Friday, November 13, 2020

So This Is Love by Laura Hile Book Review and Giveaway


“I am not romantic, you know. I never was.”

Newly escaped from a loathsome engagement of convenience, Charlotte Lucas has no interest in romance. More than ever, she is convinced that no man would—or could—love her. As companion to an aging aunt, Charlotte’s new life is as predictable as it is circumspect.

But then she is rescued from a robbery by her uncle’s heir, a masterful man who is disastrously handsome. Why has he remained as a guest in the house? Why is he so determined to draw Charlotte out and make her talk? And what of his invitation to visit his home by the sea?

Romance is not on the chart for Captain Jack Blunt. Never again will he be played for that kind of fool! He is ashore only to heal from an injury and see to business, nothing more. And yet the pointed disinterest of his cousin’s pert niece is intriguing. She is forthright, refreshingly honest—and altogether lovely. She will make a fine wife for one of his officers. But not, of course, for him.

So This Is Love is a joyride of a Regency, bringing whirlwind romance and happily-ever-after to Jane Austen’s staid and practical Charlotte Lucas.

Book: So This Is Love.  Author: Laura Hile

Genre: Historical Christian Romance; Regency Romance

Release Date: May 29, 2020


 I have a love and hate relationship with Jane Austin books. At times I found them to be boring and other times I found them magical, so I was looking forward to reading Laura Hile's book that is based on Jane Austen's books. "So This Is Love"  by Laura Hile is a great writer.  She takes us into Charlotte Lucas's life.  She ended her engagement and was sent to live with her aunt. She travels to the Allens with her maid and Johnny, her 12-year-old brother. They get held up by highwaymen. 

Captain Jack Lunt of the Royal Navy, comes to her rescue. Captain Jack Blunt loves her not just for her beauty but also for her beauty inside. 

Charlotte ran away from a rude man, Mr. Collins. He is always insulting Charlotte.  Captain Jack ends up teaching Mr. Collins how to treat women. Charlotte trusts Captain. 

I love how Hile made Charlotte not only beautiful but very smart and determined. She knows what she wants and is determined to get what she wants. She wasn't afraid to go against her societal norms. 

Hile did her research. Her descriptions were perfect. I could see the scenery, outfits, and customs of England in the 1800s. Her writing flowed very well. She put in many life lessons. You will see faith and love. 

The main message I got from this book is all about love. Love can hurt, make you feel lonely, and even at times make you laugh. You will know who your true love is and when you see him or she then holds them tight. Will there be a happily ever after? You will have to read "So This Is Love" to know. This is a great story filled with adventure and romance. I recommend reading it. 

I received a copy of this novel from the author. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own. 

Click here to get your copy!


Encourager. Believer. Author. Teacher. Friend.

By day, Laura Hile teaches at a Christian school. By night—or rather, in the early morning when she can think! —she writes Jane Austen and Regency romance with laughs and happy endings.

The comedy Laura comes by as a teacher. There’s never a dull moment with middle school students!

She enjoys gardening (she is a weed warrior!), choral singing, and having coffee with friends.

Laura lives in Beaverton, Oregon, with her husband and a collection of antique clocks. One day she hopes to add a cat or three.


In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Charlotte Lucas is stuck marrying the awful Mr. Collins. It is a prudent choice, given her age and circumstances, but still.

Generations of women readers have felt badly for her, including me. “No, no!” we want to shout. “The man’s a spineless braggart! Don’t marry him!”

Charlotte claims that she is not romantic. We don’t believe that for a minute. She simply hasn’t met the right man.

With an eye on the rugged seaside setting of the classic movie The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947), I decided to change all that. With two little words, I sent Charlotte’s story spinning from its Pride and Prejudice rails: What If?

What if, when Collins returns to Meryton to negotiate the settlement, his lustful thoughts overpower good sense? What if, before they are married, Collins gets handsy—and something within Charlotte snaps? What if she abruptly ends the engagement?

That’s what we would do in real life, right? We’d kick Collins to the curb!

What if, to escape gossip, Charlotte is sent to live with her father’s sister and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. Allen (borrowed from Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey). Mr. Allen’s heir is also a house guest, and thus we have a perfect opportunity for romance.

Although I intended to use The Ghost and Mrs. Muir’s Captain Gregg as a model, Captain Jack Blunt wasn’t having any. He strode onto the story’s quarterdeck as very much his own man. For one thing, he is Royal Navy (1812), not merchant marine. And for another, he is surprisingly devout. Although he has a gentleman’s beard like Gregg, he is blond.

If you’re thinking Chris Hemsworth in Thor, you’re getting the right idea.

