Full Pour Review: The Simple Wild

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

WOW, you guys… I am speechless. I went in to this book with high expectations due to all of the praise this book has received on Bookstagram and without a doubt, The Simple Wild absolutely lived up to the hype and is one of the best books I’ve read this year. I can’t even begin to describe all of the feelings K.A. Tucker made me feel with this one, but it was a wild ride and now I DESPERATELY need to get my hands on Wild At Heart.

24 years ago, Susan Fletcher left her husband Wren and life in Alaska to return home to Toronto with their 2 year old daughter, Calla. During those 24 years, Calla has neither returned to Alaska or seen her father. Now, 26 years old, Calla finds out that her father has been diagnosed with lung cancer and decides to fly to Alaska to meet her dad and reconnect with him in the remaining time he has left. During her time in Alaska, she meets Jonah, who lives next door to her father and helps him run his charter plane company, Alaska Wild. While Calla initially struggles to adjust to the vastly different life in Alaska, Jonah can’t imagine living anywhere else or adapting any other lifestyle. Calla thinks that Jonah is a brooding, stubborn asshole and Jonah thinks that Calla is way too pampered to handle life in Bangor. Determined to prove him wrong, Calla and Jonah wind up forming a bond that slowly develops into a romantic relationship- one that Calla is too scared to pursue long term out of fear of choosing the same path that her parents attempted, and failed at, many years ago.

There are so many things that I LOVED about this book: the budding relationship between Calla and Wren, the friendship of Agnes and Maybel, the steamy romance and witty banter of Calla and Jonah, the Alaska Wild family, the unwavering sense of understanding from Simon, Calla’s growth and maturity during her time in Alaska with her father, the love between Wren and Susan… I could honestly go on and on. K.A. Tucker is an incredible writer and storyteller- this story left me utterly floored and the ending was incredibly heart wrenching yet satisfying, and left me immediately wanting more.

This book deserves all of the stars. If you’re looking for an incredible story with romance, complex relationships, family drama, and a beautiful journey of self-discovery that will leave you breathless, make you smile, cry, laugh and cheer, The Simple Wild is your next must-read.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker is best paired with Dragon’s Milk White by New Holland Brewing. Dragon’s Milk White is a light and smooth bourbon barrel aged white stout with notes of coffee, vanilla, cocoa and oak🍻

Full Pour Review: You Had Me at Hola

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Okay, you guys… I am convinced that You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria is going to be the next favorite rom-com on Bookstagram after the Beach Read craze. This book was everything I expected it to be and more, and I can’t wait for everyone to read this!

After a humiliating public breakup that ended up all over the tabloids, Jasmine Lin Rodriguez is thrilled to be flying back home to NY where she can have a fresh start. In NY, she will be starring as the leading role in a new romantic comedy television series called “Carmen In Charge” alongside Ashton Suarez, an incredibly sexy, well-known telenovela star. Both Jasmine and Ashton are looking forward to “Carmen In Charge” being the show they need to really launch their careers, and are committed to making this show and their on-screen chemistry irresistible. After a mortifying first encounter with one another, Jasmine and Ashton agree that running their lines together in privacy would help them feel more comfortable with one another. However, the off-screen attraction between Jasmine and Ashton is undeniable and their private rehearsals turn into a steamy romance behind the scenes. While this helps improve their on-screen performance together, they soon find themselves under the media spotlight which threatens to expose Ashton’s most private secret and destroy Jasmine’s newly repaired image.

First off, the intense chemistry between Ashton and Jasmine is completely swoon-worthy and steamy and I could not get enough of their love story. Alexis Daria did an amazing job with the character development of Jasmine and Ashton throughout the book. Their characters were real, relatable and hard not to fall in love with. Jasmine and Ashton are both incredibly strong characters that overcome a lot of personal struggles with self doubt, trust, communication and love. I loved that the story was written from both of their point of views in such a way that allowed me to feel completely immersed in their worlds.

Second, I enjoyed the glimpse into the glamorous and dramatic world of telenovelas as well as the latinx culture presented in the book. I liked how the story was written where some chapters were about Ashton and Jasmine’s off-camera love story, and other chapters were episodes from the telenovela show that they were filming together, “Carmen In Charge.”

If you are looking for a fun, lighthearted, witty and STEAMY rom-com (and if you were a fan of Beach Read!), I highly recommend checking out You Had Me at Hola, releasing on August 4th. Thank you so much NetGalley and HarperCollins for gifting me this eARC in exchange for my honest review 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria is best paired with Double Blend by Downeast Cider House. This delicious unfiltered cider is a variation their original cider, but a little less sweet and higher in ABV 🍻

Full Pour Review: The Safe Place

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Whew! – Anna Downes took me on a ride with this one. The Safe Place was not at all what I was expecting, and I thoroughly enjoyed this story and how much it kept me guessing.

