how to monthly plan for productivity & success (+ journaling prompts!) | my monthly planning routine.

Back at the start of my blogging journey, I was REALLY into setting monthly goals. Did I achieve them? Not necessarily. Were they helpful in me getting my life on track? Most definitely! While I was in college, monthly goals fell by the wayside (and let’s be real, COVID didn’t help at all), but now that I’m out of college, I’ve been slowly planning how I used to, and it’s been so good for me!

Today, I’ll be walking through my monthly planning routines. I really like having a monthly plan, because it gives some structure about the overall trajectory of my month. It’s not as broad as a yearly goal, and not as confining as a weekly or daily goal. Knowing approximately where I want to end the month at works really well with my brain and my lifestyle, and I’ve really been enjoying setting my monthly goals again!

My monthly routine is a process that takes me a couple hours when I am taking my time. I don’t do each of these steps in depth every month, so it definitely doesn’t take that much time every month, but I do really like taking a weekend afternoon to just chill and plan out my upcoming month!

Check New Year’s Goals

One thing about me is that I WILL set New Year’s Resolutions. Setting new yearly goals at the start of a new year is truly one of my favorite times of the year, and I make it A Whole Deal.

The first thing I will do when I’m setting new monthly goals is to look back at the goals I set for the year overall, and pick out which goals I want to focus on for the month. Is there a quantitative number that I can try to hit (such as $ to make or # of instagram followers), or is there a goal I can try to take a step towards (such as updating my resume)? I break these goals down into a piece that is attainable in a month, and use that to guide my monthly goals.

Set Goals For the Month

Oftentimes, when I take goals from the yearly view, it is still broad and undefined, so I break it down. I also like breaking large scale goals down into daily tasks to achieve. For example, if one of my goals is to “sort through my email,” this is the step where I set my monthly goal to be “spend 30 minutes each day sorting emails.” If my goal is to “gain 100 instagram followers,” my goal will be “comment on 20 instagram posts a day and post 3 times a week”.

Assigning a quantifiable number to an otherwise vague goal makes it much easier to strive towards. I then make a list of all the habits/tasks I want to get done in a day, and write it down. I usually strive towards setting about 10-15 goals, ranging from small goals like “make bed everyday” to much larger ones like “reach out to 25 brands”.

Set Up Monthly Bullet Journal Spread and Notion Page

Once I have my monthly goals in hand, I set up my planners. Right now, I use a bullet journal and Notion to plan, so I make my monthly pages for them. Pretty straightforward, but very handy.

Outline Upcoming Dates in the Month and Split Into Weeks

Next, I look at the upcoming month and pick out any due dates, important dates, and events that I have planned, and put them into my calendar. If there are tasks that need to be done on certain weeks, I write them into my calendar. I basically just take the broader monthly goals and split it up into weeks, so that I’m not scrambling at the end of the month to accomplish all of them.

Wrap Up Previous Month

I also take some time to go through my planners from the previous month and check off any tasks that I didn’t check off, as well as migrate any tasks that I didn’t end up completing into the new monthly tasks. I also look through my bullet journal brain dump from the previous month and transfer that information as necessary. Overall, I just tie up any loose ends!

Monthly Journal Entry

Last, I do my internal processing. I usually use the prompts from this pinterest post, but there are a lot of Pinterest posts (and posts on other social media platforms) with monthly recap prompts. Some of my favorites are:

  • What was the highlight of your past month? What was the worst part of your last month?
  • How are you feeling about this upcoming month?
  • What are you looking forwards to this month?
  • In an ideal world, what will your life look like at the end of this month?

I like doing this step at the end because I’ll have gotten an idea of what I’m doing in the upcoming month and can properly parse the information.


that’s my monthly planning routine! do you set monthly goals? what steps do you take that are like mine, and what do you do different? I would love to know!

5 ways to establish routine more easily | minimalism and simple living.

Since I’ve moved home from college, I have been struggling to find structure to my daily life. No longer bound by the boundaries that school set, I was spending every day doing tasks as I felt like, only getting my day started at 11 am or 12 pm. Finally, I decided that I needed to sit down and set up routines for myself, and I did! It’s only been a few days, but having a dedicated morning and evening routine has been game changing.

Today, I’ll be sharing 5 ways to make establishing a routine easier. You can make all the best intentions in the world, but setting your routines up for success will not only make them more attainable, but also less mentally taxing to upkeep, which makes it easier for the routines and habits to stick.

