Month: April 2020

Review: The Missing Sister by Elle Marr

Posted April 23, 2020 by Lily B in Reviews / 24 Comments

Review: The Missing Sister by Elle MarrThe Missing Sister by Elle Marr
Series: Standalone
Published by Thomas & Mercer on April 1, 2020
Genres: Thriller, Mystery
Pages: 294
Format: Kindle Edition
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Buy on Amazon
Rating:3.5 Stars

In Paris, her twin sister has vanished, leaving behind three chilling words: Trust no one.
Shayna Darby is finally coming to terms with her parents’ deaths when she’s delivered another blow. The body of her estranged twin sister, Angela—the possible victim of a serial killer—has been pulled from the Seine. Putting what’s left of her life on hold, Shayna heads to Paris. But while cleaning out Angela’s apartment, Shayna makes a startling discovery: a coded message meant for her alone…
Alive. Trust no one.
Taking the warning to heart, Shayna maintains the lie. She makes a positive ID on the remains and works to find out where—and why—her missing sister is hiding. Shayna retraces her sister’s footsteps, and they lead her down into Paris’s underbelly.
As she gets closer to the truth—and to the killer—Shayna’s own life may now be in the balance…

Shayna Darby is finally coming to terms over her parent’s death when she is dealt a devastating blow. A body of her possible twin has been recovered in Paris and she must fly to the country to identify the body. Upon her arrival, she finds a secret message left by her twin, Trust No One. Now Shayna must discover what really happened to her twin in an unfamiliar city full of its own dark secrets.

I enjoy thrillers and I enjoyed this one for the most part. I like the dark secrets of Paris that were weaved into the story and left me wanting to discover more about the world. The story and the concept have kept me hooked, the execution of it all fell a little short for me. The story was slow-moving and in parts dragged a little. It didn’t take long for me to figure out who is responsible, just not why they were responsible.

I liked Shayna and I liked her resilience. She had a strong devotion to her twin that kept her going, searching for the clues. I can’t say the same for her twin Angela.

I think the part that had me interested the most is the bone tunnels of Paris and some of its dark histories were both fascinating and engrossing.

Overall, I would definitely try this author again and enjoyed the story despite it’s pacing.



Sophia Rose Review: 21-Day Arthritis Diet Plan: Nutrition Guide and Recipes to Fight Osteoarthritis Pain and Inflamation by Ana Reisdorf, M.D.

Posted April 20, 2020 by Lily B in Reviews / 27 Comments

Sophia Rose Review: 21-Day Arthritis Diet Plan: Nutrition Guide and Recipes to Fight Osteoarthritis Pain and Inflamation by Ana Reisdorf, M.D.21-Day Arthritis Diet Plan: Nutrition Guide and Recipes to Fight Osteoarthritis Pain and Inflammation by Ana Reisdorf RD, Karen Frazier
Series: Standalone
Published by Rockridge Press on May 5, 2020
Genres: Non-Fiction, Health, Nutrition
Pages: 176
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Rating:4.5 Stars

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Managing arthritis inflammation and pain with a diet plan and tasty recipes
Millions of Americans suffer from osteoarthritis, but few understand the link between their diet and their pain and inflammation. The 21-Day Arthritis Diet Plan gives you essential information on the root causes of the condition and high-risk foods to avoid, plus a specialized Mediterranean-style diet plan that’s quick, easy, and delicious.
From Garlic Steak with Warm Spinach Salad to Balsamic-Glazed Pork Tenderloin, this nutritious arthritis diet plan and cookbook can get you on the path to gaining strength and improving your symptoms by eating smarter and healthier every day. It’s not just good for arthritis―it’s also a practical plan for anyone looking to lose weight and feel better.
The 21-Day Arthritis Diet Plan delivers:
All-in-one―This three-week meal plan includes sample menus, meal prep tips, and shopping lists.75 recipes―Savor lots of delicious dishes designed to ease arthritis symptoms.Food facts―Discover helpful information on the best nutrients and daily supplements for managing arthritis.
Get soothing relief from arthritis pain and inflammation―one healthy, tasty recipe at a time.

What foods will help mitigate the pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis? The 21-Day Arthritis Diet Plan addresses this in an easy-read easy follow plan that addresses making this a life-long diet change.