Emily Proudman lost her temp job at Proem Partners, her apartment, and her acting agent all in one day. Distracted and sobbing after leaving the meeting with her agent, she almost gets hit by a bus and is rescued none other than Scott Denny, the CEO of Proem Partners. During this encounter, Scott learns of Emily being fired from Proem and offers her another employment opportunity to work as a personal assistant for him and his family at their estate in France. Despite feeling hesitant about this offer that feels way too good to be true, Emily is desperate for an opportunity to start fresh and agrees to Scott’s offer. Life at the estate feels like heaven, and Emily has never been happier- she’s getting along well with his beautiful wife Nina and eccentric daughter Aurelia, and is beginning to feel like a French local. However, some things really are too good to be true and Emily soon begins to realize that things aren’t as they seem and that the Denny family is hiding a huge secret- one that could get Emily killed if she doesn’t go along with it…

I enjoyed the slow, brilliant burn with this book. Until I was about 75% into the story, I truly had no idea where the story line was going and the mystery and character development throughout the book kept me on the edge of my seat.

The story was written primarily from the POV’s of Emily and Scott, but Nina’s POV made random appearances during Emily’s and Scott’s respective chapters. Anna Downes did a great job with the character development of Emily Proudman. I really enjoyed getting to know her character and see her grow and mature by the end of the book. Scott and Nina’s characters were very intriguing and mysterious, and while I enjoyed being able to get inside Scott’s head during his chapters, I feel that we could’ve gotten a little more out of their characters. Personally, I would’ve loved if the book included chapters that were primarily written in Nina’s POV, as I feel like there is so much history to uncover about who Nina is and what she has suffered from. Without giving anything away, both Nina’s and Scott’s characters left me with a lot of questions at the end of the story based on things that occurred throughout the book that I would’ve loved to get answers for. That being said, the ending of the story was still very satisfying and I was so proud of Emily and her strength.

If you’re looking for a good vacation thriller, I definitely recommend checking out The Safe Place, releasing on July 14th 💛 thank you so much NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for this gifted eARC in exchange for my honest review!


BEER RECOMMENDATION: The Safe Place by Anna Downes is best paired with White by Downeast Cider House. This delicious take on an *almost* classic unfiltered Belgian style is brewed with orange peel, lemon peel, and cracked coriander 🍻

Full Pour Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Holy shit, you guys. I absolutely adored this book. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid was on my list for several months and the only thing I regret about this book is that it took me so damn long to get around to it. The hype behind this book is very real- and it surpassed every expectation I had.

At 79 years old, reclusive Hollywood movie starlet Evelyn Hugo is ready to share the story behind her glamorous, scandalous life in the form of a tell-all book. Evelyn doesn’t just want anyone though to share her story with and provide this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. She specifically wants Monique Grant to write her story. Nobody is more surprised to hear this than Monique- she is not exactly the most well known or established writer in her field. In fact, her professional life is going nowhere. Thrilled by the promise that this opportunity would jumpstart her career in a major way, she agrees to write Evelyn’s story.

Evelyn is infamous for her seven husbands and everyone wants to know her side of the story- did Evelyn ever truly love these men? What did they mean to her? Who was the love of her life? Inside Evelyn’s luxury apartment home, Monique is fascinated by the details of Evelyn’s story: leaving New York for a life in Los Angeles in the 1950s, deciding to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. During this time with Evelyn, Monique begins to feel a genuine connection form with her and almost as quickly as this connection was established, it is threatened to be destroyed once she discovers the truth behind why Evelyn chose her to tell her story.

“Sometimes reality comes crashing down on you. Other times reality simply waits, patiently, for you to run out of the energy it takes to deny it.”

Evelyn Hugo

First, I need to mention how BRILLIANT the characters were. I am *obsessed* with Evelyn Hugo and completely blown away and in awe of her character. Evelyn is an incredibly strong woman who is fierce, loyal, honest, unapologetic, driven, wonderfully flawed, unconventional and I loved absolutely everything about her. While her character could easily be viewed by some as unlikable after learning some of her secrets, I found her to be very real, relatable, and admirable. Her life story was beautiful and messy and flawed and just down right perfect. Taylor Jenkins Reid did an absolutely amazing job with her character development throughout the story, as well as Monique’s. I admired Moniques tenacity and strength throughout the story as well, and applauded her grace at the end of the story.