Look, if our girl Charlotte is brave enough to give Collins the heave-ho, she deserves to meet a swoony hero, right?

Captain Blunt’s house by the sea in Dorset plays the role of Captain Gregg’s Gull CottageCliff House, and the cove it’s built above, almost become characters themselves as Charlotte and Jack share daily walks beside the sea. This book is filled with delicious banter between the two. Isn’t that our favorite thing about a romance?

So This Is Love is a swashbuckling, sweep-away Regency that is just plain fun to read. I think you’ll enjoy it.


To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! 


Blog Stops

Through the Lens of Scripture, October 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 30

Labor Not in Vain, October 31

deb’s Book Review, October 31

Texas Book-aholic, November 1

Mary Hake, November 1

Inklings and notions, November 2

For Him and My Family, November 3

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, November 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 4

Beauty in the Binding, November 4

Connie’s History Classroom, November 5

Artistic Nobody, November 6 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Connect in Fiction, November 6

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 7

Pause for Tales, November 7

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 8

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 9

Emily Yager, November 9

She Lives To Read, November 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 11

Blossoms and Blessings, November 11

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 12

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 12

Friday, October 30, 2020

Pumpkin Carving Winner and Halloween Memories

I thought you might want to hear a little bit about some of my Halloween memories. Halloween, like other holidays, isn't the same when you are an adult. It's not as fun unless you have kids, but if you are 33 years old it isn't.  Since I have had more hours available in my schedule I have been going through my old boxes. I found some of Halloween memories. 

When I was in fourth and fifth grade they had a pumpkin contest. Grades 1st to 5th voted on them. 

I was so excited to be able to enter a pumpkin when I was in fourth grade. My mom and I spent hours the night before creating my pumpkin.  My mom is one creative person. We were a great pair.  

My first time entering was in fourth grade. I did a spider pumpkin. I still couldn't believe I won first place. 

My last year at my elementary school, fifth grade, I entered the contest again because I had so much fun making my pumpkin with my mom. This time we decided to make the pumpkin into a cat. It is hard to see in the photo, but we made a beanie baby black cat. We attached the Beanie Babies tag on its ear.  Beanie Babies at that time was hot and heavy. I still couldn't believe I won again first place. Being creative is so much fun and to be told your creation is awesome is a great feeling. 

My elementary school had a lot of fun Halloween activites.  My mom was incharge of our classroom parties. Our school did a costume parade where we would walk around in each classroom to show off our costumes. I was usually a princess and a cat. My mom always had the best costumes. One year I was so upset because I didn't see my mom and the party was about to start. My mom was never late to anything. I started crying in the hallway and my teacher came over said she is in the classroom.  I could not believe the scarecrow was my mom. I could not recognize her. She scared the crap out of me and she also made a mess. The straw stuffing kept spilling out all over the floor when she walked around.   By the end of the day she lost a lot of weight, aka straw. It was really funny.

I thought you might have a little fun seeing my pumpkins and my memories with Halloween at school. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Thicket Book #3 (Brambles Series) by Morgan Ray Book Review


Sidney's cursed. Two ghostly men stand before her. Choosing one will send the other to oblivion, but choosing neither will cause generations to suffer. . . .

Sidney died.
The end?
Oh, but this is a fairy tale, and the heroine can’t really die . . . can she?

Having been brought back to life by the Golden Dawn Coven, Sidney has vowed to turn from her succubus ways and end her incubus father, freeing herself to finally end the curse on her own terms. It would be so much easier, though, if her succubus side wasn’t constantly trying to make her kiss everyone. Along with the two ghosts from the curse, a beautiful pink-haired witch is after Sidney’s heart.

But things are changing . . . the coven has informed Sidney that because of her role in the curse she’s going to become an Apt—a messenger of the gods imbued with godly powers. She’ll be godly if she can defeat her demon side. This would be great news if it wasn’t tied to a ghastly vision of her own death at the hand of the incubus. Here’s hoping that visions can be wrong. . . .

In order to take hold of her destiny, Sidney is charged with exploring the Thicket—an otherworldly holding place for Reginald and Dorian, the ghosts attached to the curse. But Sidney's been warned: she could go crazy or get lost in the Thicket if she’s not careful. It’s a chance that Sidney has to take as the witches’ visions have shown that the Thicket holds the answer—not only to ending Sidney’s incubus father but maybe even to ending the curse without destroying either ghost.

Thicket is the fast-paced, heart-pounding ending to the Brambles Series, sure to leave readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page.

Are you ready for the end?



Thicket by Morgan Ray's third book of "Brambles" series. This cannot be read as a stand-alone. You need to read all three of them in order. 

