Review of How to Bake the Perfect Pecan Pie

Today I’m reviewing Gina Henning’s chick lit novel, How to Bake the Perfect Pecan Pie.

Here’s a little about it:

How to Bake The Perfect Pecan PieA warm pie. A tasty guy. Happy Thanksgiving indeed.

Lauren Hauser is home for the holidays, and she’s been given a challenge: preparing her grandmother’s pecan pie. The problem? Lauren’s not famed for her baking skills. In fact, while her sister would win Star Baker every week, and her mom at least knows a sieve from a spatula, Lauren’s bakes have always been more dangerous than delicious!

Still, no Thanksgiving would be complete without dessert…which is why Lauren finds herself searching for pecans on Thanksgiving Eve. Stumbling into a gorgeous stranger laden down with bags of pecans seems like a holiday miracle…but despite Jack’s kissable lips he’s frostier than a snow cone…and out of sight before she can say ‘Macy’s Parade’!

As the clock counts down to Thanksgiving dinner, Lauren is running out of time. And without her grandmother’s perfect pecan pie it won’t be a very Happy Thanksgiving! What Lauren needs is a knight in shining armour. And it might just be that the magic of Thanksgiving will find her one after all…

My review:

I just adored the writing style, it pulled me right into the story and Lauren’s predicament. It’s so funny and cute. Lauren and Jack have the worst first impressions of each other to work through and it turns into an entertaining love story. I found the characters very relatable. Her family is hilarious. This book made me want to make a pecan pie so much! I agree with Lauren’s grandmother, Thanksgiving isn’t complete without the pecan pie. This year, I will definitely make Grandma Hauser’s pie (though I won’t be driving to Tibor farms to get the perfect pecans…).  There are a few minor curse words, but otherwise this is a clean read with a sweet romance. It was hard to put down and I wanted to go immediately into the sequel.

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croppedsmileframeGina Henning currently resides where bluebonnets line the highways in the spring, but she prefers the rock flower anemone from under the sea. Above the ocean’s surface Gina likes to dance with her three boys and travel to exotic places like the grocery store with her husband. Her pooch Schatzi is a mix between German Shepherd and possibly pig. One of Gina’s favorite pastimes is running. She recently completed her one-and-done marathon. At the end of the day her glass of wine is always half-full.

Connect with Gina: WEBSITE    FACEBOOK    TWITTER  

Review of Beautiful One

BeautifulOne_1665This week I’m reviewing Beautiful One by Mary Cope. Here’s a little about it:

Transformation, empowerment, love and music come together in the book, Beautiful One.

Elizabeth Ryan is a beautiful, shy, naïve high school senior. Having never dated she meets the boy of her dreams, Aidan Mitchell. Despite his history of womanizing Liz is drawn to him. Soon Liz becomes the envy of all the girls on campus, when they become a couple and her dream boyfriend sweeps her off her feet and into the dating world that is all too new and strange for her. When other guys start to take notice of Liz, Aidan is troubled with fits of jealousy. Elizabeth then meets the ruggedly handsome, Spencer Hayes and they quickly bond over their passion for music. Liz begins to struggle with the feelings that spark between them. In the end Elizabeth finds herself torn between helping Aidan overcome his jealousy and anger and giving into what her heart truly wants.

My Review:

This is a sweet YA love story of a young woman struggling to find herself.  When Liz meets the guy she thinks is perfect, she takes steps to change her appearance. I appreciate she does it in a healthy way, like exercising to lose weight. It obviously would have been better if she did it only for herself and not to try to attract a guy, but that’s not how many teenagers think. Many young women struggle with self-image and self-esteem and Liz is a very realistic character. Of course, the boy of her dreams, turns out to be a toxic relationship and she struggles to realize what true love really is. She has a choice between Aidan and Spencer. High school is an awkward time for everyone and the author does a wonderful job developing the characters and taking you back to those high school moments of self-discovery.


fB168Ujj5A3ihdvfnRJSUlDJ24TREL4IxzDoepGt6cUMary Cope is a freelance writer of romance. Her book, Beautiful One, is the first in a planned trilogy. She is currently writing, Beautiful Mess and Beautiful Life will follow.  Mary enjoys spending time with her family, baking gourmet cookies, listening to music and taking long walks with her yellow Labrador, Maggie.

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Review of Only A Kiss

Each week I’m reviewing a new book I’ve read and enjoyed. This week I’m reviewing Only A Kiss by Ines Bautista-Yao.

Here’s a little about it:

Only A Kiss CoverWhen she was nine-years-old, Katie knew she wanted Chris to give her her first kiss. It wasn’t because she was in love with him (no way, he was her best friend! Besides, she was in love with his fourteen-year-old big brother), it was because she could make him do anything she wanted. Besides, it didn’t really mean anything. After all, it was only a kiss.

But things started to change. They grew up. They parted ways and went to different high schools. Then other girls and other boys—well, just one particular boy—came into the picture, throwing their lives upside down.

Told from the alternating points of view of Katie and Chris, this love story between two best friends will tug at your heartstrings and leave you thinking about how the simplest things mean so much.

My Review:

I really enjoyed this book. It’s a sweet love story with lovable, relatable characters. I’ve never read a book set in the Philippines before, so it was a fun experience. Katie shares her first kiss with Chris and it’s “only a kiss” until their friendship blossoms over time into true love. The story is captivating and fun from the very beginning. The writing style pulled me right in. I’ll definitely read another title from this author!

Here’s an excerpt:

Katie couldn’t get over what she had just witnessed. The kiss Kuya Ben gave her cousin wasn’t like the ones she’d seen in movies or on TV. It was quick and it was through a car window, but it was the most powerful one she had ever seen. It was as if he wanted to gift all the emotions coursing through him to his future bride, and the only way he knew how was through a kiss.

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photo-2Ines Bautista-Yao is the author of One Crazy Summer, What’s in your Heart, and Only a Kiss. She has also written two short stories, “Flashbacks and Echoes,” which is part of a compilation called All This Wanting and “A Captured Dream,” one of the four short stories in Sola Musica: Love Notes from a Festival. She is the former editor-in-chief of Candy and K-Zone magazines and a former high school and college English and Literature teacher.  She is also a wife and mom and blogs about the many challenges and joys of motherhood at She has recently launched The Author Project, a section in her current blog devoted to the stories in her head.

Connect with Ines: WEBSITE    FACEBOOK    TWITTER