The 21-Day Arthritis Diet Plan begins by overviewing osteoarthritis, explaining the connection between arthritis and nutrition along with other influences like sleep and exercise, and then hones in on the nutrients necessary to alieve the effects of arthritis. It goes into superfood and the details of the Mediterranean Diet that works powerfully against pain and inflammation as well as weight loss that will turn the tide on the effects of arthritis and even work toward OA prevention.

The bulk of the book is the three week menu plan, shopping lists, and tips to make the menus work. Then the menu plan is followed by the recipes organized by meal. A helpful detailed index in the back makes it easy to find by ingredient. There is also a helpful bibliography list of resources and references.

I picked this book up because, though I personally do not suffer from arthritis, I have a half dozen older family members who do. Some have OA and others Rheumatoid Arthritis. I thought I would check this out and see if it might supplement what they are already doing and I think it will.

But, I did get something personal out of the book because by following the diet, it indicates that this will help prevent OA. So, why not try it out for myself? Plus, I already participate, moderately, in the Mediterranean diet and so I had the food supplies to make some of the dishes recommended in the menu. I proceeded to did a week of the suggestions. The overnight oats with dried cranberries (I subbed in dried cherries), the Eggs Florentine Omelet with Avocado Hollandaise, Shrimp and Broccoli salad, Rice and Bean burritos, and of course, hummus and veggies. It was good for flavor and variety. I did lose two pounds (though this isn’t meant to be a weight-loss diet) which was great, but I asked myself the list of questions the author posed for a self-eval and didn’t see much of difference after only a week though I did feel a rise in my energy level.

In summary, this helped me understand how diet can affect osteoarthritis prevention and alleviate some of the pain and inflammation that troubles the quality of life for those with osteoarthritis. I have friends and family who struggle with OA and I think this is a good resource to put in their hands. It is also a good book for those concerned they might struggle as they get older with OA. It’s written for anyone even those who know little and I can recommend it even for those who simply want to get a healthier eating regime going.


About Sophia Rose

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.



Review: The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant by Kayte Nunn

Posted April 18, 2020 by Lily B in Reviews / 17 Comments

Review: The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant by Kayte NunnThe Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant by Kayte Nunn
Series: Standalone
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on March 3, 2020
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 400
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Rating:3.5 Stars

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A cache of unsent love letters from the 1950s is found in a suitcase on a remote island in this mysterious love story in the tradition of the novels by Kate Morton and Elizabeth Gilbert

1951. Esther Durrant, a young mother, is committed to an isolated mental asylum by her husband. Run by a pioneering psychiatrist, the hospital is at first Esther’s prison but soon surprisingly becomes her refuge. 
2018. Free-spirited marine scientist Rachel Parker embarks on a research posting in the Isles of Scilly, off the Cornish coast. When a violent storm forces her to take shelter on a far-flung island, she discovers a collection of hidden love letters. Captivated by their passion and tenderness, Rachel determines to track down the intended recipient. But she has no idea of the far-reaching consequences her decision will bring.
Meanwhile, in London, Eve is helping her grandmother, a renowned mountaineer, write her memoirs. When she is contacted by Rachel, it sets in motion a chain of events that threatens to reveal secrets kept buried for more than sixty years.
With an arresting dual narrative that immediately captivates the reader, The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant is an inspirational story of the sacrifices made for love.

In 1951, a young mother by the name of Esther Durrant is committed to a mental hospital on an island by her husband, after suffering a tragic loss of her baby.

In 2018, a young, free-spirited marine scientist by the name of Rachel Parker get stranded on an island, after a violent storm that leaves her hurt and without a boat. There, Rachel gets a hold of old hidden love letters that leaves her determined to find the intended recipient of the letters, not realizing the consequences they might bring.

I thought the story was lovely, despite a bit slow-moving. I enjoyed following Rachel’s story and her time on the island, as well as the endearing cast of characters that she encounters during her time there.

I did feel a bit of a disconnect between Rachel and the love interest. Maybe from the lack of development. It all felt a bit rushed, and although I did buy Rachel’s eventual infatuation with the doctor that was helping, I still felt like the story seemed to lack something in context. I did enjoy reading about the time period and couldn’t help but feel a variety of emotions during the story, including anger for what Esther’s husband did to her and sadness over some of the other character outcomes.