I was a little discouraged with this one. I say this because at times it got really confusing. Will Sidney die? Will she end the curse? I am not going to tell you because I don't want to ruin it for you. This book contains more information on Aziah's character, which I loved. 

I love to see the kindness of Sidney and how she forgave and inspired people, even the ghosts and witches. it ties up the story very well. this series was so much fun to read. Like I said before if you liked Twilight, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Vampire diaries, and fairytales then you will love this series. 

The book is great for all ages. I can't stress it enough this was a fun series to read.  

(Author sent me the book for an honest opinion. This is my honest opinion) 


She is an author, a lover of creepy-cute things (you know sparkly skulls and black unicorns and candles that melt and show skeletons), and an all-around weirdo. She is the happiest when playing with her kitties or exploring a haunted cemetery. She loves YA books. If she could, she would live in one. Just not The Hunger Games. 

She just finished the Brambles Series and is working on a dystopian series that will release late 2020/early 2021. It's super dark and I'm super excited.

Brambles Series (Book One) by Morgan Ray - My Book Review

One curse. Two ghosts. Three days to make a terrible choice.  Join Sidney Philips on an adventure of self-discovery and ghostly mystery in this paranormal romance and Sleeping Beauty inspired series.


Nineteen-year-old Sidney Philips lives in the shadow of her grandmother, a wealthy socialite with towering expectations and a controlling hand. She’s expected to either find a respectable career and marry well, or to simply marry well. Believing she has no choice, Sidney walks the path laid out for her until a destined meeting with a terrifying ghost turns her world upside down. All at once, Sidney is at the center of a curse that has nothing (and everything) to do with her. She's faced with a terrible choice: marry a ghost and give up her freedom forever, or send him away and force generations to suffer. But, oh, if only it were that simple. Meddling hands have complicated the curse, making a difficult choice impossible. Now, two ghostly men stand before Sidney. Choosing one will mean oblivion for the other. The clock is ticking. A choice must be made. Someone must suffer.

Do you want to hear a ghost story?

"Brambles" is a coming-of-age story that’s a mash-up of paranormal romance and Sleeping Beauty lore; a delicious blend of drama and action with just a touch of humor that's perfect for both YA and NA (New Adult) readers.


"Brambles" is the first book in the "Brambles" series.  Morgan Kay takes us into Sidney/Aurora's journey with a scary curse she has to face. Her journey is very unique. Early on she finds an antique journal with a picture of a man in the 1800s in her grandmother's attic. Through this journal, she learns ghosts are real and so are the curse. 
Two men are fighting for her heart. These men, Reginald and Andrew are both ghosts. 
If she doesn't choose one to marry in 6 days one of them has to die for the curse to end. How can you choose one and watch the other die? I would want to kill myself, but they are already ghosts so do they die? Where do they go since they are already dead? 
I love the character Thorax. He is a talking cat who was sent by a witch to protect her and guide her on getting rid of the curse. 
Brambles have a lot of characters. Some characters have two different names, which can be a little confusing at times but are the same person such as Sidney who is also Aurora. 
Morgan Kay wrote Sidney's inner monologue is throughout the story making it hard at times to follow. The pacing of the book flows very well. Every chapter has twists and turns one after the other. 
Honestly, this is a unique fun story that reminds me of a few different fairy tales, Hungar Games, Twilight, and even Harry Potter. It is full of magic and curses. It also has death, life, romance,. The ending of "Brambles" has a huge cliff hanger. I highly recommend getting all the books ahead of time because you are going to want to find out what happened right away.  Warning!! These books are hard to put down. I highly recommend reading this series. 


She is an author, a lover of creepy-cute things (you know sparkly skulls and black unicorns and candles that melt and show skeletons), and an all around weirdo. She is the happiest when playing with her kitties or exploring a haunted cemetery. She loves YA books. If she could, she would live in one. Just not The Hunger Games. 

She just finished the Brambles Series and is working on a dystopian series that will release late 2020/early 2021. It's super dark and I'm super excited.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Something Worth Doing by Jane Kirkpatrick Book Review


In 1853, Abigail Scott was a 19-year-old school teacher in Oregon Territory when she married Ben Duniway. Marriage meant giving up on teaching, but Abigail always believed she was meant to be more than a good wife and mother. When financial mistakes and an injury forced Ben to stop working, Abigail becomes the primary breadwinner for her growing family. What she sees as a working woman appalls her, and she devotes her life to fighting for the rights of women, including their right to vote.