Earlier this year, I read Atomic Habits by James Clear, which is a book that many have recommended as a guide to implement habits that are attainable and sustainable. It gave me a lot of tools and techniques, and I learned a lot from it! The tips I’ll be sharing are from my own experience in building habits, but have techniques adapted from Atomic Habits as well.

  1. Have an environment that makes it easier for you to cue yourself. This may mean preparing to do your morning routine the night before, laying out your workout equipment clothes before going to work, or thinking of meal ideas so that when you get groceries, you already know what you’re going to cook. Make your routine as easy to start as possible, to increase the likelihood of you starting it. As Atomic Habits says, Habits are easier to build when they fit into the flow of your life.
  2. Create a way to track your habits. By seeing the buildup of the habits, it makes it seem more of an accomplishment when you do complete the routine. Checking off a task on a to-do list gives my brain the dopamine it craves, so being able to see a list of checkmarks pile up makes it less likely that I fail a routine. I have completed routines many times because I wanted to check it off, not because I wanted to do the habit itself. My app of choice is Routinery, but I also use a habit tracker in my bullet journal: both serve me well!
  3. Relate your routines and habits to your long term goals. When you start eating healthy, are you “trying to eat healthier,” or are you “someone who eats healthy”? If you can identify yourself with your long term goals and the habits you need to reach that goal, it will make you more likely to do that goal!
    For example, one of my goals is to wake up earlier. Instead of saying “I’m going to be trying to wake up earlier,” I think of it as “I’m a morning person, and I’m someone that follows a morning routine.” When I’m building this habit, I’m becoming the kind of person that does follow a morning routine, and if I tell myself that that’s the kind of person I am, then I’ll be more likely to continue doing it.
  4. Make your routines not require willpower. Oftentimes, when we think about building habits we think about how difficult it is, and how much work it will be, replying on our willpower to actually complete it. If you make the routine not dependent on spur of the moment decisions, you’ll be so much more likely to get started!
    For instance, you want to start going to the gym after work instead of chilling on the TV. What if you packed your gym supplies in the car with you? That ways, all you have to do to go to the gym is get in the car, rather than having to look for your gym clothes, get your food and water ready, get ready to leave, and go. Getting in the car is much less effort than doing all of the preparation, and it makes it less likely for you to default to just switching on the TV. You can even take it one step further and take the batteries out of the remote, so that turning on the TV is actually more difficult than getting in the car!
    Each habit has its own “willpower” state. If you can set up your routine such that it is just as easy to begin as the more appealing “default” option, you can rely on your willpower so much less, and you’ll succeed at it more!
  5. Never miss twice. The biggest killer of a routine is missing it one day, and then simply never starting it again. I am guilty of an all-or-nothing mindset: “I missed X yesterday, so why wouldn’t I skip today either?” However, when a routine is missed twice in a row, MISSING the routine becomes the habit, rather than the routine itself! I try to never miss doing a routine two days in a row: even if I fail, the next day is there to pick it back up!

The routines that I have established have been absolutely life changing, and I am so glad I am back in a routine! I hope these tips helped inspire you to follow routines, and stick to them.

Do you keep routines? Do you prefer morning or night routines? What is one thing you want to do better in setting up routines, and what is one thing you do well? Leave a comment and let me know: I would love to chat!

Blog Tour: A Prayer Unanswered by Kellyn Roth (Alice and Ivy #5) || Spotlight and Book Review

Beyond Her Calling

About the Book-

When her world is set adrift, she grasps for the strength to hold on …

As Alice Strauss enters her first year of marriage—full of optimism and determination—she finds herself wholly unprepared for reality. In a new country, with a new family, she struggles to find her footing. Difficult relationships and situations batter her, but she is determined to establish a perfect life with the man she loves.

Unfortunately, perfection seems just beyond her reach. An unexpected tragedy flings Alice out of control, and she struggles to rise from the ruins. Her world is full of spinning variables and agony beyond anything she has ever experienced.

However, there is hope—in a God who loves her and a future established for her since before time began. Yet the devastation of Alice’s life seems beyond even the touch of grace.

Series: The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, Book 5 (Alice #3)
Release Date: July 10, 2022
Genre: Historical Women’s Fiction
Amazon || Goodreads

My Review-

Similar Reviews:

This is the 5th book in the Alice and Ivy series by Kellyn Roth, which is a series that I have been following over the past few years and really enjoyed.

tw // child loss/miscarriage/infertility, alcohol use, postpartum depression/depressive episodes, suicidal idealization/attempt, minor mentions of being drunk and someone being conceived in rape/out of wedlock

This book was from Alice’s perspective, which hasn’t been my favorite. Alice is flighty, with a strong head for doing what is “right,” and stubborn to the point of being foolhardy. To this end, she ends up making mistakes, withdrawing, and succumbing to a deep depression. She pulls away from her husband, who is trying his best to support her, and she relies on herself to the point where she feels like she cannot go on.

