Top Ten Authors I’ve Read the Most Books By

Posted July 6, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 26 Comments

Welcome to another TTT! So sorry I was late today. I got sucked into Animal Crossing on my new Switch! This is a pretty straight-forward week. I’m sharing my list of the top ten authors I’ve read the most books by. I guess you could say these are some of my favorite authors, but I’ve got a lot of new favorites who have only written one or two books, so these are not ALL of my favorites!

1. Tessa Dare (17 books)

2. Mary Higgins-Clark (11 books)

3. Marissa Meyer (11 books)

4. Annette Marie (7 books)

5. Tracey Garvis-Graves (6 books)

6. Sarah Morgan (6 books)

7. Lauren Blakely (5 books)

8. Christina Lauren (5 books)

9. Stephenie Meyer (5 books)

10. Jennifer Armentrout (5 books)

Which authors have you read the most books by?

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2020

Posted June 29, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 32 Comments

Hello! Welcome to another TTT. Thank you to those of you who made TTT’s 10th birthday so much fun last week! I loved reading about everyone’s experiences with TTT over the years and how much you love this meme.

Can you believe we’re halfway done with 2020!? I can’t! This has been the craziest of years, so I’m taking today to share the books releasing over the next six months that I’m the most excited about. We can only go up from here, right?

You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria (8/4/20)

Leading Ladies do not end up on tabloid covers. 

After a messy public breakup, soap opera darling Jasmine Lin Rodriguez finds her face splashed across the tabloids. When she returns to her hometown of New York City to film the starring role in a bilingual romantic comedy for the number one streaming service in the country, Jasmine figures her new “Leading Lady Plan” should be easy enough to follow—until a casting shake-up pairs her with telenovela hunk Ashton Suárez.

Leading Ladies don’t need a man to be happy.

After his last telenovela character was killed off, Ashton is worried his career is dead as well. Joining this new cast as a last-minute addition will give him the chance to show off his acting chops to American audiences and ping the radar of Hollywood casting agents. To make it work, he’ll need to generate smoking-hot on-screen chemistry with Jasmine. Easier said than done, especially when a disastrous first impression smothers the embers of whatever sexual heat they might have had.

Leading Ladies do not rebound with their new costars.

With their careers on the line, Jasmine and Ashton agree to rehearse in private. But rehearsal leads to kissing, and kissing leads to a behind-the-scenes romance worthy of a soap opera. While their on-screen performance improves, the media spotlight on Jasmine soon threatens to destroy her new image and expose Ashton’s most closely guarded secret.

Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer (8/4/20)

Of all the pomegranates in all the land… they chose this one. I hate the cover, but… Oh well.

When Edward Cullen and Bella Swan met in Twilight, an iconic love story was born. But until now, fans have heard only Bella’s side of the story. At last, readers can experience Edward’s version in the long-awaited companion novel, Midnight Sun.

This unforgettable tale as told through Edward’s eyes takes on a new and decidedly dark twist. Meeting beautiful, mysterious Bella is both the most intriguing and unnerving event he has experienced in his long life as a vampire. As we learn more fascinating details about Edward’s past and the complexity of his inner thoughts, we understand why this is the defining struggle of his life. How can he let himself fall in love with Bella when he knows that he is endangering her life?

In Midnight Sun, Stephenie Meyer transports us back to a world that has captivated millions of readers and, drawing on the classic myth of Hades and Persephone, brings us an epic novel about the profound pleasures and devastating consequences of immortal love.

The Orphan of Cemetery Hill by Hester Fox (9/15/20)

The dead won’t bother you if you don’t give them permission.

Boston, 1844.

Tabby has a peculiar gift: she can communicate with the recently departed. It makes her special, but it also makes her dangerous.

As an orphaned child, she fled with her sister, Alice, from their charlatan aunt Bellefonte, who wanted only to exploit Tabby’s gift so she could profit from the recent craze for seances.

Now a young woman and tragically separated from Alice, Tabby works with her adopted father, Eli, the kind caretaker of a large Boston cemetery. When a series of macabre grave robberies begins to plague the city, Tabby is ensnared in a deadly plot by the perpetrators, known only as the “Resurrection Men.”

