This Close to Okay by Leesa Cross-Smith - A Book Review


Sometimes the days and months pass quickly and one day blends into another. At other times, life changes immensely in a matter of a few days. In This Close to Okay by Leesa Cross-Smith, Tallie and Emmett’s story is told over a long weekend which proved to change the course of their lives forever.

Plot Summary

Tallie Clark is a divorced therapist driving home from work on a Thursday night when she spots a man standing precariously over the side of a bridge. She convinces the man, Emmett, to get into her car and to join her for a cup of coffee. A relationship is begins, being built on trust as Emmett agrees to go home with Tallie to spend the night. Recognizing his need for a safe environment, she tries to learn as much about Emmett as he will disclose without revealing her own occupation. The one night stay turns into a long weekend stay with both Tallie and Emmett holding secrets throughout much of this time. Told from an alternating dual perspective, the pair eventually disclose these secrets as we learn about what brought these two together on that fateful night.

Book Review

While I found the idea of this book to be somewhat unrealistic, I really appreciated the story and engaging writing style of this author. The pacing of the book created a slow release of information about the characters, and always enough to keep my focus. There are a few dark moments in this book which are balanced with the uplifting theme of the book. I enjoyed the friendship that builds during the course of a few days, but question the ethics of the relationship given Tallie’s profession. Having said that, once I got pass this the book was an enjoyable read.

Audiobook Review

I listened to my library’s audiobook version of the book which was performed by Kamali Minter and Zeno Robinson. The narrators provided a convincing, articulate performance and I appreciated the sensitivity brought to their performances. I would not hesitate to recommend the audiobook version of this book to those who enjoy this format.

What I Liked About This Close to Okay:
  • The author's writing style
  • The friendship that develops between the protagonists
  • The uplifting theme of the story
I Recommend This Book To:

Those readers that enjoy contemporary fiction.

My rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️/5.

Add This Close To Okay by Leesa Cross-Smith to your Goodreads shelf

Similar Books I've Reviewed:

Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

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When Harry Met Minnie by Martha Teichner - A Book Review

If you’re a dog lover, or someone that enjoys stories of fate, When Harry Met Minnie by Martha Teichner may be for you. This is a heartwarming, emotional and sensitively written memoir brought to us by an author most famous for her work as an American television news correspondent.

Plot Summary

The story is one that the author reports as an unexplainable coincidence which changed everything in her life. Having been part of the New York City dog walking scene, bull terrier walking Martha meets Steven with his dog at a farmer’s market. Through conversation about dogs, Steven reveals his good friend Carol also has a bull terrier. Carol has terminal cancer and wishes to a find a forever home for her beloved bull terrier Harry when she can no longer care for him. Martha has been searching for an older male bull terrier for her dog Minnie. Introductions are made. Martha and Carol have so much in common, and Harry meets Minnie. 

Through the course of several weeks, the two dogs spend more time together. The antics of the dogs are hilariously written, similar to what you expect from a new parent marvelling at the wonders of their ever-changing baby’s own growth and development.

Book Review

I really liked When Harry Met Minnie. This book has many moments of joy and describes the true friendship that quickly developed between the two women. There are also moments of sadness which left me in tears. The book is both engaging and entertaining. It’s no wonder that many publishers were willing to publish this book.

Audiobook Review

I listened to my library’s audiobook copy of the book which was narrated by the author. Given her professional background, her performance made it easy to listen to. I loved the fact that she narrated the book so the story could be told in her own voice, as it magnified the compassion and intimacy of this beautiful story. I highly recommend this format to those of you who enjoy audiobooks.

What I Liked About When Harry Met Minnie:

  • The deep bond that forms between these two women is clearly expressed
  • The love of dogs that is conveyed
  • The sense of community and family demonstrated through the shared love of a good friend
I Recommend This Book To:

Those readers that enjoy memoirs, stories about dogs, or friendship.

My rating:
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️/5.

Add When Harry Met Minnie by Martha Teichner to your Goodreads shelf

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Rescuing Harmony Ranch by Jennie Marts - A Book Review

Have you ever thought what it would be like to live on a ranch in the early 1900’s? Rescuing Harmony Ranch by Jennie Marts is a charming romance novel which takes place on a working ranch in Colorado. Visitors to the ranch are educated in what it was like to live and work on a ranch during the early 20th century.

Plot Summary

Jocelyn grew up on this ranch and loved it. Her mother, wishing to give Jocelyn more opportunities in life, moved Jocelyn with her to New York for her remaining high school education. She’s loved her time in New York and has a promising career in marketing. Indeed, she is up for a big promotion. But family trumps everything so when Jocelyn’s Grandmother has an accident and needs her help, she drops everything to be by her side. She can work remotely while on the ranch and still be able to help her Grandmother.

When she arrives, she learns from her Grandmother that the help she needs is in raising money to make a large balloon payment on the ranch or she will be forced to sell. She also learns that Mack, her boyfriend of many of her teenage years and the love of her life, is now divorced and as handsome as ever. He’s also been enlisted to help save the ranch and the two work closely together to plan several events. But will her love for Mack be enough for her to stay in Colorado and give up everything she’s worked for in New York?

Book Review

I always enjoy a Hallmark romance, and this book is no exception. I’m a big fan of second chance romances and I enjoyed the competitive nature and banter between Jocelyn and Mack. I also appreciate books with the story of love between generations of a family and this book has plenty of lovely, sweet moments. I adored that the setting was on a historical ranch and the descriptions of the clothing worn by the volunteers. The character development was very good, and the story kept me engaged throughout.

What I Liked About Rescuing Harmony Ranch:
  • The setting of being on an educational ranch
  • The love of family
  • The inclusion of older members of the community and dogs in the story
I Recommend Rescuing Harmony Ranch to:

Those readers that enjoy a sweet romance novel with a second chances trope.


Thank you to Hallmark Publishing for the ARC of this book in exchange for the honest review provided here.

My Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️/5.

Add Rescuing Harmony Ranch by Jennie Marts to your Goodreads shelf

Similar Books I've Reviewed:

A Cottage Wedding by Leigh Duncan

Friends Like Us by Sarah Mackenzie

Meet Me in London by Georgia Toffolo

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