Book Review: Molina

molinaMolina is a book by Bengie Molina about his father who raised an unlikely baseball dynasty.  If you are a baseball fan, then you probably know about the “catching molinas” – brothers Benjie, Yadier and Jose who have six World Championships among them. After their father’s death, Bengie realized that he didn’t really know his father beyond him being his father. He talked with his father’s family and old teammates and other people that he knew to find out more about him.

The book focuses a lot more on Bengie’s career and life than his father’s – but shows how his father helped him and his career and to make him the player he was by teaching him the rules of baseball and to never give up. Bengie’s father never really told his kids about his baseball playing years and why he ended up never playing in the majors despite everyone saying he was a great player.  It is not until after his death when his father’s friends begin to share stories that he realizes what his fathers true dream was, and it was not playing professional baseball.

This was a really interesting book – I’m a baseball fan so I certainly know about the Molina’s and that they are all catchers (although Bengie did not start out that way) so it was nice to read this back story about their father and all the hard work he had put in over the years to provide for his family.

I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for this review.

About the Book

The inspiring true story of the poor Puerto Rican factory worker, Benjamin Molina Santana, who against all odds raised the greatest baseball dynasty of all time: Molina’s three sons—Bengie, Jose, and Yadier—have each earned two World Series rings, which is unprecedented in the sport, and his story is told by one of them, Bengie.

A baseball rules book. A tape measure. A lottery ticket.

These were in the pocket of Bengie Molina’s father when he died of a heart attack on the rutted Little League field in his Puerto Rican barrio. The items serve as thematic guideposts in Molina’s beautiful memoir about his father, who through baseball taught his three sons about loyalty, humility, courage, and the true meaning of success.

Bengie and his two brothers—Jose and six-time All-Star Yadier—became famous catchers in the Major Leagues and have six World Series championships among them. Only the DiMaggio brothers can rival the Molinas as the most accomplished siblings in baseball history.

Bengie was the least likely to reach the Majors. He was too slow, too sensitive, and too small. But craving his beloved father’s respect, Bengie weathered failure after deflating failure until one day he was hoisting a World Series trophy in a champagne-soaked clubhouse. All along he thought he was fulfilling his father’s own failed dream of baseball glory—only to discover it had not been his father’s dream at all.

Written with the emotional power of sports classics such as Field of Dreams and Friday Night Lights, Molina is a love story between a formidable but flawed father and a son who, in unearthing answers about his father’s life, comes to understand his own.

Book Review: Oh Say Can You Fudge


Oh Say Can You Fudge is the 3rd book in a series. I haven’t read the other two in the book but didn’t have any problem following along. They do sometimes reference things that had happened in the past, but nothing that would leave you confused with what is going on in the story.

Allie McMurphy is in charge of the Fireworks for the 4th of July on the island.  While she is making fudge, her phone rings.  Since she is in the middle of making it she doesn’t bother to answer. She listens to 2 of the 3 messages on her phone and realizes that there is a fireworks emergency and the technician had called her from the warehouse where they are storing the fireworks.

She arrives to find him possibly dead and then the warehouse explodes. Allie has a bit of a reputation of finding dead bodies and trouble and she doesn’t do much to shake that reputation in this book.  She and her dog Marshmallow (Mal for short) seem to keep finding local fires and it seems the island has an arsonist on its hands.  After the fireworks, Mal runs off and Allie’s boyfriend Trent ends up finding a trip wire for what appears to be a bomb.  Allie tries to help figure out who is causing the fires with some of her friends and it ends up getting her in even more trouble… but just what kind of trouble you’ll have to read to find out!

I really liked this book – it included recipes which is always a fun perk and it was a fun read. Allie was a likeable character and you couldn’t help but root for her and hope that she could figure out what was going on on the island before the fires got out of hand. I loved reading about the island and all the people who lives there and the fudgies who visited!

I received an e-copy to read in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Allie McMurphy is busy making yummy fudge for the summer holiday–until murder gives her something else to chew on. . .

Red, White, And Boom

It’s not Fourth of July on Mackinac Island without fireworks and fudge. The Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop is supplying the treats–and Allie has hired Rodney Rivers, the biggest name in aerial displays, to create an unforgettable spectacle. Unfortunately, Allie finds him dead, covered with screaming chicken fireworks, just before the entire warehouse of pyrotechnics goes up in smoke. Is it arson or is it murder? Allie and her bichonpoo, Mal, must sift through the suspects until the killer is caught and the island can enjoy a star-spangled celebration.