In the end, Tabby’s gift will either save both her and the cemetery—or bring about her own destruction.

Well Played by Jen DeLuca (9/22/20)

I couldn’t wait, and am reading this one now! LOVING IT so far!

Another laugh-out-loud romantic comedy featuring kilted musicians, Renaissance Faire tavern wenches, and an unlikely love story.

Stacey is jolted when her friends Simon and Emily get engaged. She knew she was putting her life on hold when she stayed in Willow Creek to care for her sick mother, but it’s been years now, and even though Stacey loves spending her summers pouring drinks and flirting with patrons at the local Renaissance Faire, she wants more out of life. Stacey vows to have her life figured out by the time her friends get hitched at Faire next summer. Maybe she’ll even find The One.

When Stacey imagined “The One,” it never occurred to her that her summertime Faire fling, Dex MacLean, might fit the bill. While Dex is easy on the eyes onstage with his band The Dueling Kilts, Stacey has never felt an emotional connection with him. So when she receives a tender email from the typically monosyllabic hunk, she’s not sure what to make of it.

Faire returns to Willow Creek, and Stacey comes face-to-face with the man with whom she’s exchanged hundreds of online messages over the past nine months. To Stacey’s shock, it isn’t Dex—she’s been falling in love with a man she barely knows.

Mistletoe and Mr. Right by Sarah Morgenthaler (10/6/20)

How the moose (almost) stole Christmas.

Lana Montgomery is everything the quirky small town of Moose Springs, Alaska can’t stand: a rich socialite with dreams of changing things for the better. But Lana’s determined to prove that she belongs…even if it means trading her stilettos for snow boots and tracking one of the town’s hairiest Christmas mysteries: the Santa Moose, an antlered Grinch hell-bent on destroying every bit of holiday cheer (and tinsel) it can sink its teeth into.

And really…how hard could it be?

The last few years have been tough on Rick Harding, and it’s not getting any easier now that his dream girl’s back in town. When Lana accidentally tranquilizes him instead of the Santa Moose, it’s clear she needs help, fast…and this could be his chance to finally catch her eye. It’s an all-out Christmas war, but if they can nab that darn moose before it destroys the town, Rick and Lana might finally find a place where they both belong…together.

Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade (10/6/20)

Olivia Dade bursts onto the scene in this delightfully fun romantic comedy set in the world of fanfiction, in which a devoted fan goes on an unexpected date with her celebrity crush, who’s secretly posting fanfiction of his own. 

Marcus Caster-Rupp has a secret. While the world knows him as Aeneas, the star of the biggest show on TV, Gods of the Gates, he’s known to fanfiction readers as Book!AeneasWouldNever, an anonymous and popular poster.  Marcus is able to get out his own frustrations with his character through his stories, especially the ones that feature the internet’s favorite couple to ship, Aeneas and Lavinia. But if anyone ever found out about his online persona, he’d be fired. Immediately.

April Whittier has secrets of her own. A hardcore Lavinia fan, she’s hidden her fanfiction and cosplay hobby from her “real life” for years—but not anymore. When she decides to post her latest Lavinia creation on Twitter, her photo goes viral. Trolls and supporters alike are commenting on her plus-size take, but when Marcus, one half of her OTP, sees her pic and asks her out on a date to spite her critics, she realizes life is really stranger than fanfiction.

Even though their first date is a disaster, Marcus quickly realizes that he wants much more from April than a one-time publicity stunt. And when he discovers she’s actually Unapologetic Lavinia Stan, his closest fandom friend, he has one more huge secret to hide from her.

With love and Marcus’s career on the line, can the two of them stop hiding once and for all, or will a match made in fandom end up prematurely cancelled?

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren (10/6/20)

One Christmas wish, two brothers, and a lifetime of hope are on the line for hapless Maelyn Jones in In a Holidaze, the quintessential holiday romantic novel by Christina Lauren, the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions.

But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.

The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.

