Category: Top Ten Tuesday

22 YA Contemporary Romances Teen Me Would Have Loved

Posted April 27, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 25 Comments

Happy TTT! Is it just me, or are the weeks both flying AND dragging? I feel like I’ve been in isolation forever, yet I also feel like I’m writing up TTTs every single day. It’s weird how that happens. Oh, before I forget. I’ve updated the TTT topic schedule through June (including TTT’s 10th birthday topic) and will be adding July soon!

Today’s topic lets us think back to a simpler, less chaotic time in our lives. As you can see by my post’s title I switched the topic up a little, but the actual topic is Top Ten Books I Wish I’d Read As a Child. Maybe you weren’t much of a reader as a kid (a.k.a. me), maybe the book you’re thinking of hadn’t been published yet, or maybe you just simply didn’t have the opportunity to read it then. Whatever the reason may be, tell us about the books that little you would have really loved or really needed to read.

I turned 13 in 2000, and contemporary YA romances were just not a thing back then. Actually, YA lit was barely a thing and if it was nobody knew about it. lol. When I went to the bookstore, I never saw any evidence that there were books written just for me. Apparently there was a shelf of “teen reads” in the back by the huge kids section, but I never noticed it. I read historical romance and mysteries instead. YA has now exploded and become an expansive ocean of books that I wish existed when I was a teen. The titles I’m sharing today are all 5-star favorites of mine, and I know I would have loved even MORE if I’d been able to read them as a teenager instead of as an adult. And no, I couldn’t limit it to 10! The book links will lead you to my review, which is where you will find more info on the book and all my thoughts!

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae
Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Save the Date by Morgan Matson
The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland
From What I Remember… by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas
Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker
P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
Love, Lucy by April Lindner
Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fiore Stultz
Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams
Instructions for a Broken Heart by Kim Culbertson
Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Just One Night by Gayle Forman
Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions by Becca Wilhite
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman by Louise Plummer*
(*This is the only one of my picks that was actually available when I was a teen.
I SO wish I’d known about this hidden gem! It’s exquisite!)

Are there any YA contemporary romances you wish you’d been able to read as a teen as well?
Or any books at all that you’ve read, but would have loved to read as a teen/younger child instead?

 


Top Ten Book Titles That Would Make Great Band Names

Posted April 20, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 35 Comments

This week’s TTT topic was submitted by Michelle, and I thought it sounded like such a fun, light-hearted topic to do this week. This list is a mix of books I’ve read and hope to read. I’m not including covers because it’s all about the title this time!

1. Bent Heavens by Daniel Kraus
2. Headliners by Lucy Parker
3. The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters
4. Island Affair by Priscilla Oliveras
5. After Sundown by Linda Howard
6. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
7. Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
8. Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett
9. The Missing Years by Lexie Elliott
10. Blind Kiss by Renee Carlino

What do you think of my picks? 
Which book titles did you pick this week?


Top Ten Books I Enjoyed but Rarely Talk About

Posted April 13, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 22 Comments

Welcome to another TTT! How are you doing today? Taking care of yourself and staying safe, I hope! This week’s topic is so much fun because it allows me to share my thoughts on books I rarely/never talk about here on the blog. Maybe these are books I read before I became a blogger, or maybe they’re just books that have fallen through the cracks! This is also a great time to share some books that, for one reason or another, never really fit a TTT prompt. Whatever the case may be, these are the kinds of books I’m sharing today!

1. Kiss and Tell by Suzanne Brockmann
I read this just a few weeks after we started The Broke and the Bookish. During that time, I was only assigned maybe 2-3 days a month to post reviews and this one kind of fell through the cracks! The entire trilogy is great, but this one was my favorite. I loved everything about this book… the setting, characters, plot, etc. I wish this kind of story would happen to me. I find the whole mysterious, masqueraded man kissing the lovely lady at midnight at a New Year’s Eve party and then vanishing, leaving her to find him extremely sexy and entertaining.

2. By Love or by Sea by Rachel Rager/Harlin
I have only three things to say.

1. The writing was beautifully done.
2. I want a Caleb Newman of my very own.
3. This was seriously one of the most adorable, clean romances I’ve ever read!

3. Austenland by Shannon Hale
This was actually the first books review I ever wrote for The Broke and the Bookish, almost 9 years ago! I’ve since published it here on That Artsy Reader Girl for sentimental reasons, so go have a read if you’re interested. Surprisingly enough, I’ve hardly talked about it since the day I wrote that review. I HATED the movie, but the book will always have a special place in my heart. I still giggle thinking about it.

