Category: Top Ten Tuesday

The Last Ten Books That Gave Me a Book Hangover

Posted February 17, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 16 Comments

Welcome to another TTT! What’s a book hangover, you ask? Well. Urban Dictionary provides us with two definitions that I think fit perfectly.

1. The inability to start a new book because you are still living in the old book’s world
2. The inability to function at work/school because you were up all night binge-reading

So… today’s topic is to share the last ten books you’ve read that have done either of these two things to you! Should be fairly easy, right? I’ve had a few book hangovers over the last year as I figure out the kinds of books I love to read, but before that they were few and far between. Some of these books on my list today were read years ago because I’ve struggled to love books for a while. I actually got to the point where I thought I’d fallen out of love with reading, which killed me! I’ve talked about my falling out with YA a lot lately and how confused it made me, but I think I’m finally figuring things out again! So yay! Bring on all the book hangovers!

1. The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler
Romantic contemporary comedy set in Moose Spring, AK starring a silly Zoey and a swoony, sarcastic Graham. There’s narwhals, beautiful scenery, a close call with a whale, a rinky dink diner, and a moose that likes to lick windows.

2. Christmas at Frozen Falls by Kiley Dunbar
A beautiful, festive contemporary romance set in Lapland. You’ve got Sylvie who is supposed to be on her honeymoon, Nari the best friend and travel blogger, Stellan the sexy Finnish ex that owns reindeer and husky puppies, and Niilo the unique guy with a strong connection with his ancestry and the land he calls home. You’ve got an isolated, cozy cabin setting, Northern Lights, so much snow, sled dog rides, and so many swoons!

3. You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
This one. You guys. It’s SOOOOO wonderful. Naomi and Nicholas are engaged, but they hate each other. HATE. But neither one of them wants to end the engagement because then they’ll be stuck with the bill. So they make each other’s lives a living Hell to try and get the other one to end things. I don’t want to give anything away because it’s so special, but feelings. So many feelings.

4. Dating by the Book by Mary Ann Marlowe
Bookish characters! Maddie is an author and gets a bad review on her book. One drunken night, she contacts this reviewer to give them a piece of her mind. They become friends! And then there’s other things. Read this!

5. Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
This was so creepy and wonderful and amazing. Jules takes the job of living in a very fancy, exclusive apartment building. But something sinister is afoot and the apartment sitters keep dying! Ahhhh!

6. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
The best man and maid of honor are the only two members of the wedding party who don’t get food poisoning, so they decide to go on the bride and groom’s honeymoon and pose as the newlywed couple. Shenanigans and feelings happen.

7. The Gem Thief by Sian Ann Bessey
This is an amazing trip. Mystery, romance, intrigue, travel… jewelry theft. It’s awesome. So much of it takes place on a luxury cruise ship, jumping from destinations that include Venice and Greece.

8. I Temporarily Do by Ellie Cahill
Another fake romance (I love these)! Emmy and Beckett both go through a series of unfortunate events that leave them homeless and at college. So why not get married so they can share an apartment in married student housing? I loved watching them “fake” this relationship and catch some feelings for each other.

9. Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My favorite romantic suspense ever. It’s just. So. Good!

10. Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco
Dracula has always been a very intriguing story for me, and I loved Kerri’s take on this mystery. I loved the setting and the characters. I loooooove Thomas. It’s such a twisty story! I have a hard time speaking in complete sentences about this book. lol.


Ten Books On My TBR With the Word “Love” In the Title

Posted February 10, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 27 Comments

Happy love week at Top Ten Tuesday! Valentine’s Day is Friday, so I thought it would be fun to focus on love this week. I decided to share ten books from my TBR that have the word “love” in the title. There’s 260 books listed on my goodreads shelves that have “love” in the title, so I had a lot to choose from!

1. The Love Academy by Belinda Jones
2. Love Overdue by Pamela Morsi
3. Love Beyond Time by Bethany Claire
4. From Scotland With Love by Katie Fforde
5. Love & Olives by Jenna Evans Welch
6. Love at the Italian Lake by Darcie Boleyn
7. Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren
8. Love at the Northern Lights by Darcie Boleyn
9. On the Corner of Love and Hate by Nina Bocci
10. Love Like Water by D.E. Malone

What topic did you pick for TTT this week?
What lovey dovey books do you love? I need recommendations!


Top Ten Books I Predict Will Be 5-Star Reads for Me

Posted February 3, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 31 Comments

Welcome to another TTT! The Book Dutchesses came up with this topic one week when they didn’t like the prompt I provided, and I thought it sounded like so much fun that I stole it! There’s so many books I’m excited to read, but then there’s the ones I’m REALLY EXCITED TO READ!!! These books are the ones I’m expecting will be 5-star reads for me, and I’ll be sharing those titles with you today!