Jam-packed with yuletide cheer, an unforgettable cast of characters, and Christina Lauren’s trademark “downright hilarious” (Helen Hoang, author of The Bride Test) hijinks, this swoon-worthy romantic read will make you believe in the power of wishes and the magic of the holidays.

Simmer Down by Sarah Smith (10/13/20)

In this finger-licking good rom-com, two is the perfect number of cooks in the kitchen.

Nikki DiMarco knew life wouldn’t be all sunshine and coconuts when she quit her dream job to help her mom serve up mouthwatering Filipino dishes to hungry beach goers, but she didn’t expect the Maui food truck scene to be so eat-or-be-eaten—or the competition to be so smoking hot.

But Tiva’s Filipina Kusina has faced bigger road bumps than the arrival of Callum James. Nikki doesn’t care how delectable the British food truck owner is—he rudely set up shop next to her coveted beach parking spot. He’s stealing her customers and fanning the flames of a public feud that makes her see sparks.

The solution? Let the upcoming Maui Food Festival decide their fate. Winner keeps the spot. Loser pounds sand. But the longer their rivalry simmers, the more Nikki starts to see a different side of Callum…a sweet, protective side. Is she brave enough to call a truce? Or will trusting Callum with her heart mean jumping from the frying pan into the fire?

Love & Olives by Jenna Evans Welch (11/10/20)

From the New York Times bestselling author of Love & Gelato comes a Mamma Mia–inspired tale about a teen girl finding romance while trying to connect with her absent father in beautiful Santorini, Greece.

Liv Varanakis doesn’t have a lot of fond memories of her father, which makes sense—he fled to Greece when she was only eight. What Liv does remember, though, is their shared love for Greek myths and the lost city of Atlantis. So when Liv suddenly receives a postcard from her father explaining that National Geographic is funding a documentary about his theories on Atlantis—and will she fly out to Greece and help?—Liv jumps at the opportunity.

But when she arrives to gorgeous Santorini, things are a little…awkward. There are so many questions, so many emotions that flood to the surface after seeing her father for the first time in years. And yet Liv doesn’t want their past to get in the way of a possible reconciliation. She also definitely doesn’t want Theo—her father’s charismatic so-called “protégé”—to witness her struggle.

And that means diving into all that Santorini has to offer—the beautiful sunsets, the turquoise water, the hidden caves, and the delicious cuisine. But not everything on the Greek island is as perfect as it seems. Because as Liv slowly begins to discover, her father may not have invited her to Greece for Atlantis, but for something much more important.

How To Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams (12/1/20)

One daring to-do list and a crash course in flirtation turn a Type A overachiever’s world upside down.

When her flailing department lands on the university’s chopping block, Professor Naya Turner’s friends convince her to shed her frumpy cardigan for an evening on the town. For one night her focus will stray from her demanding job and she’ll tackle a new kind of to-do list. When she meets a charming stranger in town on business, he presents the perfect opportunity to check off the items on her list. Let the guy buy her a drink. Check. Try something new. Check. A no-strings-attached hookup. Check…almost.

Jake makes her laugh and challenges Naya to rebuild her confidence, which was left toppled by her abusive ex-boyfriend. Soon she’s flirting with the chance at a more serious romantic relationship—except nothing can be that easy. The complicated strings around her dating Jake might destroy her career.

Naya has two options. She can protect her professional reputation and return to her old life or she can flirt with the unknown and stay with the person who makes her feel like she’s finally living again.

Which upcoming releases are you looking forward to?

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

The Marriage Game by Sara Desai | Book Review

Posted June 26, 2020 by Jana in Adult Fiction, Book Review / 0 Comments

The Marriage Game by Sara Desai | Book ReviewThe Marriage Game by Sara Desai
Published by Berkley on June 9, 2020
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Romance
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher (Netgalley)
Add to Goodreads
Buy on Amazon
3 Stars

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.

Today I’m posting my book review of The Marriage Game by Sara Desai as part of the official blog tour hosted by Berkley! The synopsis sold me early on, and I was even more eager to jump in and read this diverse, sexy, romantic comedy as soon as I laid my eyes on that beautiful cover! As always, my main points are bolded.

