Happy Pub Day – May 30

Happy Pub Day to these authors!

The Alchemy of Moonlight by David Ferraro

The Night in Question by Kathleen Glasgow and Liz Lawson

What books are you most excited for this week?


Review: Meet Me at the Lake

Title: Meet Me at the Lake
Author: Carley Fortune
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Viking
Source: Tandem Collective
Format: Paperback
Release Date: May 2, 2023
Rating: ★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Fern Brookbanks has wasted far too much of her adult life thinking about Will Baxter. She spent just twenty-four hours in her early twenties with the aggravatingly attractive, idealistic artist, a chance encounter that spiraled into a daylong adventure in Toronto. The timing was wrong, but their connection was undeniable: they shared every secret, every dream, and made a pact to meet one year later. Fern showed up. Will didn’t.

At thirty-two, Fern’s life doesn’t look at all how she once imagined it would. Instead of living in the city, Fern’s back home, running her mother’s Muskoka lakeside resort–something she vowed never to do. The place is in disarray, her ex-boyfriend’s the manager, and Fern doesn’t know where to begin.

She needs a plan–a lifeline. To her surprise, it comes in the form of Will, who arrives nine years too late, with a suitcase in tow and an offer to help on his lips. Will may be the only person who understands what Fern’s going through. But how could she possibly trust this expensive-suit wearing mirage who seems nothing like the young man she met all those years ago. Will is hiding something, and Fern’s not sure she wants to know what it is.

But ten years ago, Will Baxter rescued Fern. Can she do the same for him?


On June 14, ten years ago, Fern Brookbanks spent twenty-four hours with Will Baxter. He was an artist who took her on a tour of Toronto for one of her final days in the city. They hadn’t met before that day, but they made plans to meet exactly one year later at Fern’s family’s resort in Huntsville. The following year, Fern waited for Will but he didn’t show up. Now, thirty-two year old Fern is returning to her family’s resort because her mother died in a sudden accident. Fern is trying to take over the resort with no experience or desire to work there. Then, Will shows up at the resort with an offer to help her figure it out. Fern needs the help and she has been waiting for Will for ten years, but she must decide if she’s willing to open herself up to possibly getting hurt again. 

It is very hard not to compare this book to Every Summer After. It’s by the same author and has a similar storyline: a woman who grew up in Ontario’s cottage country, moves to Toronto as an adult but must return home after a death in the family and face the love of her life who she hasn’t seen in years. Probably if I hadn’t read these books back to back and if they hadn’t come out a year apart they wouldn’t have seemed as similar. Every Summer After was relatable and had a lot of strong emotions. Meet Me at the Lake didn’t evoke the same emotions in me but I liked the ending. I appreciated how much the author said in the acknowledgments that writing this one was more difficult than her first book. Every Summer After would be a hard book to follow up due to its huge success, but this one is a good summer beach read. 

Meet Me at the Lake is a great second chance summer romance!

Thank you Tandem Collective and Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy!

Content warnings: death of parent, anxiety, marijuana use, death by car accident, parental abandonment, teen pregnancy

What to read next:

Every Summer After by Carley Fortune

Have you read Meet Me at the Lake? What did you think of it?

Review: Every Summer After

Title: Every Summer After
Author: Carley Fortune
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Tandem Collective
Format: Paperback
Release Date: May 10, 2022
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

They say you can never go home again, and for Persephone Fraser, ever since she made the biggest mistake of her life a decade ago, that has felt too true. Instead of glittering summers on the lakeshore of her childhood, she spends them in a stylish apartment in the city, going out with friends, and keeping everyone a safe distance from her heart.

Until she receives the call that sends her racing back to Barry’s Bay and into the orbit of Sam Florek—the man she never thought she’d have to live without.

For six summers, through hazy afternoons on the water and warm summer nights working in his family’s restaurant and curling up together with books—medical textbooks for him and work-in-progress horror short stories for her—Percy and Sam had been inseparable. Eventually that friendship turned into something breathtakingly more, before it fell spectacularly apart.