This book was HEAVY. There was a LOT of mature content that was covered. It is marketed as women’s fiction, and discusses many adult topics including marital intimacy, and pregnancy/miscarriages. Everything was spoken about in a deeply moral sense, including mentions of being intimate in a marriage without being “unbiblical [. . .] that allow God the possibility to work if He so pleases” and a couple scenes where one of the married characters asks their spouse to “be with them” that night. There was a very vivid scene of a miscarriage, and a pretty graphically (but one room over) childbirth. There were multiple passages describing someone in a deep depression, to the point where they did not leave their room for weeks to months on end. There were definitely scenes that were a little too graphic and were a bit triggering for me, and I had to skim through some sections.

One thing that frustrated me about this book was that Alice and her husband, Peter, did not communicate to each other as efficiently as that could have. Part of it was due to Alice feeling like she had to be “proper,” and not divulge “womanly secrets” about her period, but part of it was just due to propriety. If you are married, there should no longer be any secrets between you and your spouse: if you have been made one, there is no point in keeping secrets, especially about things as heavy and deep as Alice did. At the same time, Peter also made decisions without referring to Alice, and this was presented as “Alice obeying Peter” but at the same time, marriage is a partnership, and moving across states is definitely a “talk with your partner” decision, not a “listen to your husband” decision. This communication barrier was pretty frustrating at times, but it did eventually start to get resolved as the book went on.

As for the plotline of the series, some pretty big things happen in this book. Ivy and Jordy get married (and their marriage seems a lot more wholesome and sustainable than Alice and Peter’s, I must say), and Nettie reveals a secret to Alice that I think should have been revealed a while ago.

There was A LOT of talk about being “moral” in this book, whether in a marriage, or just in daily living. There were several pretty deep discussions about whether or not something was Biblical, and while I appreciate that, it got to be a bit overbearing at times. It seems like the author is injecting a lot of her personal opinion into this book (and series), some of which I agreed with, and some of which I did not. There were some disparaging things said about women, along the lines of “don’t mess up her kitchen, you know how a woman gets when you mess up her kitchen,” which left a pretty nasty taste in my mouth. There are some pretty dark things said about miscarriages and what that means about a person’s character that I really disagreed with. [spoiler in the next paragraph, highlight to read]

Alice alludes several times that her miscarriage was her fault, and that her husband would never forgive her for not giving him a child. She has a really unhealthy relationship with having children, and said that the people she knew who had miscarriages were “aligned with God, and it was some strange, ill fortune that she had experienced miscarriages,” while her own was unforgivable. I was expecting someone, such as Peter, to come in and tell her that miscarriages are something that occur because of a fallen world, and it was not her fault, but that never happened. It seems as though the author does at least subconsciously believe that miscarriages can be controlled and are somehow inherently sinful, which is really sad.

Overall this book was certainly the heaviest out of this series to date: the author said that this was the climax to the generations-long drama and relationships, but it was a little too heavy for my liking. If you are looking for a heavily moral adult women’s fiction book, this is the book for you. I’m looking forwards to reading book 6, from Ivy’s perspective!

My Rating-

3/5

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

Book Review: The Deadly Shallows by Dani Pettrey (Coastal Guardians #3)

The Deadly Shadows

About the Book-

A mass shooting.
A stolen weapon capable of immense destruction. 
A painful secret that threatens to tear two hearts apart.

CGIS Agent Noah Rowley is rocked to the core when he learns of a mass shooting raging on his Coast Guard base. He and his team stop the attack, but not before numerous innocent lives are lost. Furious and grief-stricken, he determines to do whatever is needed to bring the mastermind behind the attack to justice.

Coast Guard flight medic Brooke Kesler evacuates the scene of the shooting in a helicopter carrying the only surviving gunman. Gravely wounded, the man whispers mysterious information to Brooke that immediately paints a target on her back.

As Brooke and Noah race to uncover answers, emotions between them ignite. Noah struggles to protect Brooke at all costs and to conceal the secret that prevents him from becoming what he longs to be–the right man for her.

Everything is at stake as a horrifying truth emerges. . . .