Following Abigail as she bears six children, runs a millinery and a private school, helps on the farm, writes novels, gives speeches, and eventually runs a newspaper supporting women's suffrage, Something Worth Doing explores issues that will resonate strongly with modern women: the pull between career and family, finding one's place in the public sphere, and dealing with frustrations and prejudices women encounter when they compete in male-dominated spaces. Based on a true story of a pioneer for women's rights from award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick will inspire you to believe that some things are worth doing--even when the cost is great.



The book begins with Abigail's family journey west from Illinois in 1852 and takes us to a few years before her death in 1915. Abigail "Jenny" Scott, a 20-year-old, who survived the trip across the Oregon Trail. Sadly, she lost her mother and brother. She is determined to be an independent woman who earns her own money. Once she arrived in Oregon she became a teacher. She loved it. Soon she finds herself dealing with an overbearing father who demands her to get married. A handsome man, Ben, who had a crush on her asks her for her hand in marriage. She was tired of dealing with her father so she agreed to marry him . They end up having two children. Both births had complications.  Every year the realization her dreams might not happen. Ben is not your common husband during that time period. He supports her learning. He took on the domestic duties and childcare while she travels around being a woman activist. She is fighting for women to have the right to vote and become equal to men. She worked alongside Susan B. Anthony. 

Kilpatrick did her research. Her details allow you to picture the harsh realities of life on the frontier land. the pace of the book was well done. Her books are usually based on people who make a difference in life. Abigail "Jenny" Scott is one of them, I highly recommend reading "Something Worth Doing"

"I received this book courtesy of Revell, for my honest opinion"


Jane is internationally recognized for her lively presentations and well-researched stories that encourage and inspire.

A New York Times Bestselling author, her works have appeared in more than 50 national publications including The Oregonian, Private Pilot, and Daily Guideposts. With more than 1.5 million books in print, her 30 novels and non-fiction titles draw readers of all ages and genders. Most are historical novels based on the lives of actual historical women often about ordinary women who lived extraordinary lives. Her works have won numerous national awards including the WILLA Literary Award, the Carol Award,, Will Roger's Medallion Award, and in 1996, her first novel, A Sweetness to the Soul, won the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage and National Cowboy Museum. Her novels have also been finalists for the Spur Award, the Oregon Book Award, the Christy, Reader's Choice, and the WILLA in both fiction and non-fiction. Several titles have been Literary Guild and Book of the Month choices and been on the bestsellers list for independent bookstores across the country, in the Pacific Northwest and the Christian Booksellers Association. Her books have been translated into German, Dutch, Finnish and Chinese.

Check Out her Website: CLICK HERE


Saturday, September 26, 2020

The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox - My Book Review


When Ivy Rose returns to her hometown to oversee an estate sale, she soon discovers that her grandmother left behind more than trinkets and photo frames --- she provided a path to the truth behind Ivy's adoption. Shocked, Ivy seeks clues to her past, but a key piece to the mystery is missing

Twenty-four years earlier, Harvey James finds an abandoned newborn who gives him a sense of human connection for the first time in his life. His desire to care for the baby runs up against the stark fact that he is homeless. When he becomes entwined with two people seeking to help him find his way, Harvey knows he must keep the baby a secret or risk losing the only person he's ever loved.

In this dual-time story from debut novelist Amanda Cox, the truth--both the search for it and the desire to keep it from others--takes center stage as Ivy and Harvey grapple with love, loss, and letting go.


"The Edge of Belonging" by Amanda Cox is such a heartwarming novel. This is Amanda Cox's debut novel. I wouldn't have known that because her book is so beautifully written. We are taken in Ivy Rose's life journey. "The Edge of Belonging," tells her story in dual timelines: present-day and her birth year 1994. Harvey James, a homeless male living in the woods finds a newborn baby, Ivy Rose. All his life he didn't know what it was like to be loved back. he is terrified but really wants to care for her. he turns to a local church to get food diapers etc. Pastor Thom caught him. he gives Harvey a job at the church. He kept Ivy a big secret. Pearl, a grandma figure, took care of her while he is at work. We learn Pastor Thom and Miriam can't have kids and want to be foster parents. Ivy is determined to find out who her parents were. 

Amanda Cox did a great job of making each character relatable. It was easy to follow. There were Christian topics woven throughout the book. It is not a preachy book. Cox did a wonderful job with some rough topics such as abuse, sex trafficking, loss, and more. I love reading books with characters who are full of love and compassion with people. I highly recommend reading this book!! 

"I received this book courtesy of Revell, for my honest opinion"


Before becoming a stay-at-home parent, Amanda spent her time counseling children, families, and individuals through life’s challenging moments. Now she uses those same skills to develop layered characters and stories, bringing them on a journey of hope and healing. A journey she hopes her readers experience in their own lives as they read.

