for a majority of this book I was hooked and couldn’t stop reading. I actually finished this in less than 12 hours, I was that into the story. And then I got to about the last 30 pages and it completely tanked for me.

Diana has raised two wonderful kids, Ollie and Nettie, with her amazing husband and is living a very privileged life. Even though the past still comes back to haunt her occasionally she has her family and her loving husband by her side. When her son Ollie brings home his girlfriend, Diana isn’t a huge fan of her at first and then Ollie and his girlfriend Lucy decide to get married. Diana tolerates her new daughter-in-law and the feeling is mutual but then Diana’s husband Tom dies and Diana is sucked into a state of depression. She contemplates suicide but then changes her mind about it but yet Diana still ends up dead and it doesn’t look like it was the suicide that it was staged to look like.

I was really enjoying this book until about 80-90% of the way in. I loved all of the family dynamics in this book and how Lucy and Diana finally put their differences aside and became close. And then the big “bombshell” dropped on who actually killed Diana.


First off a little back story. Every member of the family was looked at and questioned for her murder. Ollie because his company was tanking bad and he needed money, why not kill off his rich mom since he assumed the money was going to him and his sister? Lucy was looked at because of the assault that took place in the hospital after Tom accidentally drops his granddaughter and Diana just wants to smooth it over and move on. But lo and behold in was Nettie that killed her mother, all because she wouldn’t give her any money to help her have her own baby. I honestly cannot say how mad I got when that was revealed, that was the whole reason she died? Because her daughter’s obsession and madness about having a child of her own went that far and her mom wouldn’t help her so she killed her? I understand Nettie felt like her mom had never been there for her and or didn’t pay enough attention to her when she was younger and I understand the mental hit that women go through that can’t have a baby but really, REALLY?

I loved this book so much up until then which is the only reason I’m giving it a 3 star review. The characters were great and the storyline was gripping up until the ending but the truth behind the murder is what really killed it for me. I will more than likely try to read other books by Sally Hepworth but this was a disappointing book for me.

Review of The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves


Thank you so much to St. Martins Press and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

This was my first novel by Tracey Garvis Graves and I’ve heard many rave about her past works so I was very excited to receive this book. But I felt myself really struggling with this book. I thought Annika was sweet, compassionate, and an amazing girl and I really liked Jonathan as well for how well he treated her and how amazing he was towards her and her special needs. Even though I loved the characters I’m still conflicted about how I felt when I finished reading.

Annika and Jonathan fell in love in college in 1991 after meeting at a chess club that they were both players in. Fast forward 10 years later and they meet again not knowing that they’ve both lived in the same city for the past 5 years. As they start to try and re-kindle the love they used to have Annika finally finds out why she’s different from everyone else and why they broke up all those years ago.

The beginning of this book was a bit slow for me and I had a hard time getting into it. I did like that the book is told from the past and present, 1991 and current day 2001. I also liked that the story is told from both Annika and Jonathan’s perspectives but I still struggled with this one.

The ending is what I feel really did it for me. There was barely any lead up in the book and then you get thrown a twist at the end and then the book just ends. Like, that’s really all you’re going to say about it? I would have liked the author to talk more about it instead of just ending the book.

Review of The Last Second by Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison


Thank you so much to Gallery books and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

This was my first novel by Catherine Coulter and who knows what number by J.T. Ellison. I honestly couldn’t get into this novel. I think if I had read the first books in this series it would have helped but this one was way too “out there” for me. Also I feel if I had read the previous novels before this I wouldn’t have been so confused and struggled to figure out who was who and who was doing what at the beginning. That slowed down my reading a lot as I had to keep re-reading certain parts I was confused on to figure out what was going on. Once I got further in the book it made more sense but I feel as someone coming into this series as a newbie I was completely lost and didn’t have a grasp on the characters.

The beginning of the book seemed to drag on and on to the point where I was getting bored. All that was talked about was Nevaeh and her whining and complaining and then finally about halfway through it started to get a little more interesting but still not enough for me to enjoy it. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m not a huge fan of sci-fi but everything seemed so far fetched to me to the point I wanted to roll my eyes. The suspense parts of this novel didn’t really thrill me or leave me gasping wanting to know what would happen next.

One thing I did enjoy about this book was the characters and their humor and banter with each other once I figured out who everyone was and what role they played in this book. That alone makes me want to read the other books in the series but this one was a flop for me. I prefer J.T. Ellison as a mystery writer and will continue to read her books and might pick up Catherine Coulter’s as well.

Review of Me For You by Lolly Winston

3 out of 5 stars

Thank you so much to Touchstone Books and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

This was my first book by Lolly Winston and after hearing numerous good things about her I was intrigued by this one.  It wasn’t amazing to me by any means, it was just okay.  I felt that the book was a little choppy and all over the place at times and then drug on in areas that didn’t really need to be so long.

This book is about Rudy who wakes up one morning to find his wife has passed away, just when they’re looking forward to the adventures of retiring.  Rudy falls into depression and grief and isn’t sure how he’s going to go on with his life without her by his side.  While at work at Nordstrom he meets a fellow coworker Sasha who is also suffering from a tragedy.  Just as their relationship is starting to take off, Rudy succumbs to his deep depression and ends up institutionalized and finds out his wife’s death might not have been an accident.

I loved how the author touched so much on mental health and grief and I did enjoy Rudy’s character a lot.  However, I did feel that this book left a lot to the imagination.  It was so choppy and all over the place and certain parts of the book felt like they weren’t finished.  I’m not sure if that’s because I have the uncorrected proof but I was left with a lot of questions that aren’t answered.  All in all not a bad book, just felt it wasn’t finished properly.