When Percy returns to the lake for Sam’s mother’s funeral, their connection is as undeniable as it had always been. But until Percy can confront the decisions she made and the years she’s spent punishing herself for them, they’ll never know whether their love might be bigger than the biggest mistakes of their past. 

Told over the course of six years and one weekend, Every Summer After is a big, sweeping nostalgic look at love and the people and choices that mark us forever.

Six summers to fall in love. One moment to fall apart. A weekend to get it right.


Persephone Fraser made the biggest mistake of her life twelve years ago. She no longer spends summers at a cottage in Barry’s Bay, now working as a magazine editor in Toronto. However, when she receives a phone call that her former neighbour passed away, she rushes back to her summer home and back to her former best friend, Sam Florek. Percy and Sam were inseparable for six summers in their teenage years, working together in his family’s restaurant and swimming in the lake. But then something happened to make them not speak for twelve years. Now, Percy has to confront her past and try to fix her big mistake. 

This story really tugged at my heartstrings. It was an extremely slow burn romance. I kept wishing Sam and Percy would get together sooner because their chemistry was so strong. The big revelations at the end were heartbreaking. My only critique is that the ending seemed quite short. I would have liked to see more of a happily every after for Percy and Sam because their romance was short lived on the pages. 

Every Summer After is the perfect summer romance!

Thank you Tandem Collective and Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy of this book!

Content warnings: death of parent, panic attacks, anxiety, alcohol use, cheating

What to read next:

Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune

Have you read Every Summer After? What did you think of it?

Review: Legends and Lattes (Legends and Lattes #1)

Title: Legends and Lattes (Legends and Lattes #1)
Author: Travis Baldree
Genre: Fantasy, LGBTQ
Publisher: Tor
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: June 7, 2022
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

After a lifetime of bounties and bloodshed, Viv is hanging up her sword for the last time.

The battle-weary orc aims to start fresh, opening the first ever coffee shop in the city of Thune. But old and new rivals stand in the way of success — not to mention the fact that no one has the faintest idea what coffee actually is.

If Viv wants to put the blade behind her and make her plans a reality, she won’t be able to go it alone.

But the true rewards of the uncharted path are the travelers you meet along the way. And whether drawn together by ancient magic, flaky pastry, or a freshly brewed cup, they may become partners, family, and something deeper than she ever could have dreamed.


Viv, an orc warrior, decides to hang up her sword for good and open a coffee shop. No one in the town of Thune has heard of coffee, but she enlists the help of a few locals to get her shop renovated and open for business. Viv also has a secret weapon which she’s buried beneath the shop in the hopes that it will bring her success. As the shop continues to grow and expand, both in menu and amenities, Viv learns to trust and love. 

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book but I’ve seen nothing but good reviews for it. It was a very cozy story about a coffee shop in a high fantasy world. It was funny to see these fantasy characters discover coffee and cinnamon rolls, which seem so ordinary to our world. The story started out at a slow pace, as Viv slowly built the shop from the ground up, but it was comforting to see how well things progressed for her. The tension picked up at the end but I was so happy with the ending. 

Legends and Lattes is a warm and cozy read! I can’t wait to read the next book!

Have you read Legends and Lattes? What did you think of it?

Review: The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Games #2)

Title: The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Games #2)
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Mystery
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: September 7, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Mystery. Riches. Romance. Betrayal.


Overnight, Avery Grambs went from sleeping in her car to billionaire heiress. Now ensconced in a world of opulence, riddles, danger, and family secrets, Avery is on the hunt for the one person who might hold the answers to all her questions—including why eccentric billionaire Tobias Hawthorne left his entire fortune to Avery, a virtual stranger, rather than to his own daughters and grandsons.

Avery has a DNA test that proves she’s not a Hawthorne by blood, but cryptic clues begin piling up, hinting at a deeper connection to the family. Soon, Avery finds herself pulled into another game just as twisted as the first. As she works her way through puzzle after puzzle, it becomes clear that nothing is what it seems. Grayson and Jameson, two of the enigmatic and magnetic Hawthorne grandsons, continue to pull Avery in different directions, and it’s getting harder to tell who her allies are and who will stop at nothing to see Avery out of the picture—by any means necessary.


