Month: January 2020

The Ten Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf (January 2020 Edition)

Posted January 20, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 24 Comments

I love doing this topic in January, right after the holiday book haul and right at the beginning of the new year when lots of new releases come out! Today I’m highlighting the ten most recent books I’ve either purchased, been gifted, or received for review. I’m not including books I already had e-galleys of and got finished copies for my personal collection. Get excited about all of these! I sure am!

1. One Summer’s Night by Kiley Dunbar
I really, really loved Christmas at Frozen Falls and absolutely had to order Kiley’s first novel.

2. The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
My TBTB Secret Santa sent me this for Christmas this year, and I’m so excited to read it! I love books about bookish characters.

3. Wallbanger by Alice Clayton
Also from my TBTB Secret Santa! This one has been on my TBR forever and it sounds really funny.

4. The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda
I love a good thriller, and I hear Megan Miranda writes some great ones. I was very excited when I got this one for review. (Review copy)

5. Make or Break at the Lighthouse B & B by Portia MacIntosh
Doesn’t this cover just scream leisurely summer day? It looks so perfect. (Review copy)

6. 500 Miles from You by Jenny Colgan
A nurse and an “all-purpose medical man” switch jobs for a time, and communicate back and forth through email about the patients they’ve traded. These emails form a kinship and then I’m thinking a bit of a love story. Sounds fun! (Review copy)

7. The Move by Whitney Dineen
When the heroine is 12, a fortune teller tells her that when she’s 30 a dog will jump over her and her life will change. Weird, right? one day… it happens. I’m intrigued! (Review copy)

8. If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane
I’ve never read a book by this author, but I’ve heard good things! This is a fauxmance played out on social media… sounds awesome. Fauxmances get me weak in the knees. I don’t care about much else when there’s a fake relationship going on! (Review copy)

9. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
I got the audiobook for Christmas, and I can’t wait to read it! It’s got so much of what I love in the synopsis.

10. Faking It by K. Bromberg
Another fauxmance! I got this one for Christmas. Rich Australian guy makes the heroine miss her job interview because he thinks she’s his dog walker… so he makes it up to her by hiring her to play his girlfriend to help promote his dating website. She has to go on tour with him… sounds like fun to me!

What books have you added to your shelf recently?


Top Ten Bookish Discoveries I Made In 2019

Posted January 13, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 27 Comments

This topic seemed easy until I started writing my list and then I realized that it’s actually very hard. lol. As I’ve mentioned before, 2019 was not the best year for me. I’d just as soon erase it from my existence and move on. BUT I did discover some new authors I love and some other fun bookish things, so here we go!

New-to-Me-Authors

1. Annette Marie 
I really loved listening to Annette’s Guild Codex: Spellbound series!

2. Riley Sager
I read ALL of Riley’s books last year after loving Lock Every Door so much. He’s an amazing author, who writes the kind of creepy that I love.

Different Genre Interests

3. Urban Fantasy
WHAT!? I like urban fantasy now? Who am I?

4. Historical Fiction
I’ve always been a lover of historical romance, but I’ve all of a sudden really fallen in love with historical mysteries or alternative history kinds of books.

5. Adult in general…

6. Therefore… I’ve officially fallen out of love with YA. 
I know… how did this happen? But I’m ok with it! There’s a few authors I love that I’ll still keep tabs on, and I’m sure there will be a YA title here or there that piques my interest, but I’ve been reading significantly less YA over the last year or two, and that’s ok.

Apps

7. Hoopla
I finally fell in love with Hoopla and utilized it way more than I ever have. This is the kind of library service I like… no germs in my bed from gross physical books (the germs, you guys). Digital files on my own devices is so much better.

Products

8. Classical Music for the Reader Album Series
I love classical music, but sometimes the dynamics are so all over the place that the music is super quiet and then crescendos SO quickly that it scares the crap out of me and throws me out of my book. These albums are great, and I’ve made a playlist of all of them on Amazon Music Unlimited to I can stream them anywhere.

