The Expat Diaries Series Review

The Expat Diaries

By Michele Gorman

There are 3 books in this series and I read them all! Overall, I would give the series 3 out of 5 chickadees singing. Hope you enjoy the reviews.

The Expat Diaries: Single in the City

I have loved a lot of Michele Gorman’s books, but this one was just okay. There wasn’t a clear plot and the book skipped over big parts and just briefly explained them from a future point. It was odd. 

I did enjoy the main character. She was clumsy and awkward, yet mostly sweet. There were times where she annoyed me by being shallow or careless. I liked reading about an American woman trying to make it in London. She met some interesting and varied men and there were some funny moments. I was quite happy with the man she ended up with. I do want to read the sequel, even if this book didn’t blow me away.

The Expat Diaries: Misfortune Cookie

I enjoyed this book more than the first one. It didn’t jump around as much and had a smoother plot. The main character has also matured. 

Hannah has moved to Hong Kong with her boyfriend, Sam. Unfortunately, he’s on project elsewhere. But lucky for Hannah, her best friend, Stacy, decides to move to Hong Kong, too! Hannah gets a great new job in the fashion industry.

I really enjoyed reading about Hannah’s job. Her new boss and friends are awesome. Hannah struggles with the long-distance aspect of her relationship, which is relatable. I wish she had been more honest and open with Sam, but her character is still developing. I also really liked reading about Hong Kong, as I know nothing about the area. This was a quick read and I eagerly started the third because I want to know what happens to Hannah! Overall, this was an improvement over the first book and an enjoyable read.

The Twelve Days of Christmas

A sweet conclusion to this series! Hannah is back with Sam and she believes he’s going to propose to her at Christmas. Hannah is in a panic remembering all the times she told little white lies to impress him. Does he know the real Hannah? Would he love her if he knew? Meanwhile, Hannah’s boss is dating her friend Stacy and trying to sell the company. 

Hannah was way overthinking things and not being open and honest again. It annoyed me after I thought she had matured more in the last book. However, I loved the ending to this story. I also liked the format as each chapter title went with the 12 days of Christmas song. I was honestly not sure how the story was going to end. I appreciate that this series hasn’t been predictable, which is a rarity in a chick lit. Everything is tied up nicely at the end, even with secondary characters. Overall, I would recommend this series to fans of travel chick lit.

Read More

The Travel Mishaps of Caity Shaw Series Review

The Travel Mishaps of Caity Shaw Series

By Eliza Watson

Genre: Chick Lit

I read book one and enjoyed it so much I had to quickly read the other two books in the series! There should be more books in the series coming out eventually. Check out my review of each book below.

Flying By The Seat of My Knickers (Book 1)

4/5 singing chickadees! I’m so glad I downloaded this book while it was free! It ended up being really good. Caity has just gotten out of an abusive relationship. She is desperately trying to become her own person and leave her fear behind. Her sister, Rachel, owns an event planning company and at the request of their mother, she hires Caity for a gig in Ireland. Caity doesn’t have much work experience and she’s trying not to embarrass Rachel, while hoping that they can get their sisterly relationship of the past back. Caity also finds out that their grandma was from a nearby town in Ireland. She is determined to find out why her grandma lied about her past.

This had similarities to a chick lit, but also dealt with the seriousness of moving past an abusive relationship. I really liked Caity and could empathize with her. We got to see how grow in this story. I will warn you that the book did end unfinished and you’ll have to keep reading the series for a satisfying conclusion. I liked the book so much, that I immediately purchased the second one!

Up The Seine Without A Paddle (Book 2)

4/5 singing chickadees! I really enjoyed the second installment in this series. These books are quick reads that keep your interest the entire time. Caity is working her second ever travel event in Paris. Declan, the one who recommended her and her possible love interest from the last book, is along as well. Caity learns more about event planning and is starting to grow in her confidence. Well, when she isn’t stuck playing nanny to the funeral director’s son. Meanwhile, Declan opens up about his past and Caity is wondering if she can trust him with her own story. She’s also trying to get up the confidence to tell her sister.

Caity annoyed me at certain parts in this book, with her desire to push Declan to open up more, while concealing her own past. She also overreacted to a lot of situations. Some of that was understandable with the relationship she just got out of. The first book’s summary gave me the impression that the series was a lot more focused on uncovering Caity’s grandmother’s history. That storyline takes more of a back burner than I had expected. However, these were minor complaints. I still really enjoyed this book. These are likable characters, the locations are interesting and detailed, and the pace is quick.

My Christmas Goose is Almost Cooked

5/5 singing chickadees! I’m happy to report that we finally find out about Caity’s grandma’s secrets in this book. Caity starts the book working another event with her sister, Rachel. They plan to go to Dublin to research their grandma’s past, but it turns out that only Caity is able to go. Declan volunteers to accompany her, as his family lives in the area. So Caity ends up meeting Declan’s family and trying to help all of them open up about and properly mourn Declan’s first love.

This was another enjoyable installment of the series. It’s fun to see Caity grow and become more confident with each book. I like that these books have hilarious escapades and romance, but also cover serious topics. I love the focus on family, too. I highly recommend you start the series soon so you can read this latest book around Christmastime.



