Book Review of One House Over by Mary Monroe

Title: One House Over

Author: Mary Monroe

Publication Date: March 27, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Rating: 4 Stars=Great Page Turner

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It has been awhile since I have read a Mary Monroe novel and I am glad I picked up, One House Over. It gave me a what is done in the dark vibe. You never know who is listening and or watching.

Joyce and Odell Watson are a newly married couple moving into their first home. After the older couple moves out next door a younger one takes their place. The Watson’s are friendly and enjoy Milton and Yvonne’s company. Things seem to be going great, Odell gets a promotion at his in-law’s grocery store and Joyce is expecting their first child.

Odell takes a fishing trip that changes everything. He now must keep up appearances and even more so because someone knows what he did. Joyce has changed as well, because now she looks down on certain folks instead of paying attention to what is going on right under her nose.

This was a very refreshing contemporary story about marriage and manipulation. The connection between these two couples and what becomes of their friendship is the making of a good television show. I was captivated with these characters. I could not put this book down and will be reading the rest in this series. If you like a little drama and some anticipation, One House Over is for you.

Book Recommendations, Reviews

April Wrap Up

April was a slow reading month due to me needing to get my self editing done for my second book. I only read seven books which is so not like me. I  tried to read books originally on my to-be-read stack (picture below) and I believe I did okay.

These are the ones I actually  finished. I managed four off the stack and a ebook . Three were review books (all in the front row) and the rest leisure reads.

3 Stars

No Bad Deed by Heather Chavez

4 Stars

The Essence of Perfection  by Nita Brooks

Sunrise on Half Moon Bay by Robyn Carr

The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler

The Story Raider by  Lindsay A. Franklin

5 Stars

Imperfectly Happy by Sharina Harris

What Have You Done by Matthew Farrell


What books did you read in April? Share your titles in the comments.

Happy Reading!


Book Review: The Country Guesthouse by Robyn Carr

Title: The Country Guesthouse

Author: Robyn Carr

Publication Date: January 7, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Rating: 5 Stars=Non-Stop Page Turner

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The Country Guesthouse is about friendship, love and loss.

I have enjoyed several of Robyn Carr’s novels, but The Country Guesthouse is my favorite in the Sullivan Crossing series. The story is about Hannah, a woman who comes home from a business retreat to find her fiance in bed with one of her employees. After calling off the wedding, she decides to book the house at the retreat she attended. She receives a call that changes everything for her, especially finding out a friend of hers has past.

Did you ever make promises to your friends in college? I mean a promise you never thought you’d have to keep? Hannah did and now her friend, Erin has given guardianship of her son Noah to Hannah, which changes the dynamics of the story. Hannah has to adjust everything thing in her life to become a parent to Noah.

What I loved about this book is Hannah’s ability to immediately turn on motherly instincts even though she was scared, grieving and didn’t know what she was doing. The story got even better once she decided to keep the guesthouse booking for her and Noah to get to know each and also when they met the owner of the house, Owen. Owen was a great addition to the story as a caring person who made a connection with Noah as well as support for Hannah.

I liked the attraction between Hannah and Owen, but believed it to be rushed. The other characters were nice and friendly, which made Hannah and Noah comfortable. I love the people of Sullivan Crossing they make me want to vacation there. I was not expecting the twist, but was happy that they had Owen on their side.

Overall this was a wonderful novel sharing how you can help a child who is grieving, how having support can go a long way and that keeping a promise can also bring you a blessing.

Meet The Author

Meet The Author: Interview with Sharain Hemingway

Sharain Hemingway always had a passion for the written word. As a young girl, she discovered writing as a form of therapy and self-expression and believes it fuels her ability to shift thinking, behavior, and culture in both her personal and professional life. Through poetry, novels, and short-stories, Sharain aims to bridge generational gaps and create lasting ties that bind. A proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, she is an advocate for empowering women, shaping young minds, and encouraging individuals to be the very best version of themselves. As Sharain continues to set the pace, she hopes her imagination and writing style will be sure to Activate Your Inner Desires. Sharain is a native of Myrtle Beach, SC, and a graduate of Winthrop University.

Get to Know the Author:

A&RBC: What made you think of the plot for this book?

SH: All 4 Love takes you on a journey through the eyes of 4 amazing women as they embark on this quest to find their versions of “Happily Ever After”. For some that means finding love again, finding their purpose or passion, and for others “Happily Ever After” simply means finding themselves. I wanted to write the kind of book that I would enjoy reading and challenged myself to write a story that I haven’t read before, making it unique and digging deeper into emotions and experiences. Eventually, I had developed this strong, phenomenal, perfectly imperfect group of women and intentionally wrote this book in a way that puts you right alongside them in situations where you begin to see a little piece of yourself in them as you journey through All 4 Love.

A&RBC: Do you see yourself in any of these women?