Second, the old Hollywood glamour throughout this book is addictive, swoon worthy and mesmerizing. Taylor Jenkins Reid is truly a brilliant writer that knows exactly how to immerse her reader into the story. I was hooked from the very beginning of the book and did not want to put it down.

Finally, I couldn’t get enough of all of the unexpected turns and touching messages about heartbreak, betrayal, love, sexuality, loyalty, authenticity, race and so much more.

Without a doubt, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is one of my favorite books of 2020 and I highly recommend checking it out if you have not already. It is a heartbreaking, beautiful and mesmerizing literary work of art that will stay with me for a long time.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid is best paired with Bomb! by Prairie Artisan Ales. This flavor intense and slightly spicy imperial stout is aged on Nordaggio’s espresso beans, ancho chili peppers, chocolate and vanilla beans 🍻

Full Pour Review: Here For It

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Okay, this is officially the best memoir I’ve read so far this year 👏🏻 Within the first few pages, Here For It by R. Eric Thomas had me smiling and cracking up, and I continued to smile and laugh throughout the entire story. To be perfectly honest, I knew I was going to be hooked on this book by like page 3 of the prologue 😂

Here For It is a collection of essays where R. Eric Thomas examines his personal experiences on what it was like to be an “other,” his struggle with reconciling his sexual and religious identities, finding his way during and after college, poor dating decisions, accidentally getting famous on the internet (a few times!), and stumbling upon his career with Elle. R. Eric Thomas ultimately takes all of these lessons learned along the way and uses them to answer the questions we’re all trying to figure out ourselves: is the future worth it? Do things really get better? How do we power through when things only seem to be getting worse?

“You’re exactly who you need to be. Each of you. It may not feel like it; it may seem like it would be much easier being anyone else. You may look back at the person you were at one point and wish that you could instead be the person you are now at that far distant, unreachable point in the past. But you had to be who you were to get to who you are. Every page in the story is successive; they’re all numbered and bound like a book.”

R. Eric Thomas, referring to the various versions of oneself at different ages

You guys, I didn’t want this book to end. I honestly couldn’t get enough of R. Eric Thomas’s quirky and witty remarks, pop-culture references and beautiful candor. Please stop whatever you’re doing and buy this book- not just because of how joyful, entertaining and deeply moving it is (and because you will want him to be your new BFF), but because this book is exactly what 2020 needs and I promise that there is something within it that will surely resonate with everyone 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Here For It by R. Eric Thomas is best paired with Guns ‘n’ Rosé by Oskar Blues Brewery. Guns ‘n’ Rosé is a fruit ale brewed with hibiscus and prickly pear, playing off of the dry, tart or fruity flavors and pinkish color of rosé wines 🍻

Full Pour Review: Beach Read

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Beach Read by Emily Henry was an adorable, witty and entertaining rom-com that truly is the perfect beach read. I was engrossed in the story from the very beginning and couldn’t put it down because I kept needing to know what was happening next.

Augustus Everett and January Andrews are both bestselling authors- Augustus in literary fiction and January in romance. Not only are these two complete opposites of one another in their writing styles and genres, but also in the way that they view the world. Augustus is more of a realist (sometimes pessimist) while January has always been an optimistic hopeless romantic. January and Augustus met in college and were not exactly friends (January even considers him her writing arch nemesis!). Needless to say, they have not seen or spoke to one another in years.

Due to some personal events happening in January’s life, she finds herself living in her deceased fathers beachfront house on Lake Michigan and it turns out that her next door neighbor is none other then Augustus Everett. For the next three months, the only thing that these two have in common is that they live on the same street, are broke and suffering from severe writers block.

One evening, Augustus and January decide to make a deal with one another as an attempt to get them out of their creative ruts- Augustus will attempt to write a feel-good love story while January attempts to write something serious and dark. Every week, January will take Augustus on field trips that are meant to inspire swoon-worthy meet cutes while Augustus takes January on interviews with people who’ve survived a backwoods death cult.

There’s no way that these two will both manage to write their next successful book without somehow falling in love, right? 😉🙄

I absolutely adored the relationship and witty banter between Augustus and January, as well as their character development throughout the story. Their stories were raw and real and their individual growth through out the story was admirable- I felt like I was navigating through their struggles alongside them. Their personalities were endearing and rich- Emily Henry truly did a fantastic job at planning out these characters.

Beach Read is a feel good, comical story about forgiveness, second chances, betrayal, failure, creative struggle and learning how to love again. If you’re looking for a quick, entertaining read with an exciting plot that will tug at your heart strings and a satisfying ending, this book is for you!


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Beach Read by Emily Henry is best paired with Apple by Bold Rock Cider. This crisp, sweet and refreshing cider is highly enjoyable and perfect for the beach 🍻