Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Review: Cards from Khloe's Book Shop by Isabella Louis Anderson

Khloe's FlowershopPurrfectly Bookish: Cards from Khloe's Flower Shop
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive income 
if you make a purchase using these links. Thank you!

Cards from Khloe's Flower Shop by Isabella Louise Anderson
Publisher: Chick Lit Goddess, LLC. 
Publication Date: January 15, 2017
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Publisher's description

As the owner of a successful florist shop, Khloe Harper trusts her instincts. She has a strong bond with her family and friends, but after being betrayed by her last love, she's kept herself at arms’ length from romance. When dashing entertainment attorney Derek Thomas walks into her store, Khloe’s interest is piqued. What at first seems like a business relationship quickly turns into romance, and Derek slowly plucks away the petals she’s been hiding behind. Just as Khloe lets down her guard, she discovers that Derek may not be worthy of her love after all. Frumpy Connie Albright has a faux fascination with an imaginary man named Walt, thinking that by sending herself flowers from him she’ll feel less out-of-place with the “mean girls” she works with. When she comes face to face with her possible prince charming and thinking she might have a happy ending, when a truth is revealed, she wonders if she’ll ever have a Cinderella story. A recently widowed senior, Gabby Lewis, isn't ready to give up on love—which means releasing herself from survivor's guilt and taking a chance on finding happiness and companionship again. After signing up for an online dating site for senior citizens, much to her surprise, she’s matched with Harry, an energetic and loving man, who quickly eases himself into her heart. Will Gabby take the leap of falling in love again, knowing it’s possible to have two loves of her life? As each woman’s story develops through flowers and cards sent from Khloe's shop during the Fall months, they begin to learn that love can only truly blossom when you trust your heart.

My Review

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions shared are 100% my own.

Khloe owns a flower shop - her dream come true. Every day she helps customers find their happily ever after by providing stunning floral arrangements and, most importantly, heartfelt cards of sentiment. However, after having her own heart broken, she's pretty certain she is never going to find her own happily ever after. Well, she very nearly jinxes it by her bizarre behavior toward the handsome love interest who walks in her door one day. I wanted to shake her on more than one occasion. I think her character was real but I'm not sure that Derek's acceptance of her oddball behavior was realistic. I think 99% of men would have run to the hills with the first hint of her serious trust issues. 

Gabby and Connie were both more interesting than Khloe. I loved Gabby and really rooted for her to find happiness again after losing the love of her life. The new relationship was pretty sugary sweet, but that was totally okay! Because you really could see a situation like hers.  And poor Connie.  While I think the reason why the "mean girl" was so awful was a bit forced, I have definitely seen horrible people target someone with low self esteem like Connie and just torture them. And I think her choices in dealing with several situations were very realistic.  

I found the sexy scenes didn't all seem to fit in the same book. Some were pretty chaste and only hinted at intimacy and others were a good deal steamier. Nothing too explicit though (no throbbing love muscles) and the words used were scientific or common usage terms. I am NOT a fan of sexy scenes but nothing in here was objectionable. The best friend talked a little too much about orgasms and it did start to get annoying... do people really talk that much about orgasms with their best friends?  I sure don't!  

All in all this is a feel-good tale about three women finding love. The men were all super charming and pretty standard chick lit "awesome". I think it would have been fun to have more of the flower shop cards in the book. It's a sweet, light read... good for a day at the pool or curled up under a blanket with a cup of hot tea.  

