Book Review: We Love to Entertain

If you enjoy HGTV renovations and mysteries – then this book is for you.  I didn’t want to stop reading and almost gave up my entire weekends plans to try and finish this book.  Robert Barron – known also by “The Robber Barron” thinks he’s scored big when he gets a Vermont cabin for a steal at a tax sale because they previous owner hadn’t paid owed taxes. He ends up teaming up with social media influencer Holly to renovate the cabin and submit it for an HGTV show “To the Manor Build”.  They become one of the finalists, fall in love and end up getting married – only to have Robert ask to borrow his assistant’s car to take Holly on an impromptu honeymoon at the last second – just DAYS before they’d need to have all the final clips filmed for the show! When they don’t return… the crew ends up filing missing persons reports for both of them.

I’m not sure I actually liked ANY of the characters in this book, especially as more and more secrets were revealed, but I just had to know what was going to happen and who was behind it!  But I liked how it was based on a TV show and how they even incorporated online social media – specifically a subreddit with fans of the show and amateur sleuths who thought they knew what was going on.  I never really did quite figure out “whodunit” but there were so many twist and turns on every page it was hard to really pin anything down.  Maybe you’ll have better luck than I did.

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

About the Book

From the bestselling author of Do I Know You? comes a fast-paced, riveting psychological thriller that skewers our modern obsession with home renovation and fixer-uppers.

Holly and Robert Barron are attractive young real-estate investors and contestants in a competition run by To the Manor Build, the nation’s most popular home renovation app. With millions in product endorsements and online followers at stake, they’re rehabbing a Vermont home they scored at a bargain price into a chic hilltop estate ideal for entertaining.

It’s all camera-ready laughs and debates over herringbone tile until Holly and Robert go missing hours after their picture-perfect wedding—leaving behind a bloody trail.

Suspicion falls quickly on Erika Turnbull, the Barrons’ twenty-something assistant—eager, efficient, and secretly in love with Robert. Did Erika let her misguided passion turn her into a murderer? So claim the townsfolk of Snowden, Vermont, who still haven’t forgiven her for a tragic accident back in high school.

But Erika’s mother, Kim, is not about to let small-town gossip and a cop with an axe to grind destroy her daughter—again. With time running out and their own lives at risk, the mother-daughter duo set out to find what really happened to the Barrons. First, though, they’ll have to confront the vengeful former owner of Holly and Robert’s estate, ruthless reality-show producers, and a secret that might bring their own house down.

Fast-paced, full of humor, and undeniably twisty, We Love to Entertain is another winner from Sarah Strohmeyer.

Book Review: Touch Matters

As someone who doesn’t want to be touched (physical touch is often close to if not the bottom of my results on love language quizzes) I was curious to see how much “Touch Matters” and what I might have been missing out on by trying to avoid it.  I think a bit of it might be because I wasn’t much for being given “pleasant touch” as a reward growing up. In fact, quite the opposite.  I’m also in no way a fan of social touch.

While this book has shown me that a lot of these touches can be beneficial to me (especially hugging), I am not sure I am going to change how I feel about being touched any time soon! I guess I’ll just continue to be extra stressed. It is all I’ve ever known, after all.

The book will give you a quiz to find out your “Touch Persona” by having you answer a series of questions on a range from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree”. Turns out I am more agreeable towards intimate touch and less so with unfamiliar touch, affective touch behaviors and friends and family.  The outcome of this quiz was really not all that surprising to me.

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

About the Book

An exploration of the new science behind our most underappreciated sense and why we need to harness the power of touch for our health and wellbeing.

Every day, we use our sense of touch to navigate the world. A handshake, a pat on the shoulder, a hug-all essential daily touches that make up our daily lives. In Title TK, Professor Michael Banissy brings together diverse scientific insights from the world’s largest study on touch with takeaways on how to enhance your levels of touch for a happier, healthier life. The book explains why touch is essential to our wellbeing, the role it plays in our relationships, friendships, in the bedroom, workplace, in team activities such as sports, and much more.

Banissy’s latest research explores:

  • Our “touch personalities”
  • Touch starvation
  • How touch defines our relationships and self-esteem
  • The impact of touch on our physical and mental health

This is a fascinating window into one of our most important and basic senses and how to harness its power.

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