4. Dracula, My Love: The Secret Journals of Mina Harker by Syrie James
Back in the olden days, this kind of books was very much out of my comfort zone. I was quite reluctant to buy it, but I kept thinking about it. When I found a good deal, I jumped on it and ended up really loving this beautiful story of love, deception, obsession, survival, and sacrifice. I was riveted, and could not put it down!

5. Degrees of Wrong by Anna Scarlett
Did you know that Anna Scarlett is young adult’s very own Anna Banks (Of Poseidon, Joyride, Nemesis)? This is one of her adult reads, and I LOVED it. I read this for her back before it was published. She sent me a print-out of it with a clear plastic protective cover, back before it even had a cover image. I dug in right away, and was taken to another world. I can’t say a bad thing about this book. It’s got a little bit of everything (romance, sci-fi, action, amazing storytelling, perfect characters, etc.) and I think it would appeal to pretty much anyone. I can’t tell you how many times I’d told Anna how much I want a sequel.

6. Sleigh Bells In the Snow by Sarah Morgan
One of my favorite Christmas romances to date! It’s got a wonderful family dynamic, a cozy setting, and a swoonworthy male lead.

7. What I Did For a Duke by Julie Anne Long
This is a very slow-burning romance, filled with witty banter and sexual tension. And the ending. HELLO. I have never read a better ending in my life.

8. Boomerang by Noelle August
I read this 6 years ago, and it was the first NA book that I really loved. At the time, I felt it was so nice to see an author view my age group (NAs) as being about more than drama and poor life decisions.

9. Moonlight Seduction by Jennifer L. Armentrout
This is the second book in a trilogy that I binged one right after the other. I NEVER do this, but all three books were just so gripping and exciting. They’re part mystery, part romance, and part suspense/thriller. And it all takes place on a sprawling family estate in New Orleans (it felt like a planation home) that might be haunted.

10. A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare
This might be my favorite Spindle Cove novel! I love our strong heroine, Minerva the geologist. She’s a bookish geek, and I love seeing those in historical romances.

What books did you share this week?

ALSO… I’ve mentioned this a couple times in a couple different places, but… on June 22nd (my birthday) Top Ten Tuesday turns ten years old! The next day (6/23) is a Tuesday, and it just so happens to be the 500th TTT topic. I’ve put out a call for opinions/help on how we should celebrate TTT’s birthday that week. Please visit this post for more info and answer the survey! I’d so appreciate your help!


Top Ten Tuesday Turns Ten!

Posted April 8, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 7 Comments

I can’t believe we’ve been at this as long as we have, but on June 22nd (my birthday) Top Ten Tuesday turns ten years old! The next day (6/23) is a Tuesday, and it just so happens to be the 500th TTT topic. I absolutely love that the numbers coincide in such a cool way! Anyway, I need help. I want that 6/23 topic to be fun and exciting and a way to celebrate a DECADE of TTT! I’ve been wracking my brain for months now, trying to come up with a topic people would really enjoy. Five things have come to mind:

  1. Top Ten Favorite TTT Lists I’ve Posted On My Blog
  2. Top Ten Favorite TTT Topics Ever Done
  3. TTT Throwback – Pick any past TTT topic
  4. TTT Update – Reactions to previous TTT’s you’ve done. For example: Have you read all/most/none of the books on your seasonal TBRs? Would you have picked different books for previous topics now? Did you finish the series you had hoped to finish? Did you accomplish any of your goals?
  5. Top Ten Things TTT has Done for Me – (helped you make friends, helped you find your favorite book, inspired you to create your own blog, expanded your reading horizons, etc.)

I’ve put out a call for help on Twitter, and have mentioned this milestone on a previous TTT topic. Some people have submitted topic ideas (pretty much variations of the first three of my ideas listed above). Either of the first two topics could be fun, but are they what the people really want to do? Is the third topic special enough? Will the 4th one even work because the blogging community has changed so much that many of the blogs that were around at the beginning aren’t even here anymore? Would the 5th topic even matter to most people?

Please fill out this survey with your opinions on TTT’s 10th birthday (especially if you’re a TTT participant or would like to celebrate with the bookish community on June 23rd).