Avery Grambs is still looking for answers as to why Tobias Hawthorne named her as his heir instead of his relatives. After a DNA test, the family knows she isn’t related to the Hawthornes by blood, but she is still hunting for some kind of connection. As Avery finds more clues, she’s torn between Grayson and Jameson, Tobias’s two charming grandsons. The threats to Avery’s life and fortune are getting more dangerous with every puzzle she solves on her hunt to find out why she is the Hawthorne heir. 

I absolutely loved The Inheritance Games so I was so excited to read this one right away. I haven’t read a sequel so soon after reading the first book in years! The stakes were raised, with many life threatening situations that made the story suspenseful and thrilling. The relationships between characters became very complicated and a little confusing throughout this second book. Though the connection between Avery and the Hawthorne family seemed to be revealed at the end of the story, I wasn’t satisfied with it. I’m hoping the next book will tie everything together!

The Hawthorne Legacy is a suspenseful sequel!

What to read next:

The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Other books in the series:

Have you read The Hawthorne Legacy? What did you think of it?

Review: The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Title: The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Author: Deya Muniz
Genre: Graphic Novel, LGBTQ, Romance
Publisher: Little, Brown Ink
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: May 9, 2023
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

A funny, heartfelt YA romance about finding love—and lots of grilled cheese sandwiches—in the place you least expect it, from rising talent Deya Muniz.

Lady Camembert wants to live life on her own terms, without marriage. Well, without marrying a man, that is. But the law of the land is that women cannot inherit. So when her father passes away, she does the only thing she can: She disguises herself as a man and moves to the capital city of the Kingdom of Fromage to start over as Count Camembert.

But it’s hard to keep a low profile when the beautiful Princess Brie, with her fierce activism and great sense of fashion, catches her attention. Camembert can’t resist getting to know the princess, but as the two grow closer, will she able to keep her secret?

A romantic comedy about mistaken identity, true love, and lots of grilled cheese.


Lady Camembert wants to live on her own and not marry a man, but when her father dies, she isn’t able to inherit by herself as a woman. To get around that rule, she disguises herself as a man named Count Camembert and moves to the capital city of the Kingdom of Fromage to get a fresh start with her inheritance. Soon after moving there, she meets Princess Brie. As Camembert and Brie spend more time together, Camembert realizes how much she likes Brie, but they can’t be together unless her secret true identity is revealed. 

This graphic novel was so fun! It was filled with cheese puns, with characters named Brie, Feta, Gorgonzola, and a puppy named Gouda. The illustrations in the graphic novel were beautiful. One of my favourite parts was the mix of regency clothing and modern items. Most of the time, the characters wore clothing similar to the regency period. However, Camembert played with a Nintendo Switch, and wore t-shirts to bed. This quirky mix of clothing added to the “cheesy” atmosphere of the story. 

The Princess and the Grilled Cheese is a fun new graphic novel!

Have you read The Princess and the Grilled Cheese? What did you think of it?

Review: Yellowface

Title: Yellowface
Author: R.F. Kuang
Genre: Contemporary, Thriller
Publisher: HarperCollins Canada
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback arc
Release Date: May 16, 2023
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

What’s the harm in a pseudonym? New York Times bestselling sensation Juniper Song is not who she says she is, she didn’t write the book she claims she wrote, and she is most certainly not Asian American–in this chilling and hilariously cutting novel from R. F. Kuang.

Authors June Hayward and Athena Liu were supposed to be twin rising stars: same year at Yale, same debut year in publishing. But Athena’s a cross-genre literary darling, and June didn’t even get a paperback release. Nobody wants stories about basic white girls, June thinks.

So when June witnesses Athena’s death in a freak accident, she acts on impulse: she steals Athena’s just-finished masterpiece, an experimental novel about the unsung contributions of Chinese laborers to the British and French war efforts during World War I.

So what if June edits Athena’s novel and sends it to her agent as her own work? So what if she lets her new publisher rebrand her as Juniper Song–complete with an ambiguously ethnic author photo? Doesn’t this piece of history deserve to be told, whoever the teller? That’s what June claims, and the New York Times bestseller list seems to agree.