1. First off, I loved the pieces of Indian culture throughout the story. There was so much talk of food, especially, which is always a plus for me. I also found the practice of arranged marriages fascinating. It’s not like I’d never heard of this concept before, but Sara Desai explained it and outlined it in a way that made sense to me in a way it hadn’t before.

2. The humor was spot on, and the banter between Layla and Sam as they duke it out for ownership of their shared office was my favorite part of the book. 

3. Layla was a very fun character to read about! She’s confident and really loves herself. She’s also got big dreams and isn’t afraid to try hard things, even when she’s just been knocked down a peg or two.

4. I loved Layla’s family, but especially her dad. He’s adorable. In an effort to heal her heart, he sets up a secret online dating profile for her and then spends who knows how long surfing through hundreds of profiles and curating a list of 10 men for her that he approves of. He even set up all the meetings with them. What a sweet, caring dad! I mean… I suppose it was a total overstep, but I could see how much he cared and that warmed my heart.

5. Sam’s great, too. He’s got quite a back story that involves some darker issues and a lot of guilt on his part. I loved reading as he worked through these past experiences and it gave me a better understanding of why he was the way he was. His master plan was to get Layla married off so he would win the office by default, so he accompanies her on all these dates to try and make things happen. But he hates all of the guys and his conscience can’t handle talking her into dating any of them. lol.

6. And seriously. Some of these dates and the men on them were hilarious. 

7. The romance was sweet and slow-burning, just like I like them to be. I’ve always been a fan of enemies to lovers romances as well, and this one is a fiery one for sure!

All in all, this was lovely! I really enjoyed reading about a culture I’m not at all familia with, and such memorable and fun characters. I’ll be keeping my eye on Sara Desai!

3 Stars
Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

Top Ten Tuesday Is 10 Years Old! Updates to Many of My Old TTTs

Posted June 22, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 44 Comments

Welcome to a very special Top Ten Tuesday! Exactly 10 years ago today, we posted the very first ever TTT post over at The Broke and the Bookish.

This is also the 500th TTT topic that’s ever been done!

OH. And today is ALSO my birthday! So there’s lots to celebrate.

As you all know, I started out book blogging as a co-blogger at The Broke and the Bookish back in June of 2010. A few weeks later, TTT was born. I branched off in November 2011 and opened That Artsy Reader Girl so I could have more freedom to post book reviews when the publisher needed them. So the very first TTT I did here was on November 15, 2011. In total, I’ve posted 223 TTTs here in addition to many of the ones I did over at TB&TB. When Broke & Bookish shut down in January of 2018, TTT came here to live with me. Needless to say, I’ve been here since the beginning and I still love this meme so much. I love what it’s done to bring the book community together, and I’m excited to keep it going!

Anyway! This topic is kind of an update or commentary on ten of my old TTTs from the first year I started blogging, all the way up until now. My reading tastes have changed a lot, so there’s a lot to update! These are the highlights.

1. Top Ten Unread Books On My Bookshelf – 11/15/11

Of the 10 books I listed in this topic, I’ve only read 2 of them!! Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn. That’s pretty hilarious. Maybe I should give up on the others?

2. Top Ten Authors I Wish Would Write Another Book – 1/10/12

In this post I complained about Stephanie Meyer not continuing The Host trilogy, but now we’re getting Midnight Sun! So that’s even better! Stephanie Perkins wrote a horror novel after the Anna trilogy, which was a definite surprise! Suzanne Collins gave us another Hunger Games book, which nobody saw coming!

3. Top Ten Books I Recommend to People the Most – 3/26/13

I still recommend On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves ALL THE TIME. Now, I think I’d add anything by Christina Lauren, The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler, and Lauren Blakely’s contemporary romance audiobooks!

4. Top Ten Most Intimidating Books – 7/2/13

These are still intimidating! All I’ve read of this list of 10 is The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. It was meh. I read it because it was required in grad school. I’m not even interested in trying to read If I Stay by Gayle Forman,The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson, or A Game of thrones by George R.R. Martin anymore!