A few of her favorite things are the sanctuary of the great outdoors, the feeling of pen on paper, the sound of her children’s laughter, and exploring new places with her husband of 15 years. (Oh, let’s not forget good fiction and good coffee. She’s addicted to both.).

Check out her website at: Click Here

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Book Review on Rachelle Dekker's book Nine


Zoe Johnson spent most of her life living in the shadows, never drawing attention to herself, never investing in people or places. But when a wide-eyed, bedraggled teenager with no memory walks into the diner where Zoe works, everything changes. Now, against her better judgment, Zoe who has been trying to outrun her own painful memories of the past, finds herself attempting to help a girl who doesn't seem to have any past at all. The girl knows only one thing: She must reach a woman in Corpus Christi, Texas, hundreds of miles away, before the government agents who are searching for her catch up to them. 


"Nine" by Rachelle Dekker is a sequel to "The Girl Behind the Red Rope". It can be read alone.  I am finding it hard to write my review because I don't want to give any spoilers out. "Nine" is full of twists and turns. The action started in the very first chapter. A mystery girl, Lucy, is running away from a group of men with guns. She enters the diner where Zoe Johnson works. Zoe ends up trying to help Lucy get her memory back. Lucy only remembers is she must reach a woman in Corpus Christi, Texas hundreds of miles away before the government agents get her. While Zoe is helping Lucy we learn about her past and the horrid things she went through. Then there is Seeley an agent with a complicated past. 

Rachelle Dekker wrote the book alternating from third to first person. We get Zoe's perspective and Lucy's perspective. She did a great job of putting some really inspirational life realization meaning. Here are a few of them. 

Zoe and Lucy realize that "it takes love to break chains of past, our past is like programming that makes us who we are, but we can tell ourselves a new story as we learn and embrace the new normal."

Lucy realizes. "I was more than a weapon because I had love, Deep love, the kind that was powerful enough to change the world." 

"Are we who the world says we are -- or can we change our story and be something more?"

The key to change is love. 

The book was entertaining, but it also makes you think about life and reality. It's an emotional story. it truly gets you thinking. I want to let you know "Nine" has a lot of violence, gun violence, torture, and murder. If you get triggered by any of this I would suggest not reading it. The theme of the book is, "The Key to Change is Love. 

"I received this book courtesy of Revell, for my honest opinion"


The oldest daughter of "New York Times" bestselling author Ted Dekker, Rachelle Dekker, was inspired early on to discover truth through the avenue of storytelling. She writes full time from her home in Nashville, where she lives with her husband, Daniel, and their son, Jack.  Check out her website at: Click Here 

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Below Deck Mediterranean Season 5 Review

If you haven't been up on your Season 5 Below Deck Mediterranean then go watch it before reading my comments and review.  I highly recommend watching Below Deck Mediterranean on Bravo!!

Captain Sandy and the crew are voyaging around the beautiful island of Mallorca, Spain, on a 184-foot mega-yacht "The Wellington" according to Bravo is the largest in Below Deck history.  Captain Sandy had a rough sea on board. 

The Captain had to get rid of 3 crew members so far. I believe there is only one more episode left, so hopefully no more firing. 

Season 5 Below Deck Mediterranean is one of my favorite seasons of the Below the Deck series because there are women running the boat. Finally!! 


"Voyaging around the beautiful island of Mallorca, Spain, on the 184-foot mega yacht “The Wellington,” the largest in Below Deck history, the crew encounters choppy waters trying to navigate everything from heartbreaks and power struggles to challenges with maritime law. As these yachties work to conquer each charter, they struggle to set aside their differences, forcing Captain Sandy to make career-defining decisions that challenge the group in more ways than one.

A rarity in the yachting world, Captain Sandy’s crew is led by two female heads of department: Hannah leads the interior, while Malia oversees the exterior crew in the most dramatic season yet. Chief Stew Hannah hopes for smooth sailing when it comes to her high standards with the crew and service, but her leadership is challenged like never before. Embattled by a defiant stew, tensions escalate when the team takes on uncompromising guests. Malia returns in a new role as Bosun and works hard to gain respect from her fellow deckhands, who challenge her position and test her patience.