Personal Preferences

9. I don’t actually like owning lots of books.
I know this seems counter-intuitive, but hear me out. I love owning books, but only the books I love. When I was younger, I wanted shelves full of books. All the books. I wanted to look like a reader, but I wasn’t. lol. So I got books with pretty covers and then never read them. When my love of reading reignited, and I became a book blogger I wanted to own all the books and ARCs because I thought it made me look cool and like a good blogger. lol. Now, I just want to look at my shelves and smile because I love the books I see. I like having tons of empty space on my shelves for new books that I’ll love in the future. I’m fine with no longer owning all of them, and that dawned on me last year. I did a huge cull/purge and got rid of so many books that I’d lost interest in or didn’t love enough to want to read again. It was amazing, and I felt so light.

10. Book formats don’t mean a ton to me anymore.
I used to want all the hardcovers, but now I’m happy with books in all formats. Although, sometimes I want Kindle because the cover embarrasses me or I want to read the book on vacation and not have to drag a physical copy with me. Sometimes I also want a copy for my shelves because I loved it so much.

What bookish discoveries did you make in 2019?


Roman Crazy by Alice Clayton & Nina Bocci | Book Review

Posted January 8, 2020 by Jana in Adult Fiction, Book Review / 1 Comment

Roman Crazy by Alice Clayton & Nina Bocci | Book ReviewRoman Crazy by Alice Clayton, Nina Bocci
Published by Gallery Books on November 13, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher (Netgalley)
Amazon Add to Goodreads
4 Stars
Avery Bardot steps off the plane in Rome, looking for a fresh start. She’s left behind a soon-to-be ex-husband in Boston and plans to spend the summer with her best friend Daisy, licking her wounds—and perhaps a gelato or two. But when her American-expat friend throws her a welcome party on her first night, Avery’s thrown for a loop when she sees a man she never thought she’d see again: Italian architect Marcello Bianchi.

Marcello was the man—the one who got away. And now her past is colliding with her present, a present where she should be mourning the loss of her marriage and—hey, that fettuccine is delicious! And so is Marcello…

Slipping easily into the good life of summertime in Rome, Avery spends her days exploring a city that makes art historians swoon, and her nights swooning over her unexpected what was old is new again romance. It’s heady, it’s fevered, it’s wanton, and it’s crazy. But could this really be her new life? Or is it just a temporary reprieve before returning to the land of twin-set cardigans and crustless sandwiches?

Anytime I find a book that’s set in Italy, I get excited. I hear bells and I light up because Italy is my favorite place on this earth and I love returning there through books. I’d heard good things about these authors individually, so I was also excited to read a book written by the two of them. I really liked all the characters, but I particularly liked the friendship between Avery and Daisy. It would be seriously so nice to have a best friend like Daisy, who is always there and will support you no matter what. Marcello was also super swoony and quintessentially Italian, so I was falling for him pretty quickly! I love second chance romances, and I love that Marcello and Avery fall right back into old feelings nine years after having a summer fling. It brought so much validity and depth to their love story.

Eve though the book can be called a romance, there’s more going on. This story was largely about Avery finding herself after finding her husband cheating on her with his secretary. She flew to Italy heal and to fall in love with art (again) and herself, and it was so much fun getting to see her come to terms with her life, learn from it, and move on to better things. If only we all had the chance to heal from a breakup in Italy! I loved the descriptions of the food and the scenery. I also loved the mix of funny and deep moments, not to mention super romantic moments. This book was the whole package for me, and I’m excited to read more from these authors.


Top Ten Most Anticipated Books Releasing In the First Half of 2020

Posted January 6, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 28 Comments

Happy New Year! I hope your 2020 is off to a great start. a new year brings a whole bunch of new books, and this TTT’s focus is on those upcoming releases in January – June of this year! I’m looking forward to a bunch, so this was a fun list to write up and get even more excited about!

1. Last Day by Luanne Rice (February 1, 2020)

Years ago, Beth Lathrop and her sister Kate suffered what they thought would be the worst tragedy of their lives the night both the famous painting Moonlight and their mother were taken. The detective assigned to the case, Conor Reid, swore to protect the sisters from then on.

Beth moved on, throwing herself fully into the art world, running the family gallery, and raising a beautiful daughter with her husband Pete. Kate, instead, retreated into herself and took to the skies as a pilot, always on the run. When Beth is found strangled in her home, and Moonlight goes missing again, Detective Reid can’t help but feel a sense of déjà vu.