Read More

The Prince Review

Do you love travel, mysteries, intrigue, cute guys, and spies? Then you will LOVE The Prince by Jillian Dodd!





Raised as an adept assassin at an elite, top secret academy for spies in training, X is at the top of her class. Determined to be the best in order to someday exact revenge against the shadowy man who murdered her mother, X will stop at nothing to make him pay. She pushes herself harder, and forces herself to be tougher, since nothing can get in the way of her ultimate personal goal- kill the bastard.


Shortly before graduation, the Dean of Blackwood Academy calls her into his study and offers her a mysterious envelope with a black x seal – a mission by the clandestine organization, Black X, an operation so covert that even the president of the United States does not really know of its existence.


Her challenge, should she choose to accept it, is to protect the Prince of Montrovia, and to ferret out where the threat on his life originated. And boy, is X up for the challenge! Finally, an opportunity presents itself to join the group that might finally allow her to hunt down her mother’s killer and make him pay.


To achieve her mission, she must first get close to the prince. An entire new identity is created for her- she now becomes the sexy and stylish Huntley Von Allister, a girl who recently found out that her “real” father was a billionaire, and that in addition to inheriting a boatload of money, she inherited a brother as well. “Ari” is actually her partner on this case, and the recently dead recluse as their unknown father is their perfect cover story.


The partners launch themselves into D.C. high society, with the hopes of forming friendships that will give them access to the prince. Their plan works, both of them sleeping their way a little bit closer to the royal they are charged to protect. Tumbling into the bed of an Olympic athlete/vice president’s son wasn’t exactly a chore, and if it gets Huntley nearer to her mark, then so be it.


With her wits and beauty, Huntley catches Prince Lorenzo’s attention nearly as soon as they arrive in the wealthy coastal country of Montrovia. As the two get closer, it becomes alarmingly difficult to remain emotionally unattached, as her training demands. Still, her swirling feelings don’t cloud her judgement badly enough to prevent her from stopping multiple assassination attempts on the prince’s life.


There’s no room on this mission for romantic nonsense, but all the expert training in the world couldn’t have prepared her for the emotions she’s feeling towards both the prince and the vice president’s son. As she hops from fast race cars to vast yachts, she fights to protect both the prince and her true identity as she desperately tries to uncover the truth before it’s too late.



Four out of five chickadees singing!


Bonus Points For:

Global politics done well

Kick ass female heroine who refreshingly thinks she’s beautiful and talented (we all know I love this type of heroine after my review of The Vampire Academy)

Believable shadowy government (non-government?) agency

Fast cars, yuppy yachts, gorgeous clothes and glittering jewels, and fancy-pants techy spy gadgets that I wish were real life (or are they already real life?!)

Settings that felt so real I wanted to reach out and touch fabrics or grip guns



Love triangle (sorry, not sorry, 98% of the time this kind of romantic trope bugs the crap out of me)

Less than fully developed secondary characters (X/Calliope/Huntley is the only character that I felt was fully fleshed out)

Maybe TOO much mystery behind the agency Huntley works for? I’m not sure if I’m annoyed because it is JUST the right amount, or because I can’t figure it out. It’s hard to say.

Unrealistic casual sex- I love me some sexy times, but in the beginning, it made Huntley sound like she enjoyed a varied sex life, and then she randomly wouldn’t (*spoiler!*) sleep with the prince even though she wanted to? Suddenly I felt like the author was forcing Huntley to do (or in this case, not do) something that felt inauthentic for her character.


Notes for Folks:

Story contains sexy times, violence, under-age drinking, gambling, etc. It would probably be best enjoyed by those 16 and older.


Read More

I Heart New York

I Heart New York

By, Lindsey Kelk

Genre: Chick lit, romance, travel

This book has been on my to-read list for a while. I think a friend suggested it or they wrote a good review on it. I’m not sure because it was a while ago. The book began with main character, Angela, being a bridesmaid at her best friend’s wedding when she discovers that her fiance is having an affair! Angela takes running from her problems pretty seriously and flies to New York! She doesn’t have any specific plans, but she ends up in a hotel where she meets a friend. That friend leads to getting a place to meeting two hot guys to writing for an online magazine about her New York experiences.

This book was pretty engaging. The big event at the beginning really draws you in. I have been to New York only once and I don’t think I went to any of the same places that Angela did, but I really enjoyed seeing New York and its magic through her eyes. She has a lot of interesting and fun experiences.

So why am I only giving this book three stars? This book was pretty unrealistic, which made it hard to relate to Angela. She meets a friend her first night in New York, even though all she does is check-in at a hotel. This friend takes her on as a project, almost literally. This friend has a friend who happens to have a connection at a huge magazine and gets Angela a job. Angela also meets two extremely desirable men while in New York, one of whom is a rock star. The other takes her to Tiffany’s on their second or third date. These kinds of things just don’t happen to normal people in a short amount of time.

If you’re looking for a light-hearted book with some romance and aren’t concerned about its realistic-ness, then this is a fun read. I wouldn’t mind reading the others in the series, but I don’t plan to seek them out.

Read More