In the galley, Kiko takes pride in presenting dishes that are as flavorful as they are beautiful but finds himself in deep waters when charter guests present a set of unthinkable requests. Hailing from a small village in Northeast Italy, Lara is an experienced stew. Always prepared to confront any issues head-on, she is not afraid to express her opinion, which does not sit well with everyone in the crew. Previously working on three smaller yachts, third stew Jessica is ecstatic to join the team and experience working on a mega yacht. However, she lands in hot water when she mixes work and play. As former captain on a smaller boat, Pete joins the crew as lead deckhand, and finds that reporting to his supervisors is more challenging than he anticipated. Quickly falling in love with the yachting industry and its adventurous lifestyle, Alex is ready to tackle the charter and bring his “wicked smart Bostonian” sense of humor on deck. After overcoming a difficult past, Robert is looking for a fresh start by joining the deck crew, until an unexpected romance takes him for a bumpy ride." 

Below Deck Meditterean's website: CLICK HERE 



Hannah Ferrier was really different this season. She didn't seem so angry. She was calm, kind, and a workable leader.  In previous seasons, she usually was screaming at everyone telling them they weren't doing anything right. The way she handled Lara was perfect. She dealt with Lara first, but eventually after trying so many different ways she took her to the Captain. Captain saw Lara's behavior and fired her. Lara was like figures on a chalkboard. She should have been let go by the end of the first episode. She was so very annoying. 

Jessica is too busy with guys, especially Pete, then doing her job. Also, it didn't help that she broke her finger. Hannah is stuck with doing everything until they hire a new Second Stew. I love the episode of Captain Sandy telling Hannah they found a new Second Stew. Hannah's face was amazing when Captain said, "Bugsy." I don't remember why they ended up hating each other so much but I felt really bad for Hannah especially when Captain Sandy was rubbing Bugsy's table decor in her face. Hannah knows she hates doing table decor and it isn't her strong skill, but still, it isn't very nice of her to shove that in Hannah's face. 

Captain Sandy and Kiko the ChefChef Kiko has the most adorable face. He was doing such an amazing job after the first charter. He did a 7-course dinner for 12 people. That is 84 dishes and he nailed it. He got hit hard with the Vegas dinner. It was really bad and hard to watch.  He has never been to Vegas so he turns to Hannah for help with the menu. That wasn't the best idea, he should have just done it on his own and not have asked Hannah for help. 

Getting fired is really hard but to be fired in the middle of a charter and in the middle of the dinner with all your colleagues around is a nightmare.  I was mad at Captain Sandy for the way she handled the situation. Hannah felt like it was her fault. Chef Kiko and Hannah were really tight. Captain Sandy told her not to feel bad because "he" is the chef, not her. A good chef wouldn't turn to a stewardess asking what to cook. The producers most likely didn't fight for him to stay on board because he was boring.  He never was crazy wasted, didn't sleep with anyone on board, didn't scream at anyone in the kitchen.  

Ben has always been my favorite chef on the Below Deck series. I was hoping they would bring him back on the boat to take over Kiko's position, instead, they turned to Malia's boyfriend Tom Checketts. His food looked amazing. His food had class and elegance to it.  Kiko was a new chef and was learning. He needs to gain more experience. However, I wasn't happy with how Sandy treated Kiko.  

Another thing I was upset about was the way they got rid of Hannah. Malia is power-hungry.  I am not a huge fan of her. Don't get me wrong, Malia did an awesome job managing her department. She also helped with other departments when they were short-handed. She stepped up to the plate to impress Captain Sandy and she did a great job of doing that. What I don't like about Malia is she doesn't care about people all she cares about is impressing Captain Sandy and following the yachting rules. Hannah didn't want to move into the bunk with Bugsy. Malia stressed the yachting rules about boyfriend/girlfriend is working on the boat they get a bunk together. There were only 2 charters and they will be done.  This pissed Malia off. The next minute she goes to Captain Sandy about Hannah having drugs on board. She took a picture of it. Captain Sandy had to pull Hannah in and question her about it. She had valium and a CBD pen for her anxiety. Hannah told her this is a prescription from her doctor.  Captain Sandy wanted to collect them to see if there is a doctor on them. Captain Sandy panic thining she might dump it down the toilet. Captain Sandy walked in on her when she was going to the bathroom. This made her really mad. Hannah was done. She went to the deck and was on the phone. Captain Sandy tries to talk to her.  She was basically firing her again. Captain told her she is a risk. Hannah told her she has anxiety.  It was stressed her brain needs to be clean and away just in case something or someone gets hurt. Hannah stressed she didn't take any and then she walked away. 

Their conversation went something like:

Captain Sandy: You don't think I like you?

Hannah: no

Captain: Then I would have fired you on season 1, 2 and 3. I care about you.

Hannah: I just want my bags.

Captain: Fine whatever we are done.