The mass shooting wasn’t the end game. It was only the beginning.

My Review-

Similar Reviews:

My main issue with this book was that it was utterly unmemorable: I read it a month or two ago and now, sitting down to write the review, I remember effectively none of what happened in the book. Even after skimming through the book again, I still have trouble thinking of what the plot was. Part of it is my own issues with reading comprehension (I get easily confused when there are many side characters, and I can’t follow plots with multiple POV changes easily), but I also think that this book was just confusingly written, because I was much more confused in this book than I usually am.

There were at least 4 or 5 POVs, and 2 romances going on, as well as about a half dozen other characters that also made an appearance in this book, so needless to say, there was a lot going on all the time. Even though it has been the same cast of characters since the first book, keeping all of them straight didn’t seem to get any easier in this book.

On top of everything, there was a lot of gore. The book opens with a mass shooting, with graphic descriptions of blood and people dying. While it wasn’t particularly visual, it was shocking and overall had more blood and murder than I’ve been used to in Christian suspense.

The actual suspense/mystery part of the book was good: I thought that the chase and suspense built up well and kept me reading. However, the parts where there was suspense fell second to the interactions between the characters and the romantic plotlines. While there was a lot of suspenseful moments, overall I think the suspense could have been done better.

Overall, this is the third book by Dani Pettrey that I’ve read and overall, I think that I am not cut out for books by her. As much as I enjoy a fast-paced suspense book, something about the writing style and the number of characters in her books leads me to not enjoy her books as much, and I don’t think I’ll be picking up her books from this point forward.

My Rating-

3/5

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

Book Review: Free Fall by Nancy Mehl (The Quantico Files #3)

Free Fall

About the Book-

The closer she comes to the truth, the deadlier her chase gets.

FBI behavioral analyst Alex Donovan and her colleague Logan Hart have been called upon to write a profile for a missing woman, but a little digging quickly turns up more disappearances in Virginia with the same physical description.

Alex is in a race against the clock to rescue the missing victims, so when the UNSUB makes demands of her in exchange for information, Alex takes the bait. But when her life is put in jeopardy, Logan must do whatever it takes to track them down before time runs out.

Alex works to think one step ahead of the suspect, but the more Logan and the BAU learn about the serial kidnapper, the more they fear Alex may not make it out alive.

My Review-

Similar reviews:

I’ve been looking forwards to reading the finale for this trilogy for so long, and I was so glad it was finally time to read this book! Unfortunately, it was a bit of a letdown, but overall I am glad I read it!

This book is primarily the finale between Alex Donovan (the female protagonist) and Logan Hart (the male protagonist) and their relationship that has been developing over the past few books. In my opinion, the romance in this book doesn’t really develop all that much–it’s just a bunch of physical attraction, and mostly Logan pining after Alex. In that regard, it was a bit . . much? It was a lot of romantic ~feelings~ and “ooh do they like me back” instead of any truly good chemistry, and honestly I wasn’t a huge fan of Alex and Logan together.

The setting for this book was really well done! There was some historical background set in an abandoned amusement park/circus, and part of the investigation was also set there, and I thought that was really creepy and unique. Haunted/old circuses have a particular flavor of spooky and I thought that the setting was a really good choice.

The main storyline was also really good: I think it progressed at a good pace, and the story itself was interesting and unique, and kept me hooked. It was different from the standard Christian fiction politics-motivated/drugs/terrorism that seems to be all anybody writes about anymore, which was really nice. I was a little bit skeptical of the realism of some of the plot points, but overall, it was the most interesting part of the story and I thought it was interesting.

The side stories were a little confusing to me, and in parts it felt more like the side story was there to fill space rather than contribute to the story. Several of the side storylines (Logan’s medical side story, Jeff’s whole conversion story, etc) were interesting, but I much preferred the main story to the side plots. Truth be told, a lot of this book seemed to be trying to fill space, and that was a bit annoying to slog through.

With that being said, I REALLY liked the perspective of the antagonists and their chapters: it was so suspenseful seeing their point of view, and those chapters were really well done.

Overall, this was a good book, if a little bit weak. I think the second book in the series was my favorite. I much prefer the Kaley Quinn Profiler series and the characters in that book over this one, and this entire set of books was mediocre (I think the author tried to imitate the Kaley Quinn Profiler series too closely but didn’t think through the plotline closely enough) but didn’t succeed.