**Find “Cards From Khloe’s Flower Shop”:

Amazon-US (Kindle and paperback) * Amazon-UK * Amazon-Canada * Barnes & Noble * Kobo * Goodreads


About the author: Isabella grew up with a book in her hand, and to this day nothing has changed. She focuses her time on featuring other writers on her blog, Chick Lit Goddess, along with organizing Goddess Book Tours, and is a member of the Romance Writers of America. She lives in Dallas with her husband, enjoys spicy Mexican food, margaritas, gin on the rocks (with a splash of lime). She loves spending time with family and friends and cheering on the Texas Rangers. Not only is Isabella an author, she’s also a Scentsy consultant and hoarder. Isabella is the author of The Right Design and Cards From Khloe’s Flower Shop. Her short story, “Meet Me Under the Mistletoe,” was featured in Simon & Fig’s Christmas anthology, Merry & Bright. She’s currently working on another book.   **Contact: Website * Chick Lit Goddess Website * Facebook * Goodreads * Instagram – Isabella Louise Anderson * Instagram – Chick Lit Goddess * Pinterest * Twitter * Sign up for her Newsletter

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Happy Caturday #4

This is a book blog first and foremost, but it's also a book blog written by someone owned by cats. So every Saturday is officially Caturday here at Purrfectly Bookish. I'll share images and tales of my own kitties and any others I meet each week. I also volunteer at the local animal shelter so you may see some sweet adoptables here too. If you have an awesome kitty, doggy, peeg, ratty or any other pet you would like to see here, you can either comment with a link to a picture or email me about sharing your cute pictures on some Caturday Saturday. 

More kitties and a PEEG this week. Share your photo links in the comments or contact me about having  your sweet fur babies (or scaled babies or feathered babies...) featured on a future Caturday.  

Pat from Durham, NC, USA
My little angel, Pat. She is 4 pounds of fierce personality and sweet power!

Java from St. Joseph, MO, USA
¡Yo quiero Taco Bell bag! 

Mr. Alexander Rozhenko Piggy, of the Houses of Mogh from Kansas City, MO, USA
And his owner's favorite book!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

TBT Review: A Theory of Expanded Love by Caitlin Hicks

Purrfectly Bookish: A Theory of Expanded Love by Caitlin Hicks
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive income 
if you make a purchase using these links. Thank you!

A Theory of Expanded Love by Caitlin Hicks 
Publisher: Light Messages Publishing
Publication Date: June 12, 2015
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
TBT Review Date: June 12, 2015

Publisher's Description

Trapped in her enormous, devout Catholic family in 1963, Annie creates a hilarious campaign of lies when the pope dies and their family friend, Cardinal Stefanucci, is unexpectedly on the short list to be elected the first American pope. Driven to elevate her family to the holiest of holy rollers in the parish, Annie is tortured by her own dishonesty. But when "The Hands" visit her in her bed and when her sister finds herself facing a scandal, Annie discovers her parents will do almost anything to 
uphold their reputation and keep their secrets safe. Questioning all she has believed and torn between her own gut instinct and years of Catholic guilt, Annie takes courageous risks to wrest salvation from the tragic sequence of events set in motion by her parents’ betrayal. 

My Review

I received a complimentary copy of A Theory of Expanded Love in exchange for my honest review. All opinions shared are 100% my own.

I grew up in a bad Catholic family in a very Catholic neighborhood. "Bad" because there were only two kids - ten years apart. My parents had even set out only to have two kids, only they had wanted two close together. I had other ideas and arrived ten years after my sister. Marie was born in 1961 and I was born in 1971 so we are both a bit behind the age and time of Annie, but many of her experiences rang true. 

Annie is #6 out of thirteen children in a large, strict Catholic family. The author continues to number the kids for the first part of the book and it helps in keeping track of who is who. Her father is authoritarian, recently retired from the Navy, and her mother seems almost mentally absent from the kids for much of the book - or at least from Annie. Annie is portrayed as her father's favorite and her sister, Jeannie (#7), as her mother's. 

Annie is twelve going on thirteen. As the veil of childhood is pulled back from Annie's eyes, she starts developing a critical, self-thinking view of the world. This doesn't go well with the strict Catholic upbringing her father is so much trying to inflict on his children. The father  brags to everyone about his large family and prides himself on being one of the best Catholic families at St. Andrews, but then he also criticizes the kids that he was held back from promotions and doesn't have a life of luxury because of them. This is an emotionally, and sometimes, physically, abusive man. But despite all his attempts at tight control, his kids are growing up and making their own choices. He betrays his children at many turns to preserve his reputation over what is best for his family. As Annie sees these betrayals, especially to her sister Clara and to Annie herself, her eyes are opened to the hypocrisy. 