Ten Books I Bought After Asking Twitter for Recommendations

Posted April 6, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 33 Comments

Happy TTT! Another Tuesday, another week of staying home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. I hope you’re doing well and staying safe! This week’s topic is a fun one! I frequently ask Twitter for book recommendations, and the books I’m sharing today are ones I bought as a result of those tweets. I’ll share my tweet, and then list off some of the books I bought/acquired because of the recommendations I received!

1. Well Met by Jen DeLuca (Loved!)
2. Marriage on Madison Avenue by Lauren Layne
3. Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert (DNFed…)
4. Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid

 

5. The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware (recommended by Riley Sager himself!) (SO GOOD)
6. The Broken Girls by Simone St. James
7. An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

 

8. Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant (listening now and I LOVE IT)
9. Mercy House by Alena Dillon
10. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (SO MUCH LOVE)

What books have you bought/read because someone recommended you read it?
I’d REALLY love to know if you’ve ever read something because I recommended it
to you, so please share if that’s happened!
Also, do you have any recs for me? I’m always looking for more books!


Top Ten Reasons I’m Obviously a Book Lover

Posted March 30, 2020 by Jana in About Me, Top Ten Tuesday / 21 Comments

Welcome to another TTT! How are you doing? I don’t even know how long I’ve been self-quarantining and staying home at this point, but it’s been at least 7 months by now right? I hope you’re healthy, and if you’re unable to stay home I hope you’re staying safe. This week’s topic is a fun change of pace. I’m keeping it bookish, but book-free. What bookish qualities do you possess that make it obvious to everyone who knows you that you’re a book lover? I got a little help from my family on this one, and we had a lot of fun!

1. If I’m not reading books, I’m talking about them. My mom told me I spend at least 50% of our time together talking about a book I’m reading or pushing her to read books I love.

2. I spend an insane amount of time researching books. I will admit that I can very easily fall down the rabbit hole and into the land of books. I’ve spent hours searching online for books that have certain tropes, settings, or elements that I’m in the mood for. Recently, I wanted to find books set in creepy buildings and I researched this for hours. I posted to Twitter asking for recs, I googled the topic in the hopes of finding lists or reviews of books like this, and I studied and read about each recommendation that was given to me. HOURS. I’ve done this with Gothic novels, romances set in Italy, romances set on ships, non-erotic romantic suspense, etc.

3. I’ve been known to spend entire DAYS organizing my Goodreads shelves. I’m not kidding, and it seems like such a waste of time when I look at myself through the eyes of people who don’t understand. But it’s necessary to my sanity and my happiness!

4. I’m obsessed with bookish merchandise. I’m not a collector of merchandise related to specific books here. I’m talking about merch related to books and reading in general. Anything with a book on it, and I’m a goner. I’ve got a bookish Christmas ornament collection, for example. If you know me at all, I’m sure this will come as no surprise to you.

5. When I travel, I scope out which bookstores I have to visit. I can’t tell you how many BAMs I went to on my family’s road trip down south a few years ago (Books-A-Million does not exist where I live).

6. Book mail is the best mail. It’s so exciting!

7. I spend way too much time curating themed book lists for trips and holidays.

8. My physical therapist asks me what I’ve been reading lately. Actually, everyone I know does.

9. I have a lot of book hangovers. I get super attached to characters, and when the book ends it feels like a real loss.

10. I go to bookstores to look at the books I’ve only read digitally because I never got to hold them in my hands. I like seeing the covers and if they’re textured or shiny. I like seeing how thick they are and what the layout looks like inside.

Are you like me at all? lol. Do we have any of these in common?
What makes you an obvious book lover to your friends and family?


Top Ten Romantic Suspense Novels On My To-Read List

Posted March 23, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 19 Comments

Welcome to another TTT! I hope you’re hanging in there through all the craziness of life right now, and that you’re staying safe and healthy. This week’s prompt allows us to share lists related to our favorite genres. This should be a lot of fun, and I’m sure that I’m going to find a ton of books to add to my TBR!

Romantic suspense is my favorite genre, but I have such a hard time finding good books because I’m not into erotica or paranormal. Those seem to be all too common, and meh. Today I’m going to share ten that I hope to read soon. If you have any recommendations for books you think I might like in this genre, please share them in the comments!

Cold & Deadly by Toni Anderson

Hostage Negotiators can talk themselves out of anything—except falling in love.

