Plan a Happy Life

Full Disclosure: I am a Happy Planner.

I like to-do lists and getting things out of my head and onto paper. I’m much more productive that way. I’m also a recovering self-help book junkie. When I used to be a bookseller and had the entire Self Help section available to me, I took full advantage and read all that I could in an attempt to continually better myself.

Plan a Happy Life is written by the co-founder of Me And My Big Ideas, the company that makes the popular Happy Planner. It’s a hugely popular planning system largely because it’s easy to personalize and has several accessories that allow you to explore your creativity. For me, and a lot of folks, making your to-do list attractive increases the chances of our productivity.

As far as self help books go, there’s not a lot new here. But Fleming talks to her readers as friends and offers several questions and exercises to help them along their journey to becoming happier, healthier and more goal oriented. The emphasis is most definitely on the “happy” part and putting your well-being first in your life. Where Plan a Happy Life proves to be most helpful is in teaching you to use your planner, whatever that is, to be a more useful part of your everyday life. I’m in a couple of planning groups on Facebook and almost every day someone new will say that they’re new to using a planner and ask for tips on how to get started. This book can answer questions for newbies and also veterans who need a refresher to get them back on track.

Goodreads rating: 3 1/2 stars

I received a complimentary copy of this e-book from Edelweiss and Thomas Nelson Books in exchange for my honest review.

Secrets of a Fake Fiancée

Secrets of a Fake Fiancée (The Stewart Heirs Book 4)

This is the fourth book in The Stewart Heirs series that follows the offspring of a pretty terrible businessman, Henry Stewart. At least two of these books feature children he had outside of his marriages. Morgan Young has been the assistant to Hollywood star Dane Stewart (Red Carpet Redemption) for the last year and she’s ready to reveal that she’s actually his baby sister and plans to confront their father. The problem is that she chooses an inopportune time to drop this bombshell and wasn’t prepared for the rejection and repercussions. Fortunately, Dane’s good friend, Jared Robinson is there to rescue her and has a proposal that could benefit both of them.

Yahrah St. John is one of the few Black authors that is able to transcend the Harlequin formula and give you good character development in the process. It did contain some romance tropes like the virgin and the super experienced playboy, and the poor girl and the rich guy, but the plot development behind those choices made sense.

I realized while writing this that I missed reading Fallon Stewart’s story in this series, but I’m going to go take care of this now! 🙂

Goodreads Rating: 4 stars

I received a complimentary copy of this e-book from Harlequin and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

(Im)Perfectly Happy

(Im)perfectly Happy

You would think that someone who reads as much as I do would relish having to social distance at home surrounded by (physical and electronic) books. But I’ve had a hard time picking up something to read. The last book I read, a collection of science fiction short stories, was amazing but the subject matter combined with our real life circumstances (the pandemic that shall not be named) made it difficult to concentrate. (Im)perfectly Happy is the palate cleanser I needed.

Raina is a late-night radio host who gives relationship advice and she’s just made the commitment to move in with her boyfriend and that’s all she’s able to commit to. Kara has taken (and failed) the rigorous test to be a Master Sommelier (shout out to me for getting the spelling right on the first try) three times and is taking the all-encompassing, stressful steps to take it again. But the death of her mother and lack of support from her husband have her spiraling. Nikki is the perfect suburban, stay-at-home mom with a super loving husband and cool kids. She’s also an incredible musician and singer-songwriter who gave it all up to have the life she has now. Sienna, a public defender who actually cares about her clients, has set aside her dream of running for government office in order to support her fiance in his campaign to do the same. When the women were in college, they The Brown Sugarettes Mastermind group as a way to empower themselves and keep each other focused on their goals. Now that they’re in their 30’s, Raina decides that they need to resurrect the group so that everyone can reconnect with their true desires and goals.

I loved the four distinct voices of these women and the real life, grown-up situations that the author placed them in. While a couple of the stories wrapped up a little too nicely for me, I am very happy with the journey that Sharina Harris took me on to get there. I may or may not have stayed up past my bedtime because I was so engrossed in these women’s stories. Also, shout out to a book set in the city that I live in and also my neighborhood mentioned twice!! (Yes, I kept count)

Goodreads Rating: 4 stars

I received a complimentary copy of this e-book from Kensington Books and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.