SH: I think there is a little piece of Sharain in each and every one of the characters. I developed them in a way that illustrates who I was, who I am, and who I am aspiring to be in my journey of growth. I think currently, I relate more to Brooklyn James. She is career driven, fearless, and has traveled to more places than most people have ever dreamed. As you connect with her in the book, you’ll see how she has to relive a major crossroad from her past and question if she made the right decision back then. If she had chosen differently would she be living in her “Happily Ever After” instead of still searching for someone to build a future with her? I think that is where I am today. I have so many amazing things going in my life with this new project that I would love to have someone by my side to share this with.

A&RBC: In your book summary you mention all four women are seeking to experience their very own version of “Happily Ever After.” What does your happily ever after look like for you?

SH: To me, “Happily Ever After” is a combination of things. It’s falling in love and starting a family but it’s also continuing to live in my truth and protecting my peace. To Never again remove jewels out of my crown so that someone else can shine in my life, to water friendships that are healthy and to remove any and all toxic relationships that present themselves, and ultimately to just keep being the very best version of myself.

A&RBC: Can you tell us about the characters in your book?

SH: All 4 Love navigates life, love, and womanhood through the eyes of 4 amazing women as they embark on this quest to find their versions of “Happily Ever After.” Candice, Brooklyn, Riley, and Michele all meet in college and form a pure and beautiful friendship that blossoms into this amazing sisterhood. I really wanted to capture the essence of childhood and younger friendships that have the ability to grow and continuously pour into you if you are willing to put the work in. It’s something that I have learned first-hand in my journey of growth. I believe friendships are a lot like dating. If you meet someone 10 years ago and the relationship hasn’t matured, that’s not someone you want the spend the rest of your life with. I don’t think we hold friendships to the same standard. If your relationship or friendship never matures past partying, then it’s not a friendship that you can sustain when the music stops, and you enter into a storm. This is a hard lesson that what we learn from the women in All 4 Love.

A&RBC: Is there anything you want readers to learn from reading All 4 Love?

SH: The book shines light on 2 subjects that we all live and battle with on a daily basis. The first one: Falling victim to allowing likes on social media posts to replace calling and checking on a friend. One of the realizations that this group of ladies shine light on is the fact that some of them went months without speaking or physically seeing each other even though they constantly liked a picture or sent the occasional funny meme. Not knowing that one of them was hurting. This book really does speak to the importance of “checking on your friends”

The second one: We live in the world of the now. You see everything you desire NOW! Even if you haven’t yet attained it. If you desire to get married, have a family, or a career, you begin to see everyone doing all the things you desire except for you. You want to be happy for these people, but you can’t help but pose the question “When it is my turn?” This book speaks to trying your hardest to not compare your life to someone else’s and know that in due time you will get your “Happily Ever After.”

A&RBC: Can you tell the viewers a little bit more about yourself and how you became interested in writing?

SH: In additional to being a published author and poet, I am a software engineer, proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and I come from large family in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. In a way I guess I have always been interested in writing. I was an astute child who always had a book in my hand. I didn’t travel a lot growing up, so books were my escape to experience the world through the eyes of some of my favorite characters. I started writing poetry as a form of therapy to express myself and that has transformed into writing novels to continue expressing my desires. My debut novel is a result of me challenging myself and pouring my heart out on 300 pages. I made the decision to invest in yourself by working with Mynd Matters Publishing in Atlanta, GA and published my first book that I get to share with the world.

A&RBC: Do you write any other genres?

SH: Yes. I still actively write and publish poems. I recently launched “Activate Your Inner Desires” Blog on Which gives you an up-close and personal experience with my poetry as well as my travel journey. Over the last year, I’ve sort of continent hopped and I created this blog as a cool journal to capture my journeys.

Find the Book and the Author:

Instagram: @SharainHemingway

Twitter: @All4LoveAuthor


Email address for readers to contact you :

About The Book

Love” details the individual and combined journey of four lifelong girlfriends. Whether it’s finding a soulmate or finding herself, all four women are seeking to experience their very own version of “Happily Ever After.”

Read the excerpt now. 

What happens when four friends discover that life after college isn’t the fairytale they once dreamed it would be?

Brooklyn James, the wild card, desires fine dining, seducing men, and an unwavering appetite for adventure. When she falls for an unexpected suitor, it forces her to take a hard look in the mirror as she suffers the consequences of her reckless way of living.

Riley Harper, the cautious one, swore off men after giving birth to her daughter as a teenager. With her daughter preparing to leave for college, Riley is finally allowing her heart to heal and is opening up to the idea of allowing love back into her life.

Michele Peterson, the moral compass of the group, has to balance her career, being a full-time mother of twins, and a devoted wife. While doing all of this, she is determined to continue being a supportive and loyal friend.

Candice Montgomery, the focus driven friend, has only wanted two things her entire life–a successful marriage and a family to call her own. When both are put to the test, she has to fight not to lose herself and everything she stands for.

Transitioning from being best friends in college to successful women, All 4 Love depicts the story of lifelong friends committed to maintaining their sisterhood despite the unexpected obstacles that come. Whether it’s finding your soulmate or finding yourself, all four women are seeking to experience their very own version of “Happily Ever After.”


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