5. Top Ten Popular Authors I’ve Never Read – 3/3/14

This is so funny. Look at the popular authors of 2014! Or, at least the ones I thought were popular. Some of them are not so popular anymore. And I’ve still… hardly read any of them! And that’s ok! I did read a book by John Green… lol. That’s it!

6. Top Ten Characters I Wish Would Get Their Own Book – 5/19/15

Nikolai of Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy actually got his own book, King of Scars! It’s a miracle! And Edward is finally going to tell his story in Midnight Sun. Another miracle.

7. Top Ten Series I’ve Been Meaning to Start But Haven’t – 6/19/17

Lots to update here. Still haven’t started Marie Lu’s Legend series, but I’m not really interested anymore. I DNFed Kristin Cashore’s Graceling. I still REALLY want to read Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series, Tessa Dare’s Wanton Dairymaid trilogy, and the Pink Carnation series. Not so sure about Juliet Marillier’s series anymore… And I’ve read one book in Sarah Morgan’s From Manhattan with Love series! So good! And I’ve read a few Lucky Harbor books… kinda meh.

8. Top Ten Books that Have Been On My To-Read List the Longest – 2/5/18

They’re… all still on my to-read list!

9. Top Ten Books I’d Slay a Lion to Get Early – 4/30/18

So I actually got most of these books early. I DNFed Escaping from Houdini, didn’t love The Real Deal, was meh on The Governess Game, DNFed 99% Mine, and LOVED Serious Moonlight! I was so excited about all of these, and ended up loving one and either not loving/not finishing/not reading all the others. lol. I’m such a mood reader!

10. Top Ten Books I Could Re-Read Forever – 2/26/18

So I still feel this way about everything I listed!

Phew! What a trip down memory lane! One thing’s for sure… I don’t love YA the way I used to. But I still love books, and that’s all that matters. Which topic did you choose to do this week?

And in honor of TTT’s birthday and 500th topic, can you please share in the comments your experiences with TTT?
How long have you been posting them?
Did TTT introduce you to any new friends/blogs/books?
What have been some of your favorite topics?
Do you have suggestions for future topics? 

Thanks for coming along for the ride! Here’s to 10 more years!

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

Top Ten Books On My Summer 2020 To-Read List

Posted June 15, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 29 Comments

Is it really summertime? Let me tell you, I’ve barely left the house since March and my allergies are horrendous so it could be Fall out there, for all I know. But the calendar says it’s the middle of June, so I guess summer has hit! Well, not technically until June 21 but you know. Anyway, it’s time for another seasonal TBR! I featured a lot of fun rom-coms in my Spring 2020 To-Read list three months ago, and that’s mostly what I’ll be including this time as well! Rom-coms are one of the only kinds of books to keep me focused and happy right now, but I’ve also picked some contemporary romances that sound lovely as well. So here we go!

The Dating Proposal by Lauren Blakely

I’ve been having so much fun listening to Lauren Blakely’s books lately! She gets such great narrators. I’m currently listening to the first book in this series, The Pretending Plot, and it’s so great!

Watch out world — I’m ready to date again.

The seven years I invested in my ex left me with nothing but scorch marks from the way he peeled out and left me at the altar. I’m not looking to put my heart into a relationship any time soon. But getting back out there? That sounds like a helluva good idea to get my groove back.

Then I bump into Chris….Clever and funny, with a sexy surfer’s bod and a brilliant nerd brain, he has just the right screwdriver to fix my hard drive. (Yes, the one for my computer.) I wouldn’t mind dating him. The trouble is he just proposed to me—to be the new dating guru on his TV show.

Now he’s my new business partner.

What happens when you meet the right person at the wrong time?

Well Played by Jenn DeLuca

Well Met is a favorite book of mine, and even though Well Played doesn’t come out until September 22 I was lucky enough to receive an eARC and plan to dive in very soon!

Another laugh-out-loud romantic comedy featuring kilted musicians, Renaissance Faire tavern wenches, and an unlikely love story.