FBI Supervisory Special Agent Dominic Sheridan is an accomplished expert in the Crisis Negotiation Unit. Practiced, professional, used to dealing with high-stake situations under tense conditions, Dominic is a master at manipulating people. Everyone, that is, but the headstrong rookie agent bent on destroying her fledgling career.

As a child, Ava Kanas put her life on the line when the mob executed her father. Now someone has killed her mentor, the man who inspired her to become an FBI agent—and she’s the only one who recognizes it was anything but a tragic accident.

When another agent is murdered and Dominic nearly dies, it becomes obvious a serial killer is targeting the FBI. Together Dominic and Ava search for clues in the investigation, all the while fighting a forbidden attraction that will complicate everything, especially when the predator sets their sights on Ava.

Naughty Stranger by Stacey Kennedy

After a sudden tragedy blew her world apart, Peyton Kerr fled her big city career and started over in Stoney Creek, Maine. So far, she’s loving small-town life–no one knows about her past, and her easy flirtation with Boone Knight gives her a reason to smile. But then someone is murdered in Peyton’s store, and her quiet, anonymous existence is instantly destroyed. To make matters worse, Boone–a police detective–is assigned to the case, and Peyton knows she can’t keep him at arm’s length any longer. She’s resisted the simmering heat between them–but now this gorgeous man is promising to keep her safe–and satisfied…

Boone Knight doesn’t want the complications of a relationship. But when he volunteers to protect his town’s newest–and sexiest–resident, he finally admits he’d like to explore their sizzling attraction. And after one incredible night, everything changes for Boone. Peyton is sweeter–and braver–than anyone he’s ever met, and with her in his arms, everything makes sense. He just needs to convince her to trust him enough to reveal her secrets, or risk losing her to a merciless killer who seems to grow bolder with each passing day.

The Third to Die by Allison Brennan

An edgy female police detective… An ambitious FBI special agent. Together they are at the heart of the ticking-clock investigation for a psychopathic serial killer. The bond they forge in this crucible sets the stage for high-stakes suspense.

Detective Kara Quinn, on leave from the LAPD, is on an early morning jog in her hometown of Liberty Lake when she comes upon the body of a young nurse. The manner of death shows a pattern of highly controlled rage.

Meanwhile in DC, FBI special agent Mathias Costa is staffing his newly minted Mobile Response Team. Word reaches Matt that the Liberty Lake murder fits the profile of the compulsive Triple Killer. It will be the first case for the MRT. This time they have a chance to stop this zealous if elusive killer before he strikes again. But only if they can figure out who he is and where he is hiding before he disappears for another three years. The stakes are higher than ever before, because if they fail, one of their own will be next…

Solace Island by Meg Tilly

Dumped on the eve of her wedding and looking for a quiet place to lick her emotional wounds, Maggie Harris joins her sister on Solace Island, where she hopes to recover from the stunning betrayal. At first, Maggie resists Eve’s impassioned argument about relocating permanently so the sisters can open their own local bakery. What she definitely doesn’t need on her road to recovery are Eve’s efforts to fix her up with their mysterious and alluring neighbor, Luke Benson–even if he is incredibly handsome and desirable.

Just as Maggie starts to get comfortable in her new surroundings, a car tries to run her down in the middle of the street. If it weren’t for Luke’s extremely quick reflexes, Maggie could have been killed, leading her to wonder just who exactly Luke Benson really is…

Luke thought he’d left the violence of the high risk security world behind. But he can’t stand by while Maggie’s life is threatened. Luke will do anything to keep her safe–even moving Maggie and her sister into his house with its state-of-the-art security features. But with the secrets between them and an unknown threat stalking her heels, Luke will have to think fast to prove to Maggie that she can trust him with her life–and with her heart.

Until the End by Juno Rushdan

He’s strong. Fierce. Relentless.
And he may be her only chance of surviving the night.

Gray Box operative Castle Kinkade always gets the job done, no matter how tough the assignment. But when he agrees to protect white-hat hacker Kit Westcott, Castle’s loyalty is tested like never before. Trapped in the closest of quarters, protective instincts flaring, he can feel the ice surrounding his heart melt…and he knows he’d do anything to keep Kit safe.

Even defy the rules that shaped his life.

Castle is the last person Kit should confide in, let alone be attracted to, but he’s the only ally she has left. Under threat of imminent attack—and a chilling conspiracy that hits too close to home—Castle and Kit are forced to put their hearts and lives on the line…and stop at nothing to face the greatest danger the world has ever known.