This makes me mad because Captain Sandy put a negative message about anxiety.  She made it seem like a person who has severe anxiety are bad people and can't do their jobs.  Why isn't she yelling at the rest of the crew for getting drunk? Most of the time the crew gets drunk and in the late morning have the charter guests arrive. It was not fair treatment. Just saying.  

I would love to work with Bugsy. She compliments her other stews and is really organized. She also makes a killer table arrangement. Bugsy looks like she loves her job whereas Hannah was following the motion of the job. Aesha Scott brought energy and excitement back into the boat.  

This makes me so sad because Hannah and Kate are my favorite Cheif Stews and they both have retired from yachting.  I would love to see Kate working for Captain Sandy for one season. Hannah won't be back because she had a baby. 

The show has lots of drama, drunk guests, romance, arguments, and more. It is a fun show to watch. It like a drunk soap opera. 


Captain Sandy: (Captain) A Fort Lauderdale native with over three decades of yachting experience under her belt, Captain Sandy is one of the most respected captains in the industry. Sandy knew she wanted her career to revolve around the ocean from a very young age and was not discouraged when she discovered yachting to be a male-dominated field. Knowing the difficulties that come with leading an entire team while providing 5-star service, she makes it her mission to know everything and every department on the boat. As the crew travels around the island of Mallorca this season, Sandy attempts to keep the mood light, often joking with the crew. Still, she is not afraid to crack down on insubordination and be the tough boss she needs to be, in order to provide guests with the best charter experience.

Hannah Ferrier: ( Cheif Stewardess) A Sydney, Australia native, Hannah returns this season as Chief Stewardess keeping her focus on interior decor. Having developed a thick skin growing up, she uses this to her advantage when tackling the needs of demanding guests on board. Goal-oriented and determined, Hannah’s work ethic and charm are unparalleled. After a sporadic European excursion inspired her to sell all her possessions to pursue yachting, she quickly rose up the ranks to Chief Stew. With almost a decade of experience, she firmly manages her stews while still being the life of the party. As much as she tries to avoid it, however, drama always seems to follow her. With a surplus of big personalities this season, only time will tell if Hannah can endure the scrutiny.

Malia White: (Bosun) A Below Deck Mediterranean veteran, Malia is challenged with more responsibilities when she returns this season as Bosun. Known for being involved in a heartbreaking love triangle in the past, her triumphant return is marked with more experience as she continues to climb the ranks. Malia is more ready than ever to jump in and assert herself in her new leadership role. Comfortable in warm waters, she is blunt, outspoken, and quick to speak her mind. Growing up with five older brothers set the tone for her adventure-seeking, active lifestyle. A certified divemaster, Malia has backpacked the world, even teaching scuba and water sport lessons throughout the Bahamas and Hawaii. Never shy about making her mark in a male-dominated field, Malia rose through ranks on superyachts since her last time working with Captain Sandy, and now has her Captain’s License.

Hindrigo "Kiko" Lorran: (Chef) Brazilian-bred Kiko is spicing things up in the galley this season. Always one to thrive on variety and spontaneity in his life, he finds that his current role best combines his passions for yachting and cooking. Kiko, who considers himself a "rustic chef," has worked across the globe, from Barcelona to Cape Town to the Amazon River. With over 10 years of experience traveling the world, he has mastered the art of international cuisine. Being fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, and English has helped him become a renowned chef and yachtie. Manning decks out at sea and catching waves on his surfboard inspired him to publish The Surfer's Cookbook in 2016. Seasoned in his craft, he enjoys creating a wide-range of beautiful yet flavorful dishes, from sushi and ceviche to hearty international fares. 

Lara Flumiani: (Stewardess) Having entered the yachting industry by accident but quickly falling in love, Italian native Lara has been steadily climbing the ranks for 10 years. After jumping around as a stew for some time, she finally got her chance to thrive as Chief Stew on a small yacht. Lara never thought she would be a world traveler, but has managed to sail her way through Mallorca, Corsica, and Phuket. This season, Lara’s laid-back nature and eye for detail give her an edge as a stewardess. She does not hold back when confronting drama head-on and can be considered quite the hothead. She is not afraid to lose her cool if a fellow crew member fails to meet expectations. With endless love for culture, Lara takes full advantage of her changing scenery, hopping off-board to party and go sightseeing any chance she gets.