My Rating-

3/5

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

Book Review: The Catch by Lisa Harris (US Marshals #3)

The Catch

About this Book-

After a harrowing attempt on a judge’s life at the courthouse, Deputy US Marshals Madison James and Jonas Quinn are tasked with finding a missing woman and an endangered child in connection to the murder of the judge’s wife. What seems like a fairly straightforward case becomes hopelessly tangled when the marshals discover that the woman they are searching for is not who they think she is.

Madison and Jonas are forced into a race to find the woman and the child before the men who want her dead discover her location. And in a final showdown that could cost her everything, Madison will come face-to-face with the person who murdered her husband.

USA Today bestselling author Lisa Harris concludes her thrilling US Marshals series with this breathless tale of secrets kept, lies exposed, and ultimately, justice prevailing.

My Review-

Similar Reviews:

I was excited to finish reading Lisa Harris’ US Marshals series: the series so far has been building up to this book and I was looking forwards to seeing how the whole story resolved!

I liked the premise of this book a lot: it was different from a lot of the standard Christian fiction books, and that made it really interesting. There was a lot of fast paced action scenes: chases, manhunts, kidnapping, etc., and that kept me reading the book. I really liked the commentary about people who become indebted to others for their survival, and the ability for those in power to abuse that position easily. What looked like an infidel man in power and his money-fueled schemes turned into a kidnapped woman and child, a manhunt, and the lives of many at stake.

The storyline that’s been building throughout the series resolved with less fanfare than I would have liked: I thought that there would be a huge reveal of that thread but it seemed rushed and half-hearted, which was disappointing.

Honestly, at the end of the series, Madison and Jonas’ relationship is just . . . fine. They don’t have any particular chemistry (not the “lighting flared between their touch”) kind of chemistry, just . . . any sort of chemistry really that made me want to cheer for them as a couple.

One thing to note is that there are a lot more sexual references in this book than in the average Christian fiction book. Primarily, this is due to the fact that the premise of the main story is based off of a man having an affair with a woman other than his wife, and the consequences of that affair, so there are a lot of references to extramarital activities.

All in all, I think this book was good, if not particularly memorable. It was very fast paced, which made it easy for me to want to keep reading, but there was also not anything particularly memorable about this book I’ll remember about it in a year. I was disappointed by the resolution of the series-long arcs, but the story from this particular book was good.

My Rating-

3/10

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

Book Review: Malicious Intent by Lynn H. Blackburn (Defend and Protect #2)

Malicious Intent

About this Book-

Dr. Ivy Collins, founder and CEO of Hedera, Inc., is ready to begin clinical trials of her company’s cutting-edge prosthetic. Her work has been heralded by government, medical, and advocacy groups and everyone hopes the device will be a success. Well, almost everyone. Someone is trying to sabotage Hedera and the launch, but to what purpose–and how far will they go to get what they want?

Meanwhile, U.S. Secret Service Agent Gil Dixon can’t believe he’s finally been reunited with Ivy, his childhood best friend. Now that he’s found her again, Gil intends to spend the rest of his life with her. But it will take all his skill to uncover the truth in time to save Ivy’s life’s work, her own life, and the innocent lives caught in the crossfire.

Perfectly balancing chilling suspense and uplifting romance, award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn delivers a story of revenge, greed, and overcoming that you won’t want to put down no matter how late it gets.

My Review-

From this series: Unknown Threat by Lynn H. Blackburn (Defend and Protect #1)

This book was really fun! It was really fast paced and the story moved rapidly. I read through the whole book fairly quickly and really enjoyed it!

I had some issue with the believability of the plot points: even though suspension of disbelief comes with the territory of Christian suspense, there were aspects of this book that were difficult to believe even with a certain amount of suspension of disbelief. For instance, someone like Ivy, who had MILLIONS of dollars at her disposal, would be unlikely to work with law enforcement and more likely to work with a security team/private investigators of some sort. I’m not convinced that wills just . . . give you 20 million dollars directly into a bank account, and furthermore, if you HAD 20 million dollars, you would have them in investments and not just . . . loose in a bank account?

Further things I have issue with: ransomware/computer experts/servers/etc, how smart people work???, research conferences, hospitals/medical work/injuries/physical trauma and such. I think my academic background is strong enough that some of the points that the author assumed the audience would gloss over don’t do it for me, and that took away quite a bit of the overall believability of the story for me to a point where I could not properly ignore it.

With that being said, there were also several things that I really did like! I LOVED the reunion story between Gil and Ivy as childhood best friends falling into each other’s lives. I thought that was so sweet, and their gradual shift towards their previous interrupted romance was so cute. Gil’s relationship with his sister Emily (and Emily & Ivy’s relationship) and his mom and the way they all acted was just so sweet and I really liked that a lot.