But June can’t get away from Athena’s shadow, and emerging evidence threatens to bring June’s (stolen) success down around her. As June races to protect her secret, she discovers exactly how far she will go to keep what she thinks she deserves.

With its totally immersive first-person voice, Yellowface takes on questions of diversity, racism, and cultural appropriation not only in the publishing industry but the persistent erasure of Asian-American voices and history by Western white society. R. F. Kuang’s novel is timely, razor-sharp, and eminently readable.


June Hayward and Athena Liu went to Yale together and became authors, debuting in the same year. Athena became an award-winning author, while June’s debut didn’t even get a second publication in paperback. When Athena dies in a freak accident in front of June, June takes the secret manuscript Athena has just completed. June can tell immediately this manuscript about Chinese laborers in WWI is a masterpiece, so she edits it a little and sends it to her agent under her own name. Her publisher rebrands her as June Song and publishes the book. However, people start to see similarities between Athena’s work and June’s new novel. People on social media starts asking questions about why June wrote about a heritage that does not belong to her. June has to fight against this criticism while protecting her secret from the looming ghost of Athena. 

This book was amazing. It is an intriguing look at publishing, with references to real events that have happened in the industry. There was a lot more to the plot than was in the synopsis, but I don’t want to give anything away. One important point this story makes is about censorship and who has the right to tell a story. June was a white woman who published a book about Chinese heritage (though she didn’t write it) and at the same time the author of Yellowface is a Chinese-American woman who has written a book with a white woman as the main character. I loved the irony of that. Of course, authors don’t need to experience everything that they write about (murder mystery writers aren’t murderers), but there are exceptions to that. Though censorship can be problematic, it is more problematic to take the place of someone’s voice to tell their own cultural story. 

I highly recommend Yellowface for writers and anyone interested in publishing!

Thank you HarperCollins Canada for sending me a copy of this book. 

Content warnings: racism, cyberbullying, gaslighting, sudden death, choking, mentions of suicide, death of parent, broken bones

What to read next:

Babel by R.F. Kuang

Have you read Yellowface? What did you think of it?

Review: The Last One to Fall

Title: The Last One to Fall
Author: Gabriella Lepore
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller, Contemporary
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Source: Author
Format: Paperback arc
Release Date: May 9, 2023
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Six friends. Five suspects. One murder.

Savana Caruso and Jesse Melo have known each other since they were kids, so when Jesse texts Savana in the middle of the night and asks her to meet him at Cray’s Warehouse, she doesn’t hesitate. But before Savana can find Jesse, she bears witness to a horrifying murder, standing helpless on the ground as a mysterious figure is pushed out of the fourth floor of the warehouse. 

Six teens were there that night, and five of them are now potential suspects. With the police circling, Savana knows what will happen if the wrong person is charged, particularly once she starts getting threatening anonymous text messages.

As she attempts to uncover the truth, Savana learns that everyone is keeping secrets—and someone is willing to do whatever it takes to keep those secrets from coming to light.


Savana and Jesse have been friends and neighbours since they were kids. One night, Jesse texts Savana, asking her to meet at the abandoned Cray’s Warehouse, and she goes without hesitation. However, when she arrives, she sees someone fall out of a high window of the warehouse. Now, Jesse, Savana, and four of their friends are suspects in a murder investigation. Told through the before and after events of the murder, this thriller will keep you guessing until the end. 

I was immediately drawn into this story. It had short chapters which made it a fast read. It started with a bang, with someone being pushed out a window, and the tension didn’t slow. Each of the suspects had motives and secrets, which made it believable that they could be the murderer. Most of them were also unreliable, telling small lies, which made me question if they were telling the truth about that night. The ending was a surprise since I couldn’t figure out who the murderer was, but it made sense with all the clues. 

The Last One to Fall is a thrilling new young adult novel!

Thank you Gabriella Lepore for sending me a physical copy!

Content warnings: murder, extramarital affair, bullying, alcoholism, domestic violence (off page)

What to read next:

This Is Why We Lie by Gabriella Lepore

Have you read The Last One to Fall? What did you think of it?