The Backup Plan

Book Title: The Backup Plan, Giving Up or Moving On?
Author: Elsie McArthur
Author Type: Indie
Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Romance Heat Meter: 🌶🌶
Release Date: January 17, 2020
Recommend: Yes

Marsaili McKenzie’s current life finds her unlucky in the pursuit of her acting career and unlucky in love. Swearing off men to give her career one last go before she throws in the towel and gets a real job is the goal, but the universe has other plans when it plants two gorgeous men in her path. One is an actor named Euan, at the Glasgow theatre where she works as a barmaid, the other is her boss, Will. Marsaili must choose between men and careers, and in the process, she just might find herself instead.

I enjoyed this book completely and gave it 5 stars. This book is wonderful for readers who enjoy Women’s Fiction and Contemporary Romance. I especially loved that the narration was written with a lyrically Scottish approach that flowed beautifully. It is the first time I have read a book narrated like this, and it was a complete joy to read. It was a great break from the typical US translations I’m used to. Her book was defiantly an escape to Scotland.

Elsie McArthur is an indie author that created an entertaining story about a thirty-something woman trying to get her life back on track. It was hard to put down once I started reading. It kept me hooked, and my need to know what would happen next propelled me through the novel. Marsaili, Will, and Euan are all well-developed characters. I got to know each of them. Marsaili frustrated me and gained my respect as the character developed. The story is easy to read and flows well through the highs and lows as Marsaili experienced them.

All and all, a delightful must-read book!

Disclaimer: I purchased this book with my own funds. The author and/or publisher have no expectations of a positive review. My opinions are my own.

Stray Witch

Title: Stray Witch
Author: Eva Alton
Type: Indie Published
Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Romance Heat Meter: 🌶
Release Date: May 26, 2020
Recommended: Yes – Must Read!

Stray Witch is the debut novel of Eva Alton and is Book 1 in The Vampires of Emberbury series. The story follows Alba’s life. She’s trapped in a loveless marriage to a narcissist named Mark and meets Clarence, a vampire, that’s been sent to recruit her to work for The Cloister. He reveals what she really is. She’s no mere mortal. She’s a witch who comes from a long line of witches. Alba doesn’t believe, but she’s faced with a choice to continue in a toxic marriage or pretend to be this witch and get away from the dangerous man she lives with.

Alton has created a lovely story with twists and turns one doesn’t expect until you’re in them. I found myself rooting for Alba, angry at her, wanting to kick her in the backside and cheering her on. The story had me hooked from the first page to the last. The pace was executed very well. She writes with eloquence and paces the book perfectly where the highs are high and the lows are low. The author masterfully created Mark as an antagonist I loved to hate and Clearance, the broody vampire with a dark past was hard to resist and can’t seem to keep away from Alba. The plot, characters, and story arc are all fully developed and believable.

All and all I absolutely enjoyed this book from the storyline to the characters. I became emotionally invested in them and can’t wait to see what happens next when Book 2 in the series, Witch’s Mirror, publishes on December 5, 2020. I would recommend this read to anyone who loves the paranormal romance and magical realism genres and earned a 5 star rating from me and a 1 on the saucy romance meter.

Disclaimer: This book was purchased with my own funds. There is no expectation of a positive review from the author or publisher.

Garden Spells

Title: Garden Spells
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Type: Traditional
Star Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Saucy Romance Rating 🌶🌶
Release Date: August 28, 2007
Recommended: Yes

I stumbled upon this book last week and added it to my Goodreads TBR, then a friend of mine saw it and messaged me giving it high praise. So naturally I had to read it right away. The book…Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen.


The book was published just over a decade ago and is a story that falls within the categories of Women’s Fiction and Literary Fiction, however I believe you can include Contemporary Romance and Magical Realism on those genres. It’s a generational tale of the Waverley women with unexplained abilities living in Bascom, North Carolina. Some find them odd, some find them marvelous, and some are just down right jealous. It’s a story where a magnificent garden is envied by the town folk, finding love is possible even for a Waverely, and where there’s nothing out of the ordinary about filing a police report that includes an ornery apple tree scaring away a man with a gun.

The story was very entertaining. I found myself laughing out loud many times as my husband looked over and wonder what could be so funny in a book. I’m the book lover in our relationship. Allen weaved the lives of four Waverley women (two with love interests) so well I found myself hooked. I fell in love with the characters, who Allen also developed quite nicely. The story flowed with ease and the pacing from high action to normal action transitioned smoothly. Keep in mind this story is about two adult women, so there are some saucy scenes (which I am all for).

All and all I truly enjoyed this book and give it 5 STARS. The ending felt a little rushed to me. I would have liked to see the ending a bit more developed. However, it could just be me and my sadness of getting to the books end. I wasn’t ready to let them go. I found myself torn between the desire to fervently read to the end so I can see what happens, while wanting to wait so I could prolong the ending because I didn’t want to part ways with Claire, Sydney, Bay and Aunt Evenelle so soon. Alas, the fervent reader in me won out. I would highly recommend this book to friends with the same joy a friend recommended it to me. I’m also looking forward to reading the second Waverley Family book – First Frost.

I purchased this book with my own funds with no expectation of a positive review from the author and/or publisher.

Until next time Bookish by Nature readers!