Abuse is a central theme in this book. There is emotional abuse, physical abuse and mild sexual abuse ("The Hands"). There is only one very vivid scene when the father is using a leather belt on Annie's hand at the dinner table in front of the whole family. I tend to be sensitive about scenes of abuse in books but I was not bothered by anything in this novel.

I think anyone from a big Catholic family (or any big family) could commiserate and feel compassion for Annie and her plight. It also provides an interesting window into the life of a big family and a Catholic family for anyone from neither. While the main character is a 12 year old girl, I think the ideal reading age is a little older than that. It didn't read as a middle grade novel at all. Times have certainly changes since the 1960s and it is very evident in this book. It definitely makes the case for the world being a much better place today than in 1963 so I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone nostalgic about a bygone era. The author does not paint a rosy tale. It is a great Coming of Age story about Annie and I really enjoyed it. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Cover Reveal: Shattered Fates by Rebecca Roland

Purrfectly Bookish Cover Reveal: Shattered Fates by Rebecca Roland
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive income 
if you make a purchase using these links. Thank you!

Shattered Fates by Rebecca Roland
Publisher: World Weaver Press
Publication Date: May 23, 2017

I am so excited to be a part of the cover reveal for Rebecca Roland's latest book, Shattered Fates. Full disclosure, Rebecca is a friend of mine. I love her Shards of History series independently of that friendship but it is super fun to know the author of a favorite series. I really enjoy fantasy fiction and the world building in this series is very good and very different. Rather than the usual medieval slant most fantasy fiction uses, the Shards of History series is built on the Native American cultures of the Southwest United States. 

The release date for Shattered Fates is May 23, 2017.  I will post my review of this third and final visit with Malia and the Taakwa people closer to that date. I will be sharing my reviews on the first two books in the series soon on my Throwback Thursday feature. The publisher has recently redesigned the covers on Shards of History and Fractured Days so I wanted to share those as well.  

If you haven't started the series yet, you still have plenty of time to get books 1 and 2 read before May!  What are you waiting for?

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive income 
if you make a purchase using these links. Thank you!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Happy Caturday #3

This is a book blog first and foremost, but it's also a book blog written by someone owned by cats. So every Saturday is officially Caturday here at Purrfectly Bookish. I'll share images and tales of my own kitties and any others I meet each week. I also volunteer at the local animal shelter so you may see some sweet adoptables here too. If you have an awesome kitty, doggy, peeg, ratty or any other pet you would like to see here, you can either comment with a link to a picture or email me about sharing your cute pictures on some Caturday Saturday. 

The shared photos are starting to roll in!!!  Check out these cute pets!  

Kitler from Mobile, AL, USA

Oskar from San Diego, CA, USA
He had been rescued from the streets....a friend said she saw a man killing cats in an alley, and he was saved from that scene. He's a gorgeous softy lumpy lump, still scared of a lot of things, but we love him.

Up for Adoption: Sydney
Sydney from Kansas City, MO,USA
 This is our foster dog Sydney. She is a sweet, affectionate greyhound mix (lurcher) looking for a loving forever family with a good tall fence. Her adoption page is here:

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Monthly Manly Review #1: The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch

Purrfectly Bookish Monthly Manly Review #1

It seems like the majority of book bloggers are women and studies have shown that women read more than men. That's not true in our house! My husband, Jason, reads almost as much as I do. We tend to pick different genres (he likes sci-fi more, I like fantasy more), but I still love discussing books with him. It's special to share a fondness for a book - or even just get the chance to "read" a book through the description from your spouse. The Monthly Manly Review is Jason's contribution to Purrfectly Bookish. Along with his review, there is a linky below for other male bloggers to share their reviews - or for female bloggers who have convinced the men in their lives to write a review for their blog. [This meme started on my old blog. I am starting the numbering over again for Purrfectly Bookish. ]

Purrfectly Bookish: The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive income 
if you make a purchase using these links. Thank you!