Shattered With You by J. Kenner

With his lethal skills and criminal connections, former British agent Quincy Radcliffe has fast become a key asset at the newly formed Stark Security. But Quincy isn’t the man he appears to be.

When the woman whose body he once worshipped and whose heart he broke pleads for his help, Quincy knows he must either turn his back on her or risk revealing his dark secrets to the one woman who can—and will—tear open his old wounds.

For years, struggling actress Eliza Tucker has tried to forget the decadent weeks she shared with Quincy Radcliffe. His smoldering good looks had drawn her in, while his British charm had enchanted her. But it was the wildness of his seduction and the ferocity of his passion that captured her. She’d given herself to him—and he’d shattered her like glass when he’d walked away.

Now, he’s the only person who can help find her missing sister. She’ll use him because she has too. She’ll pay any sensual price he demands. But she won’t fall for him again.

A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh

On the rugged West Coast of New Zealand, Golden Cove is more than just a town where people live. The adults are more than neighbors; the children, more than schoolmates.
 
That is until one fateful summer—and several vanished bodies—shatters the trust holding Golden Cove together. All that’s left are whispers behind closed doors, broken friendships, and a silent agreement not to look back. But they can’t run from the past forever.

Eight years later, a beautiful young woman disappears without a trace, and the residents of Golden Cove wonder if their home shelters something far more dangerous than an unforgiving landscape.

It’s not long before the dark past collides with the haunting present and deadly secrets come to light.

Whiteout by Adriana Anders

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.

True Gold by Michelle Pace

Growing up in True, Alaska, the only truth I knew was that Delilah Campbell was an arrogant pain in my ass. She was also my everything, and still haunts my every waking moment.

I don’t have a single memory that doesn’t include Lie, and I can still taste her, even though Alaska’s no longer big enough for the both of us. After our savage breakup, I fled, chasing my dream and becoming a decorated Green Beret. Ten years later, one bad jump propelled me straight from Special Forces back home, guiding rich idiots into the wilderness, where I struggle to keep them from getting themselves killed. It’s not the life I planned, but at least I’m not behind a desk somewhere.

Then one night, my cell rings, shattering my peaceful existence.

“Connor,” I’d recognize her voice anywhere, and it’s like I’m sixteen again, crazy in love and cocky as hell after finding all those gold bars everyone’s been searching for since before we were even born.

I want to tell her to go to hell and throw my phone in the river, but it seems Delilah’s visceral grip on me is permanent.

“It’s mom. She’s missing. I need your help….”

The Killing Tide by Dani Pettrey

A Corpse That Only Leads to Secrets.
An Old Flame with Danger Written all over Her.
Things Are about to Get Very Complicated.

When one Coast Guard officer is found dead and another goes missing, Coast Guard Investigative Service special agent Finn Walker faces his most dangerous crime yet. His only clues are what little evidence remains aboard the dead officer’s boat, and the direction the clues point to will test Finn and the Guard to their limits.

The already volatile situation is complicated even further by the arrival of Gabby Rowley–Finn’s boss’s sister and an investigative reporter with unrelenting questions about the crime. Now that she’s returned, the tug on Finn’s heart is strong, but with the risks she’s taking for her next big story, he fears she might not live through it.

Thrown together by the heinous crime, Finn and Gabby can’t ignore the sparks or judgments flying between them. But will they be able to see past their preconceptions long enough to track down an elusive killer, or will they become his next mark?

Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard

What would make the perfect man?

That’s the deliciously racy topic that Jaine Bright and her three girlfriends are pondering one night at their favorite after-hours hot spot: Mr. Perfect. Would he be tall, dark, and handsome? Caring and warmhearted — or will just muscular do? As their conversation heats up, they concoct a tongue-in-cheek checklist that becomes an overnight sensation, spreading like wildfire at work and sizzling along e-mail lines. But what began as a joke among friends turns deadly serious when one of the four women is murdered….Turning to her neighbor, an unpredictable police detective, for help, Jaine must unmask a killer to save her friends — and herself. Now, knowing whom to trust and whom to love is a matter of survival — as the dream of Mr. Perfect becomes a chilling nightmare.

Have you read any of these?
I hear Mr. Perfect is amazing, and is one of the best romantic suspense novels ever.
Do you have any recommendations for really good ones?
My favorite is Till Death by Jennifer Armentrout. I also love Katie Ruggle.

Stay safe and healthy!