Stacey is jolted when her friends Simon and Emily get engaged. She knew she was putting her life on hold when she stayed in Willow Creek to care for her sick mother, but it’s been years now, and even though Stacey loves spending her summers pouring drinks and flirting with patrons at the local Renaissance Faire, she wants more out of life. Stacey vows to have her life figured out by the time her friends get hitched at Faire next summer. Maybe she’ll even find The One.

When Stacey imagined “The One,” it never occurred to her that her summertime Faire fling, Dex MacLean, might fit the bill. While Dex is easy on the eyes onstage with his band The Dueling Kilts, Stacey has never felt an emotional connection with him. So when she receives a tender email from the typically monosyllabic hunk, she’s not sure what to make of it.

Faire returns to Willow Creek, and Stacey comes face-to-face with the man with whom she’s exchanged hundreds of online messages over the past nine months. To Stacey’s shock, it isn’t Dex—she’s been falling in love with a man she barely knows.

You Had Me At Hola by Alexis Daria

This sounds hilarious.

RITA® Award Winning author Alexis Daria brings readers an unforgettable, hilarious rom-com set in the drama-filled world of telenovelas—perfect for fans of Jane the Virgin and The Kiss Quotient.

Leading Ladies do not end up on tabloid covers. 

After a messy public breakup, soap opera darling Jasmine Lin Rodriguez finds her face splashed across the tabloids. When she returns to her hometown of New York City to film the starring role in a bilingual romantic comedy for the number one streaming service in the country, Jasmine figures her new “Leading Lady Plan” should be easy enough to follow—until a casting shake-up pairs her with telenovela hunk Ashton Suárez.

Leading Ladies don’t need a man to be happy.

After his last telenovela character was killed off, Ashton is worried his career is dead as well. Joining this new cast as a last-minute addition will give him the chance to show off his acting chops to American audiences and ping the radar of Hollywood casting agents. To make it work, he’ll need to generate smoking-hot on-screen chemistry with Jasmine. Easier said than done, especially when a disastrous first impression smothers the embers of whatever sexual heat they might have had.

Leading Ladies do not rebound with their new costars.

With their careers on the line, Jasmine and Ashton agree to rehearse in private. But rehearsal leads to kissing, and kissing leads to a behind-the-scenes romance worthy of a soap opera. While their on-screen performance improves, the media spotlight on Jasmine soon threatens to destroy her new image and expose Ashton’s most closely guarded secret.

Romeantically Challenged by Marina Adair

Honestly, I saw “Rome” and didn’t really care what it was about after that. But… it’s not Italy. Crud. However, doesn’t this sound like so much fun? Forced proximity with a cabin is one of my favorite things.

Growing up the lone Asian in a community of WASPs, Annie has always felt out of place. Her solution? Start a family of her own. Not easy when every man she’s dated, including her ex-fiancé, finds “his person” right after breaking up with Annie. Even worse than canceling the wedding eight weeks beforehand? Learning the “other woman” plans to walk down the aisle wearing her wedding gown. New plan—find a fresh, man-free start. Too bad her exit strategy unexpectedly lands her working at a hospital in Rome, Rhode Island, rather than Rome, Italy, and sharing a cabin with a big, brooding, and annoyingly hot male roommate.

Home on medical leave after covering a literally explosive story in China, investigative photojournalist Emmitt embarks on his most important assignment—cementing his place in his daughter’s life. Three men and a baby might work in the movies, but with a stepdad and devoted uncle competing for Paisley’s attention, Emmitt has lost his place at the family table. Then there’s the adorably sexy squatter in his cabin, who poses another problem, one he’d very much like to solve up close and personal. But he can’t win—Annie has sworn off men, Paisley’s gone boy crazy, and Emmitt’s estranged father reappears with a secret that changes everything.

Annie and Emmitt are about to discover love comes in many forms, and sometimes the best families are the ones we make.

Paris Is Always a Good Idea by Jenn McKinlay

Paris, people, this is not a drill! And it actually takes place in Paris, France (among other European countries), so yay. lol.

It’s been seven years since Chelsea Martin embarked on her yearlong post-college European adventure. Since then, she’s lost her mother to cancer and watched her sister marry twice, while Chelsea’s thrown herself into work, becoming one of the most talented fundraisers for the American Cancer Coalition, and with the exception of one annoyingly competent coworker, Jason Knightley, her status as most talented fundraiser is unquestioned.