Book Review: The DUFF

DUFFThe DUFF is about Bianca Piper – one of the boys at school, Wesley, whom Bianca HATES tells her that she is the “Duff” or the “Designated Ugly Fat Friend” of her friends group. Bianca isn’t too happy with this piece of information but has some other things going on at home that at the moment are more important. Her Mom hasn’t been home in months, she works as a public speaker and has been off doing whatever it is she does and her Dad is not happy about it.  Then her best friend’s brother is coming to town – the brother who used Bianca to cheat on his girlfriend who is now his fiance.  And her best friend Jessica doesn’t know anything about it.  In an effort to avoid Jessica while her brother Jake is in town – she ends up spending a lot of time with, of all people, Wesley!

On Valentine’s Day she finds out that her parents are getting a divorce and spends the day sorting valentine’s with her crush of 3 years, Toby.  But Bianca just keeps hooking up with Wesley.  That is until Toby asks her out on a date.  The two are dating and things seem to be going well when Wesley walks in on them because he wants to know how Bianca has been doing because she has been avoiding his calls.  She realizes that she may have feelings for Wesley after all and he may have feelings for her too!

This book is being made into a major motion picture, but from what I hear they have added in some characters and changed the plot up a bit.  It will be interesting to see the movie and see how it matches up to the book, which I really enjoyed reading.

I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

About the Book

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper may not be the prettiest girl in her high school, but she has a loyal group of friends, biting wit, and a spot-on BS detector. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of a man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush, who calls Bianca the Duff – the designated ugly fat friend – of her crew.

But things aren’t so great at home and Bianca, desperate for a distraction, ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a secret enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly wrong. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

With a wry and tell-it-like-it-is voice, New York Times Bestselling novel The DUFF is a witty and poignant story of a teenager struggling with the rules of high school attraction, along with the breaking down of her relationships with family and friends. It is a novel about what it means to be sexy, in a world where we feel we have to be perfect!

Book Review: Zack

ckzackI obviously picked this book, Zack, because of my crush on Zac Hanson.  Imagine my surprise when I started reading it and realized that the lead girl in the book had the same name as ME… and Zac Hanson’s wife.  A funny coincidence that I wasn’t expecting, especially since I had chosen this book to review a while ago and had forgotten about what I read in the synopsis that led me to choose it. (If I even read it. Look at that cover, did I really need to see anything more about the book? haha)

There are a few other books in the “Cold Fury Hockey” series, none of which I had read before, but Zack worked fine as a stand-alone and there was enough background information on everyone and what had happened previously that I didn’t feel like I was missing anything.

Zack’s girlfriend / mother of his child was killed in a car accident and he has been trying to move on and care for his son, Ben.  He has been rehabbing and will be returning to his hockey team soon and will need to hire a nanny to help him out with Ben while he is at practice and on the road with the team.  His sister Delaney ends up picking someone and Zack agrees.

It’s pretty obvious that they’re going to end up hooking up. I mean, it’s a romance novel so you know something is bound t happen… but Zack is still grieving, Gina has only been gone a few months. But the attraction between Kate and him is undeniable. He wants to sleep with her, but he doesn’t want it to affect her relationship with him, or above all, Ben.

A bit of a rollercoaster at times, I won’t say what ends up happening, but I’m sure you’ve got your own ideas. I enjoyed reading this book, it was a pretty quick read and despite it being about hockey, not bad for a summer read by the pool either! It is interesting to see the dynamic between Zack and Kate change and I enjoyed that the chapters alternated between Zack and Kate being the story teller because Zack was more abrasive with more swearing and Kate was more southern and sweet in her story telling and it was a nice contrast.

I will have to see about checking out the other books in this series now!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett goes for a hat trick with the latest romance in a sexy series about cool-as-ice hockey players and the women heating up their lives.

Warning: The following contains spoilers from a cliffhanger in Garrett.

Rising star Zack Grantham has been stuck in a downward spiral of grief that has put his career on hold. Back on the road with the Carolina Cold Fury, still crippled by emotional baggage, and now a single dad, he’s in need of some serious help with his son. But while the nerdy new nanny wins his son’s heart, Zack isn’t sure he’s ready for a woman’s touch—even after getting a glimpse of the killer curves she’s hiding under those baggy clothes.

Kate Francis usually keeps men like Zack at a distance. Though his athlete’s body is honed to perfection, he refuses to move on with his life—and besides, he’s her boss. Still, the sparks between them are undeniable, tempting Kate to turn their professional relationship into a personal one. But before she makes a power play for Zack’s wounded heart, Kate will have to open him up again and show him that love is worth the fight.


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