Top Ten Books On My Spring 2020 To-Read List

Posted March 16, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 24 Comments

Can you believe Spring starts this weekend? I feel like this year is flying by. And what better time to write up a to-read list than now, when the world is shutting down and people are socially distancing to help prevent to spread of the Coronavirus? I know I’ve got a lot more time to read than I usually do, so perhaps I’ll actually get through all ten of these books for once. I’m in the mood for light romances and mystery/thrillers right now, so that’s what you’ll find on my list. Some are upcoming releases, but there’s a few backlist titles as well.

Oh, I have some exciting TTT news! Monday, June 22nd is Top Ten Tuesday’s 10th birthday! The next day (Tuesday, June 23rd) will be TTT’s 500th topic! I love how the two exciting numbers are matching up during the same week, so I want that TTT prompt to be fun, unique, and in celebration of a decade of TTT! If you have any ideas for a fun prompt for that week, comment here or submit it through my topic suggestion form and note that it’s for TTT’s 10th birthday! I will credit you if I choose your topic.

Don’t Go Stealing My Heart by Kelly Siskind

She wants to steal his Van Gogh. He wants to steal her heart.

Some people would call Clementine Abernathy a criminal. She considers herself a modern day Robin Hood, who steals from the rich and gives to the poor. Not exactly on the up-and-up, but she knows what it’s like to lose everything. Her latest heist involves swiping a priceless Van Gogh from its owner, who’s supposed to be an egotistical trust-fund brat.

Turns out Jack David is a sexy, kind-hearted man…and Clementine is in trouble. Falling for her mark would make her the World’s Dumbest Conwoman, but Jack is charmingly persistent, always singing sweet songs in her ear.

And that earth-shattering kiss? She never stood a chance.

Now she’s imagining a fresh start with this dashing man, but that means telling Jack about her past. And other nefarious sorts are after the same painting. Too soon, Clementine learns what it means to risk it all for love.

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?

• Enjoy a drunken night out.
• Ride a motorcycle.
• Go camping.
• Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
• Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
• And… do something bad.

But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.

Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.

But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…

Not That Kind of Guy by Andie J. Christopher

State attorney Bridget Nolan is successful in all aspects of her life—except romance. After breaking up with her longtime boyfriend, she’s been slow to reenter the dating scene. To be honest, she has more important things to do like putting bad guys behind bars. But with her brother’s wedding right around the corner, she suddenly needs a date and fast. Lucky for Bridget, the legal intern is almost done with his program.

Matt Kido is dumbstruck by Bridget—total love at first sight—but there’s one problem. She’s totally off-limits while she’s his boss. But the moment he no longer reports to her, Matt decides to take a chance. An impulsive decision takes them to Las Vegas where, as the saying goes, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

Unless you put a ring on it.

The Marriage Game by Sara Desai

A high stakes wager pits an aspiring entrepreneur against a ruthless CEO in this sexy romantic comedy.

After her life falls apart, recruitment consultant Layla Patel returns home to her family in San Francisco. But in the eyes of her father, who runs a Michelin starred restaurant, she can do no wrong. He would do anything to see her smile again. With the best intentions in mind, he offers her the office upstairs to start her new business and creates a profile on an online dating site to find her a man. She doesn’t know he’s arranged a series of blind dates until the first one comes knocking on her door…

As CEO of a corporate downsizing company Sam Mehta is more used to conflict than calm. In search of a quiet new office, he finds the perfect space above a cozy Indian restaurant that smells like home. But when communication goes awry, he’s forced to share his space with the owner’s beautiful yet infuriating daughter Layla, her crazy family, and a parade of hopeful suitors, all of whom threaten to disrupt his carefully ordered life.

As they face off in close quarters, the sarcasm and sparks fly. But when the battle for the office becomes a battle of the heart, Sam and Layla have to decide if this is love or just a game.

Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane

You always remember your first love… don’t you?

If there’s anything worse than being fired from the lousiest restaurant in town, it’s coming home early to find your boyfriend in bed with someone else. Reeling from the humiliation of a double dumping in one day, Georgina takes the next job that comes her way—bartender in a newly opened pub. There’s only one problem: it’s run by the guy she fell in love with years ago. And—make that two problems—he doesn’t remember her. At all. But she has fabulous friends and her signature hot pink fur coat… what more could a girl really need?