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
This book has popped up in many of my TTTs over the last few months because I’m SO excited to read Riley’s next book! I loved Lock Every Door so so much, and this one takes place in a creepy building just like that one did!

My Fake Rake by Eva Leigh
Bookish heroine, a nerdy scientist who gets a makeover to be suave, and a fake romance. This has the makings for perfection!

Well Met by Jen DeLuca
Christina Lauren blurbed this and said it was their new favorite feel-good novel, and that on its own would be all I needed to know. BUT it also sounds adorable and unique. Romance and a Renaissance Faire!

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
Ok, here’s another thriller set in a creepy building! I’ve never read a book by Lisa Jewell before, but if this one goes well I’m excited at the prospect of finding a new author to love!

True Gold by Michelle Pace
I love romantic suspense, and this one takes place in Alaska! Also… I’m kind of a sucked for a book with the Northern Lights on the cover.

A Dangerous Duet by Karen Odden
This is a historical mystery involving a determined pianist who wants to study at the Royal Academy, but can’t afford tuition. In an effort to save money, she starts disguising herself as a man and sneaks out at night to play at a music hall and stumbles across a deadly crime ring.

One Summer’s Night by Kiley Dunbar
Kiley wrote my most recent favorite book, Christmas At Frozen Falls. I’m so excited to read this summery romance of hers, about a woman whose in a rut and decides to get out of it by becoming a tour guide Stratford-Upon-Avon.

The Northern Lights Lodge by Julie Caplin
Remember what I said about the Northern Lights? I also love books set in wintry locations and this lodge is in Iceland, surrounded by hot springs and glaciers and all the snow!

Ten Things My Cat Hates About You by Lottie Lucas
Cat. I don’t even know what this book is about. lol. Just kidding. It’s a rom-com about a cat who somehow makes meet-cutes happen. This will pretty much either be a 5-star read or a 1-star read.

Save the Date by Carrie Aarons
A best friends marriage pact! I love this, and hope I love the book!

What books do you think will be 5-star reads for you?


Top Ten Favorite Illustrated Book Covers

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

Even though I’m the one to write up/select weekly topics all year long for TTT, even I get annoyed when I see that I’ve come to a freebie week. lol. Sometimes I’m just not in the mood to think that much! So I took to Twitter and asked for cover suggestions for this week’s cover freebie prompt, and my friend Paige suggested illustrated covers! The thought had entered my mind already, but when she suggested it too I figured it was meant to be! I am so in love with the current illustrated cover trend in romancelandia (that the UK has been doing for eons and I love it), so today I’m sharing my top ten favorite ones!

You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
Christina Lauren blurbed this one, so I would have been excited about it even if the cover were covered in refried beans. I finished reading it a few days ago, and it’s a new favorite! PERFECTION. Pre-order it now!

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
One of my favorite books ever, and I’m obsessed with this bright and cheery cover.

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
I love the colors and the cute glasses and the font. So fun!

Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey
I’ve been iffy about this book because I don’t see Tom Hanks as… someone to wait for? lol. But I do love the cover! I love all the hot pink and the cute curvy designs. Has anyone read this one? Is it good?

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
Look at the cute little lobster holding on to the “r”!! This book sounds fun, but I’m worried about lack of romance. And too many sads. Anyone read this?

Coming Up Roses by Staci Hart
I love all the roses and the font treatment and the cute little couple. I’ve heard iffy things on this one, so please let me know your thoughts if you’ve read it! It seems to be a gender-swapped Pride & Prejudice retelling, which sounds fun.

Love Like Fire by D.E. Malone
This book is part of 4-book series, and all the covers are adorable. I love this one the most, though, because of the burgundy and the snow-capped evergreen trees. It looks so cozy!

The Northern Lights Lodge by Julie Caplin
Here’s another cozy cover. It’s a dream of mine to see the Northern Lights someday, and this cover is just perfection.

The Summer Getaway by Tilly Tennant
Put a cute illustration of the French Riviera on a cover and I’m yours.

My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan
I’ve loved this cover since the moment I saw it. I love the bridge and the skyline and the little boat in the water.

Well, there you have it! This was hard, because there are
SO many cute covers out there and I want to own all of them! 

Which one of these is your favorite? Or do you love one I haven’t mentioned today?


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

Posted January 20, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 33 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?


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

Posted January 6, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 26 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?


Top Ten Favorite Books I Read In 2019

Posted December 30, 2019 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 27 Comments

Can you believe tomorrow is the beginning of 2020!? 2019 has been a rough year for me, so I’m looking forward to a fresh start. I’ve got lots of hopes and wishes for the new year, and I’m excited to dive right in. BUT before I shift my focus to the bright and shiny 2020, I’m looking back on a few of the good things that happened to me this year. Books. Basically only books were good for me this year. lol. Here are my top ten favorite reads of 2019, presented in the order in which I read them.