Reid immediately suspects Beth’s husband, whose affair is a poorly kept secret. He has an airtight alibi—but he also has a motive, and the evidence seems to point to him. Kate and Reid, along with the sisters’ closest childhood friends, struggle to make sense of Beth’s death, but they only find more questions: Who else would have wanted Beth dead? What’s the significance of Moonlight?

Twenty years ago, Reid vowed to protect Beth and Kate—and he’s failed. Now solving the case is turning into an obsession . . .

2. The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa (February 4, 2020)

A wedding planner left at the altar. Yeah, the irony isn’t lost on Carolina Santos, either. But despite that embarrassing blip from her past, Lina’s managed to make other people’s dreams come true as a top-tier wedding coordinator in DC. After impressing an influential guest, she’s offered an opportunity that could change her life. There’s just one hitch… she has to collaborate with the best (make that worst) man from her own failed nuptials.

Tired of living in his older brother’s shadow, marketing expert Max Hartley is determined to make his mark with a coveted hotel client looking to expand its brand. Then he learns he’ll be working with his brother’s whip-smart, stunning—absolutely off-limits—ex-fiancée. And she loathes him.

If they can survive the next few weeks and nail their presentation without killing each other, they’ll both come out ahead. Except Max has been public enemy number one ever since he encouraged his brother to jilt the bride, and Lina’s ready to dish out a little payback of her own.

But even the best laid plans can go awry, and soon Lina and Max discover animosity may not be the only emotion creating sparks between them. Still, this star-crossed couple can never be more than temporary playmates because Lina isn’t interested in falling in love and Max refuses to play runner-up to his brother ever again…

3. Love, Unscripted by Owen Nicholls (February 11, 2020)

A film-obsessed romantic rewrites the script to understand why his “picture-perfect” love story crashed and burned in this wonderfully clever debut.

Ellie had the quizzical eyebrows of Broadcast News-era Holly Hunter and the neon-red hair of Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. At least, that’s what caught Nick’s attention when he met her on the night of 2008’s historic election. A cinema devotee and lover of great love stories, Nick always fancied himself the Tom Hanks of his own romantic comedy, and when sparks flew with Ellie that night, he swiftly cast her as the Meg Ryan of his story. For four blissful years, Nick loved Ellie as much as he loved his job as a film projectionist: wholly, earnestly, cinematically.

But now Ellie has moved out, convinced “the fire’s gone,” and Nick is forced to sift through his memories to figure out where it all went wrong. The fallout from Ellie’s declaration that she “doesn’t love Nick the way she used to” throws him back into recollections of their first night together. Their shared jokes, her wry smile, the “hope” that filled the night air–his memories are as rose-colored as the Hollywood love stories he idealizes.

That night was a perfect meet-cute, yes, but was their romance as destined for a “happily ever after” as he’d thought? Is he really the rom-com hero he believes he’s been? Or did this Harry let his Sally down? Peppered with references to beloved movies, Love, Unscripted explores how even a hopeless romantic can learn that in real life, love isn’t, and shouldn’t be, like what we see in the movies.

4. The Upside of Falling by Alex Light (February 18, 2020)

It’s been years since seventeen-year-old Becca Hart believed in true love. But when her former best friend teases her for not having a boyfriend, Becca impulsively pretends she’s been secretly seeing someone.

Brett Wells has it all. Being captain of the football team and one of the most popular guys in school, he should have no problem finding someone to date, but he’s always been more focused on his future than who to bring to prom. When he overhears Becca’s lie, Brett decides to step in and be her mystery guy. It’s the perfect solution: he gets people off his back for not dating and she can keep up the ruse.

Acting like the perfect couple isn’t easy though, especially when you barely know the other person. But with Becca still picking up the pieces from when her world was blown apart years ago and Brett just barely holding his together now, they begin to realize they have more in common than they ever could have imagined. When the line between real and pretend begins to blur, they are forced to answer the question: is this fake romance the realest thing in either of their lives?

5. The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren (March 24, 2020)

Carey Douglas has worked for home remodeling and design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp for nearly a decade. A country girl at heart, Carey started in their first store at sixteen, and—more than anyone would suspect—has helped them build an empire. With a new show and a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of superstardom. There’s only one problem: America’s favorite couple can’t stand each other.