Lucas McCarthy has not only grown into a broodingly handsome man, but he’s also turned into an actual grown-up, with a thriving business and a dog along the way. Crossing paths with him again throws Georgina’s rocky present into sharp relief—and brings a secret from her past bubbling to the surface. Only she knows what happened twelve years ago, and why she’s allowed the memories to chase her ever since. But maybe it’s not too late for the truth… or a second chance with the one that got away?

Not the Girl You Marry by Andie J. Christopher

Jack Nolan is a gentleman, a journalist, and unlucky in love. His viral success has pigeon-holed him as the how-to guy for a buzzy, internet media company instead of covering hard-hitting politics. Fed up with his fluffy articles and the app-based dating scene as well, he strikes a deal with his boss to write a final piece de resistance: How to Lose a Girl. Easier said than done when the girl he meets is Hannah Mayfield, and he’s not sure he wants her to dump him.

Hannah is an extremely successful event planner who’s focused on climbing the career ladder. Her firm is one of the most prestigious in the city, and she’s determined to secure her next promotion. But Hannah has a bit of an image problem. She needs to show her boss that she has range, including planning dreaded, romantic weddings. Enter Jack. He’s the perfect man to date for a couple weeks to prove to her boss that she’s not scared of feelings.

Before Jack and Hannah know it, their fake relationship starts to feel all too real—and neither of them can stand to lose each other.

The Lion’s Den by Katherine St. John

Belle likes to think herself immune to the dizzying effects of fabulous wealth. But when her best friend, Summer, invites her on a glamorous getaway to the Mediterranean aboard her billionaire boyfriend’s yacht, the only sensible answer is yes. Belle hopes the trip will be a much-needed break from her stalled acting career and uniquely humiliating waitressing job, but once she’s aboard the luxurious Lion’s Den, it soon becomes clear this jet-setting holiday is not as advertised.

Belle’s dream vacation quickly devolves into a nightmare as she and the handful of other girls Summer invited are treated more like prisoners than guests by their controlling host-and in one terrifying moment, Belle comes to see Summer for who she truly is: a vicious gold digger who will stop at nothing to get what she wants.

Belle realizes she’s going to have to keep her wits about her — and her own big secret closely hidden — if she wants to make it off the yacht alive.

The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

Critically acclaimed author Mia Sosa delivers a sassy, steamy enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy about a woman whose new job requires her to work side-by-side with the best man who ruined her wedding: her ex-fiancé’s infuriating, irritating, annoyingly handsome brother. Perfect for fans of Jasmine Guillory, Helen Hoang, and Sally Thorne!

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…

The Safe Place by Anna Downes

Welcome to paradise…will you ever be able to leave?

Emily is a mess.

Emily Proudman just lost her acting agent, her job, and her apartment in one miserable day.

Emily is desperate.

Scott Denny, a successful and charismatic CEO, has a problem that neither his business acumen nor vast wealth can fix. Until he meets Emily.

Emily is perfect.

Scott offers Emily a summer job as a housekeeper on his remote, beautiful French estate. Enchanted by his lovely wife Nina, and his eccentric young daughter, Aurelia, Emily falls headlong into this oasis of wine-soaked days by the pool. But soon Emily realizes that Scott and Nina are hiding dangerous secrets, and if she doesn’t play along, the consequences could be deadly.

Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein

The past seven years have been hard on Avery Abrams: After training her entire life to make the Olympic gymnastics team, a disastrous performance ended her athletic career for good. Her best friend and teammate, Jasmine, went on to become an Olympic champion, then committed the ultimate betrayal by marrying their emotionally abusive coach, Dimitri.

Now, reeling from a breakup with her football star boyfriend, Avery returns to her Massachusetts hometown, where new coach Ryan asks her to help him train a promising young gymnast with Olympic aspirations. Despite her misgivings and worries about the memories it will evoke, Avery agrees. Back in the gym, she’s surprised to find sparks flying with Ryan. But when a shocking scandal in the gymnastics world breaks, it has shattering effects not only for the sport but also for Avery and her old friend Jasmine.

Dating Games by T.K. Leigh

How do you get over your last disaster of a relationship? You agree to be a complete stranger’s fake girlfriend for the next few months.

Note to self: When your boyfriend dumps you on your thirtieth birthday, it’s probably not the smartest idea to drink so much that you wake up in the same bed as the mysterious hottie wearing the gorgeous suit who you noticed sitting across the bar.

The only silver lining in my obvious lack of judgment is the promise of never seeing Mr. Suit again, not in a city the size of New York.