The writing and the story weaving was quite lovely and I’m looking forward to more from this author.

This book deals with PTSD, Mental Illness, loss, suicide, self-harm and prejudice.



Review Round Up #13

Posted April 16, 2020 by Lily B in Reviews / 15 Comments

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review Round Up #13Heartbreak Warfare by Heather M. Orgeron, Kate Stewart
Series: Standalone
Published by Self-published on November 1, 2018
Genres: Military Romance, New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 381
Format: Kindle Edition
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Buy on Amazon
Rating:4.5 Stars

Remember when we parted ways in Germany? It was the day I broke your heart. What you didn't know was that I was breaking mine too.
I thought they’d be enough–my husband and my son. That I’d get home and everything would go back to the way it was . . .
Before the war. Before the ambush. Before you.
But, no matter how hard I try, I can’t erase the trauma we shared. I can’t seem to forget the way my heart beat in time with yours.
The truth is I’m lost without you.
I thought the nightmare was over when they pulled us from that hole in the ground, but nothing could have prepared me for the war I’d face at home.I know it’s selfish of me to ask, but, please, I have to see you one last time. . .
All my love, Scottie

I went into this book blindly on the whim. I wanted something different. I want a romance, but I wanted something I’ve never read before. I stumbled onto Heartbreak Warfare and boy did this book take me by surprise.

Emotional, dark and gritty are a few terms that come to mind. The romance is angsty, the characters are amazing and well fleshed out. The two authors take you on a rollercoaster ride from the beginning of how Briggs and Scottie got thrown together, through the horrors they have undergone and how these events eventually frame them as a person.

This romance is not for the faint of heart. It comes with its own trigger warnings, including abuse, cheating, and rape. Some parts were hard to read, some parts were downright heartbreaking and hard to get through. I thought the two authors did an amazing job crafting the story, crafting the characters that felt so real you couldn’t help but care for them. I found myself on the edge glued to the pages wondering how everything would turn out.

I love how the romance was handled, I love the way the authors handled everything. It really makes me want to explore what else I missed from them.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review Round Up #13Dear Ava by Ilsa Madden-Mills
Series: Standalone
Published by Self-published on February 1, 2020
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 376
Format: Kindle Edition
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Buy on Amazon

WSJ bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills delivers a gripping enemies-to-lovers, secret admirer, high school romance.
The rich and popular Sharks rule at prestigious, ivy-covered Camden Prep. Once upon a time, I wanted to be part of their world--until they destroyed me.
The last thing I expected was an anonymous love letter from one of them.
Please. I hate every one of those rich jerks for what they did to me. The question is, which Shark is my secret admirer?
Knox, the scarred quarterback.Dane, his twin brother.Or Chance, the ex who dumped me. . .
Dear Ava,Your eyes are the color of the Caribbean Sea.Wait. That's stupid.What I really mean is, you look at me and I feel something REAL.
It's been ten months since you were here, but I can't forget you.I've missed seeing you walk down the hall.I've missed you cheering at my football games.I've missed the smell of your hair.
And then everything fell apart the night of the kegger.
Don't hate me because I'm a Shark.I just want to make you mine.Still.

Mature Content. Recommended for 18+.
A short excerpt of Dear Ava appeared in Team Player 2. (No longer available) This all-new, full-length version is 376 pages and 100,000 words.

An enemies-to-lovers, secret admirer, older high school romance.

Ava used to want to fit into the Sharks world, a bunch of rich and popular kids who ruled Camden Prep until one party that ruined her.

No one believes her when she says she was sexually assaulted, and the last year was supposed to be her way of taking back control of her life, revenge and finding out who hurt her. And then there’s Knox and a secret admirer love letter that keeps appearing in her locker.

Dear Ava, is another gritty romance that tackles sexual assault and how some victims that don’t remember, because she had been drugged, may cope.

Ava and Knox drew me in. I love the whirlwind of emotions between them that had me hooked. I loved the banter. I loved the tension. I thought Ava was a strong character despite everything that life threw at her and I admired her strength and resilience in a world that was stacked against her. I admired Knox and what he did for her as well. I thought the two were great characters.

The characters in this book are both 18 years old, it’s not a high school romance for the younger audiences.