1. The Gem Thief by Sian Ann Bessey
2. Three Mages and a Margarita by Annette Marie
3. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
4. Dating by the Book by Mary Ann Marlowe
5. Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
6. Final Girls by Riley Sager
7. The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare
8. Lord Dashwood Missed Out by Tessa Dare
9. His Bride for the Taking by Tessa Dare
10. Christmas at Frozen Falls by Kiley Dunbar

Which books were your favorites of the year?
Do we have any picks in common?

 


Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings Me Tonight

Posted December 23, 2019 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 17 Comments

Merry Christmas! I can’t believe Christmas Eve is here again, and I love that it falls on Top Ten Tuesday so we can all share our lists to Santa! Some of my wishes are reasonable and some will only happen with a little bit of Christmas magic. But since Santa is Santa, maybe he can do that for me?

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
Love & Olives by Jenna Evans Welch (it doesn’t come out until July 2020, but I’m so excited!)
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren (I love this book and want to own a copy!)
The Architect of Song by A.G. Howard
His Bride for the Taking by Tessa Dare
Home Before Dark by Riley Sager (Also not out yet, but GIVE IT TO ME.)
The Whisper Man by Alex North
The Retreat by Mark Edwards
Dating by the Book by Mary Ann Marlowe (I also loved this and NEED it.)
Crashing the A-List by Summer Heacock

What do you hope Santa brings you this year?
Merry Christmas!

Christmas tree created with the help of freepik – www.freepik.com


Top Ten Books On My Winter 2019-2020 To-Read List

Posted December 16, 2019 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 40 Comments

I love doing these seasonal TBRs because they help me when I’m struggling with which book I should read next! I don’t ALWAYS stick to them, and I rarely read everything on my list since I’m such a mood reader, but it’s fun anyway and helps me remember all the books I’m excited to read!

Whiteout by Adriana Anders

This sounds like a really exciting romantic suspense!

Angel Smith is ready to leave Antarctica for a second chance at life. But on what was meant to be her final day, the research station is attacked. Hunted and scared, she and glaciologist Ford Cooper barely make it out with their lives…only to realize that in a place this remote, there’s nowhere left to run.

Isolated in the middle of a long, frozen winter with a madman at their heels, they must fight to survive in the most inhospitable—and beautiful—place on earth. But the outside world depends on what Ford and Angel know and, as their pursuers close in and their new partnership burns bright and hot, they will stop at nothing to make it out of the cold alive.

 

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

I’ve heard such amazing things about this book, and
it sounds like just the thing for me right now!

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Circus, a timeless love story set in a secret underground world–a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea.

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues–a bee, a key, and a sword–that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library, hidden far below the surface of the earth.

What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians–it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also those who are intent on its destruction.

Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly-soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose–in both the mysterious book and in his own life.

 

A Sweet Mess by Jayci Lee

I love a great rom-com!

Korean-American author Jayci Lee delights with this delicious and light-hearted romantic comedy that readers will devour and ask for more.

Bake a chance on love.

Aubrey Choi loves living in her small town nestled in the foothills of California, running her highly successful bakery away from the watch of her strict Korean parents. When a cake mix-up and a harsh review threaten all of her hard work and her livelihood, she never thought the jaded food critic would turn out to be her one-night stand. And she sure as hell never thought she’d see her gorgeous Korean unicorn again. But when Landon Kim waltzes into her bakery trying to clean up the mess he had a huge hand in making, Aubrey is torn between throwing and hearing him out.

When she hears his plan to help save her business, Aubrey knows that spending three weeks in California wine country working with Landon is a sure recipe for disaster. Her head is telling her to take the chance to save her bakery while her heart—and her hormones—are at war on whether to give him a second chance. And it just so happens that Landon’s meddling friends want them to spend those three weeks as close as possible…by sharing a villa.

When things start heating up, both in and out of the kitchen, Aubrey will have to make a choice—to stick it out or risk her heart.

 

You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle

This rom-com has one of the most unique-sounding
premises I’ve seen lately, and it sounds like so much fun!

When your nemesis also happens to be your fiancé, happily ever after becomes a lot more complicated in this wickedly funny, lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy debut.

Naomi Westfield has the perfect fiancé: Nicholas Rose holds doors open for her, remembers her restaurant orders, and comes from the kind of upstanding society family any bride would love to be a part of. They never fight. They’re preparing for their lavish wedding that’s three months away. And she is miserably and utterly sick of him.