Or so I thought, until a story I’m working on about the country’s most sought-after and elusive escort lands me in the same café as Mr. Suit. So I do what any self-respecting woman of my age would do in my shoes… Try to ignore him.

But he won’t let me.

Instead, he makes a proposition that leaves me questioning whether I need to have my ears checked. Be his fake girlfriend for a summer of wealth and excess in the Hamptons. In return, he’ll help me win back my boyfriend’s heart.

Juvenile? You bet.
Effective? Could be.
Bad idea? Most likely.

But what do I have to lose?
Apparently, a lot more than I originally bargained for.

Let the games begin…

What’s on your Spring (or Fall, if you live in the southern hemisphere) to-read list this year?
Have you read any of my picks?
Which should I prioritize?


Six Authors Who Have a Fun Social Media Presence

Posted March 9, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 10 Comments

Welcome to another TTT! Today I’m inviting you to share which authors you have fun following on social media! I had a VERY hard time coming up with my list, and I realized that I tend to not follow many authors on social media. Sometimes I don’t really want to know everything they have to say, because I worry that it will affect my opinion of the books they’ve written that I love so much. Back in the olden days, authors were not accessible at all. If we loved an author, we could snail mail them or email them through their website. Responses were rare. Today, though, we’re all connected and that’s SO COOL. I’ve made some great author friends, one of my favorite musical artists follows me on Twitter, TV personalities have responded to my tweets… and it’s awesome. I love that part of social media. However, some authors use social media as their own personal soap box to spew their own, sometimes controversial and hurtful, opinions and agendas. I try to separate the person from the book, but it can be hard sometimes when they post something that cuts so deep. This happened a lot on Twitter a few years ago, and it kind of tainted my love of reading for a while.

Luckily, I choose who I follow on social media very carefully now and I have no problems muting hashtags, buzzwords, or accounts to keep my feeds a happy and an emotionally healthy place for me. The following six authors are absolute joys to follow on social media. They keep things fun and bookish and interact with their fans. They feel like friends!

1. Christina Lauren (@ChristinaLauren on Twitter and Instagram)
They’re just so sweet! And they ask lots of fun questions and start cool discussions on their Instagram posts.

2. Jay Kristoff (@MisterKristoff on Twitter)
I have never read a book by Jay (I’m scared of him, to be honest, because I know some people have been emotionally destroyed over some of his books!), but his tweets are hysterical. I wish I had saved some of them because I have cracked up following him over the years.

3. Jenn Bennett (@Jenn_Benn on Twitter)
Jenn always tweets back, and it’s lots of fun to talk to her. She’s also got some funny things to say. She’s very open and shows us other things she’s up to, like handmade projects of various types. Oh, and she retweets funny things and cute animals and food. So there’s that.

4. Sarah Hogle (@witchofthewords on Twitter)
I just started following her a few weeks ago, and she’s got my kind of humor. I literally laugh out loud at some of her tweets. Like this one from today:

5. Erin Hahn (@erinhahn_author on Twitter)
Erin likes to share her thoughts on books and TV shows. She’s also very nice and so funny!

6. Colleen Hoover (@colleenhoover on Instagram)
Her captions crack me up, and she posts some great videos that make me laugh every time!

Which authors do you love following on social media?
Are you at all apprehensive about following authors like I am?

 


Top Ten Books With Single-Word Titles

Posted March 2, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 20 Comments

Happy Tuesday, and welcome to another TTT! This week’s topic is books with single-word titles, and was submitted by Kitty from Kitty Marie’s Reading Corner. Long, wordy titles with lots of nouns and adjectives are pretty popular right now, so I thought it would be fun to talk about the simplest titles. The words “The” and “A” don’t have to count if you don’t want them to! I chose to focus on books I’ve read and would recommend.

Roomies by Christina Lauren
Hunted by Meagan Spooner
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Boomerang by Noelle August
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Atlantia by Ally Condie
Renegade by J.A. Souders
Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
Captivate by Vanessa Garden
Cress by Marissa Meyer

It’s kind of crazy how many fantasy and sci-fi books are in this list. I guess, at one point, short titles were popular for books of these genres! Now there’s so many A ____ of ____ and ____ or The Daughter of ____ and ____ titles that I can’t even keep track of them anymore! There’s just something nice about a short, simple title.

Which books did you include on your list this week?
Have you read and any of these? What did you think of them?