James McCann, MIT graduate and engineering genius, was originally hired as a structural engineer, but the job isn’t all he thought it’d be. The last straw? Both he and Carey must go on book tour with the Tripps and keep the wheels from falling off the proverbial bus.

Unfortunately, neither of them is in any position to quit. Carey needs health insurance, and James has been promised the role of a lifetime if he can just keep the couple on track for a few more weeks. While road-tripping with the Tripps up the West Coast, Carey and James vow to work together to keep their bosses’ secrets hidden, and their own jobs secure. But if they stop playing along—and start playing for keeps—they may have the chance to build something beautiful together…

6. The Return by Rachel Harrison (March 24, 2020)

An edgy and haunting debut novel about a group of friends who reunite after one of them has returned from a mysterious two-year disappearance.

Julie is missing, and the missing don’t often return. But Elise knows Julie better than anyone, and she feels in her bones that her best friend is out there, and that one day she’ll come back. She’s right. Two years to the day that Julie went missing, she reappears with no memory of where she’s been or what happened to her.

7. If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane (March 24, 2020)

If faking love is this easy… how do you know when it’s real?

When her partner of over a decade suddenly ends things, Laurie is left reeling—not only because they work at the same law firm and she has to see him every day. Her once perfect life is in shambles and the thought of dating again in the age of Tinder is nothing short of horrifying. When news of her ex’s pregnant girlfriend hits the office grapevine, taking the humiliation lying down is not an option. Then a chance encounter in a broken-down elevator with the office playboy opens up a new possibility.

Jamie Carter doesn’t believe in love, but he needs a respectable, steady girlfriend to impress their bosses. Laurie wants a hot new man to give the rumor mill something else to talk about. It’s the perfect proposition: a fauxmance played out on social media, with strategically staged photographs and a specific end date in mind. With the plan hatched, Laurie and Jamie begin to flaunt their new couple status, to the astonishment—and jealousy—of their friends and colleagues. But there’s a fine line between pretending to be in love and actually falling for your charming, handsome fake boyfriend…

8. Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett (May 5, 2020)

Sometimes to find the good, you have to embrace the bad.

Budding photographer Josie Saint-Martin has spent half her life with her single mother, moving from city to city. When they return to her historical New England hometown years later to run the family bookstore, Josie knows it’s not forever. Her dreams are on the opposite coast, and she has a plan to get there.

What she doesn’t plan for is a run-in with the town bad boy, Lucky Karras. Outsider, rebel…and her former childhood best friend. Lucky makes it clear he wants nothing to do with the newly returned Josie. But everything changes after a disastrous pool party, and a poorly executed act of revenge lands Josie in some big-time trouble—with Lucky unexpectedly taking the blame.

Determined to understand why Lucky was so quick to cover for her, Josie discovers that both of them have changed, and that the good boy she once knew now has a dark sense of humor and a smile that makes her heart race. And maybe, just maybe, he’s not quite the brooding bad boy everyone thinks he is…

9. The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler (May 5, 2020)

When Graham Barnett named his diner The Tourist Trap, he meant it as a joke. Now he’s stuck slinging reindeer dogs to an endless string of resort visitors who couldn’t interest him less. Not even the sweet, enthusiastic tourist in the corner who blushes every time he looks her way…

Two weeks in Alaska isn’t just the top item on Zoey Caldwell’s bucket list. It’s the whole bucket. One look at the mountain town of Moose Springs and she’s smitten. But when an act of kindness brings Zoey into Graham’s world, she may just find there’s more to the man than meets the eye…and more to love in Moose Springs than just the Alaskan wilderness.

10. By the Book by Amanda Sellet (May 12, 2020)

As a devotee of classic novels, Mary Porter-Malcolm knows all about Mistakes That Have Been Made, especially by impressionable young women. So when a girl at her new high school nearly succumbs to the wiles of a notorious cad, Mary starts compiling the Scoundrel Survival Guide, a rundown of literary types to be avoided at all costs.

Unfortunately, Mary is better at dishing out advice than taking it—and the number one bad boy on her list is terribly debonair. As her best intentions go up in flames, Mary discovers life doesn’t follow the same rules as fiction. If she wants a happy ending IRL, she’ll have to write it herself.

 

Which upcoming releases are you excited about?