Naomi wants out, but there’s a catch: whoever ends the engagement will have to foot the nonrefundable wedding bill. When Naomi discovers that Nicholas, too, has been feigning contentment, the two of them go head-to-head in a battle of pranks, sabotage, and all-out emotional warfare.

But with the countdown looming to the wedding that may or may not come to pass, Naomi finds her resolve slipping. Because now that they have nothing to lose, they’re finally being themselves–and having fun with the last person they expect: each other.

 

The Return by Rachel Harrison

I’ve really been enjoying mysteries and thrillers lately, and this sounds amazingly creepy!

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.

 

The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren

My favorite books are frequently by this amazing author duo!

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…

From the “hilariously zany and heartfelt” (Booklist) Christina Lauren comes a romantic comedy that proves if it’s broke, you might as well fix it.

 

Well Met by Jen DeLuca

I’ve heard really awesome things about this one, and Renaissance Faire!!

All’s faire in love and war for two sworn enemies who indulge in a harmless flirtation in a laugh-out-loud rom-com from debut author, Jen DeLuca.

Emily knew there would be strings attached when she relocated to the small town of Willow Creek, Maryland, for the summer to help her sister recover from an accident, but who could anticipate getting roped into volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire alongside her teenaged niece? Or that the irritating and inscrutable schoolteacher in charge of the volunteers would be so annoying that she finds it impossible to stop thinking about him?

The faire is Simon’s family legacy and from the start he makes clear he doesn’t have time for Emily’s lighthearted approach to life, her oddball Shakespeare conspiracy theories, or her endless suggestions for new acts to shake things up. Yet on the faire grounds he becomes a different person, flirting freely with Emily when she’s in her revealing wench’s costume. But is this attraction real, or just part of the characters they’re portraying?

This summer was only ever supposed to be a pit stop on the way to somewhere else for Emily, but soon she can’t seem to shake the fantasy of establishing something more with Simon, or a permanent home of her own in Willow Creek.

 

Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters

Reenacting meet-cutes from classic romantic comedy movies. Say. No. More.

In this charming, feel-good debut novel, a cynical assistant at a screenwriting agency must reenact the meet-cute scenes from classic romantic comedy movies in order to help her #1 client get his scriptwriting mojo back–but can a real-life meet-cute be in store for someone who doesn’t believe in happily ever after?

After seven years as an assistant, 29-year-old Evie Summers is ready to finally get the promotion she deserves. But now the TV and film agency she’s been running behind the scenes is in trouble, and Evie will lose her job unless she can convince the agency’s biggest and most arrogant client, Ezra Chester, to finish writing the script for a Hollywood romantic comedy.

The catch? Ezra is suffering from writer’s block–and he’ll only put pen to paper if singleton Evie can prove to him that you can fall in love like they do in the movies. With the future of the agency in jeopardy, Evie embarks on a mission to meet a man the way Sally met Harry or Hugh Grant met Julia Roberts.

But in the course of testing out the meet-cute scenes from classic romantic comedies IRL, not only will Evie encounter one humiliating situation after another, but she’ll have to confront the romantic past that soured her on love. In a novel as hilarious as it is heartwarming, debut author Rachel Winters proves that sometimes real life is better than the movies–and that the best kind of meet-cutes happen when you least expect them.

 

My Fake Rake by Eva Leigh

Fauxmances always get me, and the fact that it’s also a historical makes it a million times better!

In the first book in Eva Leigh’s new Union of the Rakes series, a bluestocking hires a faux suitor to help her land an ideal husband only to be blindsided by real desire…

Lady Grace Wyatt is content as a wallflower, focusing on scientific pursuits rather than the complications of society matches. But when a handsome, celebrated naturalist returns from abroad, Grace wishes, for once, to be noticed. Her solution: to “build” the perfect man, who will court her publicly and help her catch his eye. Grace’s colleague, anthropologist Sebastian Holloway, is just the blank slate she requires.

In exchange for funding his passage on an expedition leaving London in a few months, Sebastian allows Grace to transform him from a bespectacled, bookish academic into a dashing—albeit fake—rake. Between secret lessons on how to be a rogue and exaggerated public flirtations, Grace’s feelings for Sebastian grow from friendship into undeniable, inconvenient, real attraction. If only she hadn’t hired him to help her marry someone else…

Sebastian is in love with brilliant, beautiful Grace, but their bargain is complete, and she desires another. Yet when he’s faced with losing her forever, Sebastian will do whatever it takes to tell her the truth, even if it means risking his own future—and his heart.

 

Twice In a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

Ditto to the above. I’m seriously behind on my reading!!

Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.

With Christina Lauren’s signature “beautifully written and remarkably compelling” (Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author) prose and perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner, Twice in a Blue Moon is an unforgettable and moving novel of young love and second chances.

Have you read any of these, or are you planning to?