Publisher: Del Rey
Publication Date: October 8th 2013 
Jason's Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Publisher's Description

With what should have been the greatest heist of their career gone spectacularly sour, Locke and his trusted partner, Jean, have barely escaped with their lives. Or at least Jean has. But Locke is slowly succumbing to a deadly poison that no alchemist or physiker can cure. Yet just as the end is near, a mysterious Bondsmage offers Locke an opportunity that will either save him or finish him off once and for all.

Magi political elections are imminent, and the factions are in need of a pawn. If Locke agrees to play the role, sorcery will be used to purge the venom from his body—though the process will be so excruciating he may well wish for death. Locke is opposed, but two factors cause his will to crumble: Jean’s imploring—and the Bondsmage’s mention of a woman from Locke’s past: Sabetha. She is the love of his life, his equal in skill and wit, and now, his greatest rival.

Locke was smitten with Sabetha from his first glimpse of her as a young fellow orphan and thief-in-training. But after a tumultuous courtship, Sabetha broke away. Now they will reunite in yet another clash of wills. For faced with his one and only match in both love and trickery, Locke must choose whether to fight Sabetha—or to woo her. It is a decision on which both their lives may depend.

Jason's Review

I have mixed feelings about reviewing later-in-series books without having reviewed prior books, but since the blogmistress demands content, content she shall have.  The Republic of Thieves is the third installment in the Gentleman Bastards series, a fantasy caper series centering around Locke Lamora and his partner-in-crime Jean, two thieves who find themselves wrapped up in not only deeply complicated criminal endeavors, but larger intrigues as well. I found the first two installments very entertaining, and was happy to get to read the third. I came away satisfied with the book, but somewhat less so than I did with the prior two installments. 

Locke and Jean find themselves drawn into running a political campaign in a city controlled by magicians called the Bondsmagi. Their plans and plots are complicated by Locke and Jean’s difficult history with the Bondsmagi, but also by the presence of Sabetha, a former Bastard and love interest of Locke’s. 

This plot is intertwined with a flashback story involving the full Gentleman Bastard crew when they were much younger, and traveled to be part of a theater troupe that performed the play which gives this book its title. This play is within a smaller play within the larger narrative play, a feat that Scott Lynch technically pulls off very well. Both storylines were well-paced with one another, and even though we know the general outcome of the flashback storyline (as it relates to Locke and Sabetha), the “how they get there” is fresh enough to maintain interest. 

In fact, the resolution to the main story lines (the election rigging caper and the story of the two crossed loves) was also well done, and in the end satisfying (if not entirely happy). I enjoyed the book well enough to recommend it, as long as you have read and enjoyed the prior two books. The investment we make in characters over several stories really carries this book, and as such I can’t recommend it as a standalone story, but the series is fun as a fantasy novel in which magic exists, but isn’t utilized by our main characters. In this way, this series is more crime caper than fantasy novel, and that is where I think the author’s strengths lie. 

I was left a bit cold by the inclusion of the final epilogue to the story. I found it a bit unneeded to finish the tale that was really being told, and it seems to me the only purpose for it was to set up the next chapter in the series (which I am yet to read). As a novel-length story, a cliffhanger for the next book feels a bit cheap and unneeded. 

