Time for another round of Yvonne’s Shorties! Since I have a huge pile of backlog reviews of the books I read during my break, I will be featuring an extra book in my shorties posts until I’ve caught up. This time around a romance read from a favorite author that I loved, a thriller by another favorite author that somehow didn’t work for me and another romance read that also worked for me.


Title: Running Barefoot
Author: Amy Harmon

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
First published: April 5th 2021
Finished reading: December 31st 2021
Pages: 443

“Like a shoe that has lost its mate is never worn again, I had lost my matching part and didn’t know how to run barefoot.”


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Amy Harmon is one of my absolute favorite authors and I’m finally making my way through her final pending backlist titles… Running Barefoot is actually her debut and I’ve been meaning to read it for a long time now. I was a bit concerned it wouldn’t live up to expectations, but I shouldn’t have worried as it turned out to be such a beautiful and thought-provoking story! True, it took me a little while to fully warm up to it, I wasn’t a fan of the religious mentions and parts of the plot did feel a bit slow, but as a whole I still loved my time with Josie and Samuel. It was such a pleasure to see both Josie and Samuel evolve and grow up over time, and both their friendship and the incorporation of music were wonderful to see. The story takes place over the span of ten years, in which you will see lots of changes and both sad and more happy moments. I loved the incorporation of the Native American culture elements as well, and as a whole Running Barefoot was definitely another success for me.


Title: Welcome To Wherever You Are
Author: John Marrs

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: April 29th 2015
Finished reading: January 3rd 2022
Pages: 401

“People are like the tide. Some come into your life and bring things you’ll only need for a short time, and others will bring things you’ll carry forever. But some are just destined to disappear.”


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It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of John Marrs‘ books and I made a promise myself to finally work my way through his final pending backlist titles… Starting with Welcome To Wherever You Are (republished last year as The Vacation). I fully expected to love my time with this story, as I always seem to do so with his books, but somehow this particular one didn’t work at all for me. I’m not sure if it’s just me being in a strange reading mood lately, but the fact is that I struggled considerably with Welcome to Wherever You Are and I was more than ready for things to be over even before hitting the halfway mark. Part of this probably has to do with the fact that there is an overload over different characters and POVs to keep track of, and the story is constantly switching between these POVs. To make things worse, most chapters are supershort and there are also a lot of flashbacks to the past situation of the different characters… Making you feel like your head is spinning on overdrive. I don’t mind multiple POVs when it’s done well, but in this case it only gave me a headache. The fact that I didn’t like any of the main characters and didn’t really care what would happen to them didn’t help either… And most of the plot twists were rather over the top and unrealistic. That said, I did enjoy the travel and hostel part of the plot, as it really spoke to me as a former hostel receptionist and traveler. I have to be honest though and say that Welcome To Wherever You Are is by far my least favorite John Marrs to date.


Title: The Little Brooklyn Bakery
(Romantic Escapes #2)
Author: Julie Caplin

Genre: Contemporary, Romance
First published: May 25th 2018
Publisher: HarperImpulse
Finished reading: January 5th 2021
Pages: 272

“Brave is when you’re scared, and you still do something, when you face your fear. That’s real bravery.”


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I’ve been looking forward to continue this series after recently reading and enjoying the first book, and I’m happy to say that The Little Brooklyn Bakery was another success for me. I always love a food and travel element in my stories, and in this series we get both, which is a bonus. This time around, we travel to New York and spend time in Brooklyn, and the descriptions really help making the setting come alive. The many food descriptions made me crave cake and has made me want to bake something myself… And I really like that the main character Sophie is actually a food journalist. I also really liked Bella as a character and Todd is pretty fun too; most of the side characters are great as well. I could have done without the cheating element and the sometimes present love triangle vibe though, but that is mostly a personal pet peeve. The Little Brooklyn Bakery also has a lot more sexy scenes involved that the first book, which isn’t something I enjoy… But thankfully the rest of the story (mostly) made up for it. The ending was also a bit abrupt, but as a whole this sequel was a success for me and I’m looking forward to read the next one.


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