Jessica More: (Stewardess)A child of divorced parents who grew up in Florida and Southern California, Jessica spent her youth surfing at the beach where her love of the ocean was born. Before selling her belongings to work her first charter, she worked a multitude of jobs: slinging drinks at a Las Vegas strip club, working in the music industry in Los Angeles, and even dabbling into real estate. Despite her varied resume, she excelled at every job she tried. When the "real world" seemed too daunting, Jessica turned to yachting. She owes her ability to remain calm to her first stewardess job with a skeleton crew of three. Jessica is known for her laid-back demeanor and can handle a great deal of drama – until she feels disrespected. She approaches each charter with an open mind, but has no problem dealing with confrontation if necessary. Jessica hopes to find romance on board this season.

Pete Hunziker:  (Deckhand) was the quintessential all-American boy growing up. The youngest of three brothers in his middle-class household, Pete always fought to stand up for himself and stand out, which led to his passion for bodybuilding, football, and wrestling. While working at Domino’s as a sophomore in high school, he was introduced to a retired U.S. Navy Seal who taught him everything there was to learn about boating and life. His life took a quick turn at 19, when he fathered a child with a woman he barely knew. When his son was two-weeks-old, Pete became ill and fell into a six-week coma. As soon as he was cleared, he returned to work to support his new baby. Eight years later – when he is not working or taking care of his son – he is known as "Party Pete" and anyone can assume he is either on the beach or at pool party as he resides in the Miami heat. "Party Pete" turns to dance to burn off the stress of back-to-back charters. This licensed U.S Coast Guard is ready to bring the energy on deck this season.

Alex Radcliffe : (Deckhand) Born and raised in Massachusetts, Alex was raised by his single mother in a blue-collar community. His upbringing taught him a strong work ethic. He found his way into the yachting world through a friend who worked in the industry and instantly fell in love with the adventurous lifestyle and gorgeous destinations yachting had to offer. Although he initially employed a "fake it 'til you make it" mentality, Alex is a quick learner and worked his way up the ladder. He works each charter with pride, and has his sights set on eventually becoming a captain. Working as a deckhand this season, Alex brings his confidence – and a dash of New England humor – to any situation. Admittedly stubborn and a shameless flirt, this life of the party works as hard as he plays.

Robert Westergaard: (Deckhand) A native of South Africa, Robert is eager to learn the ropes with the deck crew. After losing his father at a young age and being separated from his mother, Robert found it difficult to steer clear of trouble with little guidance. He eventually launched a career as a professional model to pay off his mother’s debt and support his sister. For nine years, he traveled the world working with prestigious fashion houses. When his mother passed, Robert turned to the sea for healing. A thrill-seeker with a passion for travel and mechanics, he soon found his way to yachting. With a few charters behind him, this heart-throb has respect for workplace hierarchy and attributes most problems on board to a lack of communication. He is known for being dependable, honest, and trustworthy. Robert is excited to try his hand with the team in Spain and hopes to find adventure this season.

Christine 'Bugsy' Drake: (Stewardess to Cheif Stewardess) Born in South Africa, Bugsy has six years of yachting experience under her belt. She earned the title of Chief Stewardess during her travels throughout the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and the Atlantic. This season, she joins the crew in the Second Stew position with fewer responsibilities to juggle. Back on board, Bugsy is looking for redemption while also hoping to find both fun and romance. Best known for her bubbly personality and passion for planning theme parties, Bugsy has no issue speaking her mind when things go awry.

Tom Checketts: (Chef)Born and raised in the UK, Tom knew from an early age he wanted to pursue a career in culinary arts. With both parents as chefs and a family of food lovers, he naturally gravitated towards cooking. During his studies, he decided to train as a pastry chef and spent several years working in the UK’s finest restaurants, including Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea. With a desire to see the world, he packed his bags and traveled across Europe working in the French Alps, Switzerland, Austria and Portugal. As his love for food and adventure only continued to grow, he joined the yachting industry and has not looked back since. With 9 years of experience working on yachts as a head chef, Tom joins the galley this season bringing his British charm, confidence and passion for food. Although he can struggle with authority at times, his beautiful and creative dishes speak for themselves. When he is not on charter, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend Malia White and racing in Ironman triathlons.

Aesha Scott: (Stewardess) Growing up with a big family in a small town in New Zealand, Aesha was raised to be loud and gregarious with a bawdy sense of humor. Though yachting was never on her radar, she was drawn to an adventurous lifestyle. Once she jumped into the industry, she was hooked and has not looked back since. With five years of yachting experience, Aesha returns this season as Second Stew. She originally began working as a deckhand before moving over to the interior. Though she loves both roles, she prefers working with guests and prides herself on always doing an impeccable job. Whether she is partying with her friends and fellow crew, diving, exploring various destinations, or flirting with the nearest deckhand, Aesha’s end goal is always the same: to have a good time.

So This Is Love by Laura Hile Book Review and Giveaway

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