All that being said, I am looking forward to reading the fourth installment in the series, so this fault I call out isn’t fatal to my enjoyment of Locke and Jean and their adventures together.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Analyzing The Cupcake Caper: A Cozy Mystery with a Scientific Twist and an Adorable Feline Sidekick

The Cupcake Caper (Undercover Cat, #1)The Cupcake Caper by Kelle Z. Riley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I like cozy mysteries... especially ones with cats or dogs or other adorable pets who get involved with solving crime. You need to engage in a little willful suspension of disbelief when it comes to cozy mysteries. Some of my favorite mystery solvers are librarians, pet store managers, and retirees - ordinary people who have a knack for sorting out clues to figure out whodunnit. I found Ms. Riley's choice of a scientist for her Sherlock-esque heroine, Dr. Bree Mayfield-Watson, in this book to be inspired. You really could see someone who is very analytical tackling solving a mystery for the sheer sake of discovery! This first in a series has the ubiquitous plot device of our main character being a suspect in a murder case - a storyline often used to get an ordinary person involved in solving a crime in order to clear their name. Given how logical and left-brained Bree is, I think she could become engaged in figuring out who murdered her boss without that particular plot device.

I was annoyed - put off, maybe? - a little by a couple unlikely choices Bree made, particularly when she withheld information from the police. Given that she endangered herself at almost every instance of this, I hope our main character learns in future additions to the series! The plot twist at the end was fun and is definitely setting up for a new twist on the cozy mystery genre with this series. I will definitely read the next book in the series when it comes out (no date given yet).

I can't forget to mention Sherlock - and I don't mean Bree. Sherlock is the cat Bree winds up with. Sherlock helps Bree solve the mystery. He is one smart kitty. I definitely hope we see as much and more of him in future installments. So, yes, even with our analytical, scientist heroine, there's a cute pet involved. There is no romance yet in the series either though there is potential for it. I do like to highlight when there is "sexy" content in a book, and there is none in this book. Just some possibly too-goofy ogling of two men in Bree's life.

Disclosure Statement:

I received a free Advance Reader Copy (ARC) of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influences my opinions or the content of my review. My feedback is voluntary and unbiased. My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an opportunity to read and review this book.

View all my reviews

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Happy Caturday 11 Feb 2017

This is a book blog first and foremost, but it's also a book blog written by someone owned by cats. So every Saturday is officially Caturday here at Purrfectly Bookish. I'll share images and tales of my own kitties and any others I meet each week. I also volunteer at the local animal shelter so you may see some sweet adoptables here too. If you have an awesome kitty you would like to see here, you can either comment with a link to a picture or email me about sharing your cute pictures on some Caturday Saturday. 
Bodhicitta might be just a teensy-weensy bit spoiled.

Luna pondering Life, the Universe and Everything.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

An Unusual Day in Portland: A Review of 'Today Will Be Different' by Maria Semple

Today Will Be DifferentToday Will Be Different by Maria Semple
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

We're back in Portland, revisiting the world of Maria Semple's previous masterpiece, "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" I absolutely adored that book, often finding myself in fits of laughter as I flipped through its pages. The writing style was refreshingly unique, and it spun an entertaining tale in its own quirky, roundabout fashion. "Today Will Be Different" isn't a direct sequel, but keen-eyed readers will spot familiar places like Galer Street School and even a mention or two of characters from Bernadette's world. 

But let me be frank—this book doesn't quite reach the heights of its predecessor. Our protagonist, Eleanor, comes across as incredibly scatterbrained, manic, and, well, downright self-absorbed. She begins the day with a resolution that "today will be different," yet as events unfold, it becomes painfully evident that, for all its wild twists, this day isn't all that different from her usual routine. She harbors disdain for her best friend, treats her son poorly, and is so wrapped up in her own world that her husband opts to withhold an important aspect of his life because he doubts her capacity for understanding and support. Eleanor is not a likable character by any stretch of the imagination. 

Now, there's merit in exploring unlikable characters in literature, but I struggled to find that value here. Nevertheless, I gave it three stars for its well-crafted writing and moments of genuine humor amidst all the chaos. The humor certainly shines through at times. However, I can't wholeheartedly recommend this book. If you're new to Maria Semple's work, I'd suggest starting elsewhere, and if you're a fan of "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" don't invest your time hoping for a similar experience.