Gil and Ivy’s characters were basically perfect, but that gave them a chance to focus on their romance from their childhood. I think the amount of ~angst~ in this book was well done, but they are a little too perfect as people in general. I also liked the small thread of working through historical problems and the unanswered questions from when they were young. It seemed really healing to Gil and Ivy and the forgiveness and understanding that they had for each other was really good to read.

There was SO much packed into this story, and it only took place over the course of several days, which was a little wild. There was the counterfeit event, the ransom/hostage attack, the ransomware, the ex, the conference, the bomb, the house attack, and more. It become a little difficult to keep track of after a while, but simultaneously, the fast pace made the story move quickly so it was understandable.

I really liked the teamwork between Gil and his Special Agent team: it was so clear that they had each other’s backs, even Morris, who seemed gruff at first, but still worked cohesively as a group. The group completely trusted each other and would go out of their way to support each other and that work environment seemed so lovely!

All in all, I really liked this book! I’ll definitely be picking up more of Lynn Blackburn’s books in the future, and other than the slight unbelievability, this story was really enjoyable!

My Rating-

8/10

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

Book Review: Beyond Her Calling by Kellyn Roth (Alice and Ivy #4)

Beyond Her Calling

About this Book-

Ivy Knight feels that her life may never start. Though her loving family assures her that her place in the world is close to home, she still feels a push to move out of her comfort zone. Hoping against hope, she travels to her old friends at McCale House, seeking a purpose.

Jordy McAllen has just returned to Scotland after his education in London. He fears that what everyone has always said about him may be true: he can’t be a good doctor, let alone a good man. Determined to prove himself, Jordy snatches up the opportunity to become the doctor in the village of Keefmore near his parents’ farm.

When an old friend decides to travel to Keefmore and visit a relative, Ivy follows. She soon finds herself drawn to Jordy, but as their attraction grows, they both face doubts. A relationship between the two of them feels improbable—and might just require a step of impossible faith.

Amazon ||  Goodreads

My Review-

Other reviews from this series:

I have been following Kellyn Roth’s Alice and Ivy series since it started being republished, and naturally, I had to read and review this one!

The main storyline in this book is following Ivy, the less accomplished twin, and her romance with Jordy McAllen, a doctor and Ivy’s friend. In book 2, Ivy Introspective, she develops a friendship with Jordy and they have grown together over the course of that book and this book, and in this one, they build their relationship and fall in love.

Ivy and Jordy have much more chemistry than Alice and her husband have, and I really liked reading their journey as they fell in love. Their discoveries about life, God, and each other are insightful and well done, and their development throughout the course of this book was really good to see.

Having read 2 books from each Alice and Ivy’s perspectives, I think now that I much prefer the books when they are written from Ivy’s perspective. They are more fun and have more interest as the story progresses. Maybe this will change in book 5, but Alice’s perspective seems more bland and uninteresting, whereas Ivy is still going through so much character development and growth that her books are inherently more interesting.

In addition to the story arc from just Ivy’s perspective, there is also a series-wide arc. In this book, there are some pretty big developments that are revealed and they were SO interesting! Due to spoilers, I can’t reveal what they are, but there were some big surprises that I hadn’t previously expected that changes the way I think about a lot of the characters, and I am so interested to see more! A lot of the information from the previous books were revealed, and it makes me more excited to see what that will mean for the characters in the future.

tw // child loss/miscarriage, alcohol use, gambling, depression/depressive episodes

As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews for this series, this is women’s fiction, which means that there is a lot of discussion of mature content that is not suitable for younger readers. In particular, the content includes (and is not limited to) drinking alcohol/getting drunk, premarital sex (with a heavy emphasis on purity), infant loss/miscarriage, depression, and consent (in regard to kisses). There is a heavy emphasis on Christian morals and change/sin/forgiveness, but there are a lot of heavier adult topics talked about, and sensitive readers should be aware of that.

One more thing to note is that Jordy has a Scottish accent, and all of his dialogue is written with a Scottish accent, which forced me to have to sound it out in my head while I was reading, so if that’s not how you read, it might be annoying/difficult.

Overall, I really liked this book, especially when compared to the previous book in the series, At Her Fingertips. If you are looking for a solid Christian adult novel with hearty dose of morals and teaching, this series would be a good one to pickup.

My Rating-

4/5

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.