View all my reviews

Friday, February 3, 2017

This Book is Not About Dragons: A Hilarious Adventure for Kids

This Book Is Not About DragonsThis Book Is Not About Dragons by Shelley Moore Thomas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My Review
This book is hilarious. My 9yo daughter adored it and giggled uproariously the whole way through. I actually didn't get to read it to her... she insisted on reading it to me with the greatest of gusto. On each page, our delusional hero gets more and more insistent there are NO DRAGONS in this book! Miss R enjoyed pointing out all the evidence to the contrary and all the other hidden fun within its pages. We are a dragon-loving family, and this book is a new favorite among dragon-themed books for us.

Miss R's Review
It was a very funny book. I suggest it to lots of kids who like funny books. I really loved reading the book. It sounded really funny, so I read it to Mom. It was one of the best books I have ever read.

View all my reviews

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Painting Life's Masterpiece: A Review of 'I'll Give You the Sun' by Jandy Nelson

I'll Give You the SunI'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I started reading this book way back in March as part of the TBR Pile Reading Challenge at Bookish. That challenge features a read-along every other month with two sets of discussion questions - one on the 15th and one on the last day of the month. I got my first set of discussion questions in and posted them here. I set the book aside to read some other books and never got back to it. I have a copy from the library, so last week, when I saw I was running out of renewals, I decided I wanted to finish it before I had to return it. I'm so glad I did. While the first half of the book is engaging, due to the nature and enormity of the secrets being withheld, it is a bit confusing. There are so many unanswered questions. As the puzzle pieces fall into place in the second half, a rich story of family, fate, and finding your true self is built to a climactic - and happy - resolution.

Both Jude and Noah will, at times, endear you and annoy you. A terrible tragedy has separated these inseparable twins, and it will take an odd series of remarkable events to bring them back together. Most of the supporting cast, including a ghost or two, are well-developed and relatable. I felt that Oscar was overdrawn - all motorcycles, tattoos, checkered past with a James Dean swagger. While the character was a necessary part of the story, I think he could and should have been less of a caricature. That being said, the book is told from a first-person perspective, and we “see” this characterization of Oscar from Jude’s perspective. The author also does a pretty big disservice to another character nicknamed Zephyr. Again, I think this is the result of holding to Jude’s perspective, but it would have been nice to see Zephyr redeemed.

I really like the writing style - once I got used to it. Noah, in particular, writes in colors and art. His descriptions of everyday life are as if he were describing everything as artwork. He says he can see people’s souls - his mother’s is a massive sunflower so big there is hardly room for her organs. Most of his inner dialog is descriptive, and every scene in his life includes a note on how he would paint it: (Self-Portrait: Throwing Armfuls of Air into the Air). I would recommend this to anyone who likes art or is an artist and who enjoys young adult fiction. While there are sexual situations, nothing is graphic. For the average teenage reader, I would recommend grade 9 and up. I would let my advanced 12-year-old son read it, but he would not like it due to the smoochy stuff. (Yay! So happy about that. How long do I have?).

View all my reviews

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Welcome to Purrfectly Bookish!

Welcome to Purrfectly Bookish!  My name is HeatherAnne. Here, you will find book reviews and probably more than a few pictures of pets, including our four cute cats,  our Coonhound, and our ever-changing population of foster kittens. I live in a suburb of Kansas City, MO, USA, where I homeschool my two children and otherwise do too much. Check out some of my businesses at

Purrfectly Bookish is not my first blog, but this is the first one devoted exclusively to books and my love of reading. My preferred genres include fantasy, women’s fiction, young adult, and cozy mysteries (particularly if there are clever cats involved). You will also see reviews related to our homeschooling adventures, such as non-fiction books on history or science and great read-aloud chapter books. For fun, join me on many Saturdays when the pets take over.

As a super busy mom, I really appreciate good referrals in all aspects of my life. It takes so much time to find the right resource. When we lean on friends and get their input, so many things are much easier. It does take a village, after all. Let me be your mom-friend book recommender. I welcome your input, comments, and book recommendations! I look forward to making many new friends on this book adventure!


two cats snuggling watching birds outside window
Bodhi & Luna - can't talk... bird watching

Baby Jack

Gummy Bear