When her introverted mathematician father announces he’s getting remarried, Chelsea is forced to acknowledge that her life stopped after her mother died, and that the last time she can remember being happy, in love, or enjoying her life was on her gap year. Inspired to retrace her steps–to find Colin in Ireland, Jean Claude in France, and Marcelino in Italy–Chelsea hopes that one of these three men who stole her heart so many years ago, can help her find it again.

From the start of her journey nothing goes as planned, but as Chelsea reconnects with her old self, she also finds love in the very last place she expected.

You Lucky Dog by Julia London

Accidental. Dog. Swap. Romance. Sold!

An accidental dog swap unleashes an unexpected love match in this new romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Julia London.

Carly Kennedy’s life is in a spiral. She is drowning in work, her divorced parents are going through their midlife crises, and somehow Carly’s sister convinces her to foster Baxter–a basset hound rescue with a bad case of the blues. When Carly comes home late from work one day to discover that the dog walker has accidentally switched out Baxter for another perkier, friendlier basset hound, she has reached the end of her leash.

When Max Sheffington finds a depressed male basset hound in place of his cheerful Hazel, he is bewildered. But when cute, fiery Carly arrives on his doorstep, he is intrigued. He was expecting the dog walker, not a pretty woman with firm ideas about dog discipline. And Carly was not expecting a handsome, bespectacled man to be feeding her dog mac and cheese. Baxter is besotted with Hazel, and Carly realizes she may have found the key to her puppy’s happiness. For his sake, she starts to spend more time with Hazel and Max, until she begins to understand the appeal of falling for your polar opposite.

Crushing It by Lorelei Parker

European gaming conference. Fear of public speaking (me too!). Embarrassing yourself in front of an old flame. Sounds fun to me!

In life, as in gaming, there’s a way around every obstacle . . .

To pitch her new role-playing game at a European conference, developer Sierra Reid needs to overcome her terror of public speaking. What better practice than competing in a local bar’s diary slam, regaling an audience with old journal entries about her completely humiliating college crush on gorgeous Tristan Spencer?

Until the moderator says, “Next up, Tristan Spencer . . .”

Sierra is mortified, but Tristan is flattered. Caught up in memories of her decade-old obsession as they reconnect, Sierra tries to dismiss her growing qualms about him. But it’s not so easy to ignore her deepening friendship with Alfie, the cute, supportive bar owner. She and Alfie were college classmates too, and little by little, Sierra is starting to wonder if she’s been focusing her moves on the wrong target all along, misreading every player’s motivations.

Maybe the only winning strategy is to start playing by her heart . . .

Island Affair by Priscilla Oliveras

That cover alone has me swooning!

Sought-after social media influencer Sara Vance, in recovery from an eating disorder, is coming into her own, with a potential career expansion on the horizon. Despite the good news, her successful siblings (and their perfect spouses) have a way of making her feel like the odd one out. So, when her unreliable boyfriend is a no-show for a Florida family vacation, Sara recruits Luis Navarro—a firefighter paramedic and dive captain willing to play the part of her smitten fiancé . . .

Luis’s big Cuban familia has been in Key West for generations, and his quiet strength feeds off the island’s laidback style. Though guarded after a deep betrayal, he’ll always help someone in need—especially a spunky beauty with a surprising knowledge of Spanish curse words. Soon, he and Sara have memorized their “how we met” story and are immersed in family dinners, bike tours, private snorkeling trips . . . sharing secrets, and slow, melting kisses. But when it’s time for Sara to return home, will their island romance last or fade with the stunning sunset?

Hello Summer by Mary Kay Andrews

The pub sent me an extra one of these by mistake, so my mom and I are going to buddy read and I’m very excited about it!

It’s a new season…

Conley Hawkins left her family’s small town newspaper, The Silver Bay Beacon, in the rearview mirror years ago. Now a star reporter for a big-city paper, Conley is exactly where she wants to be and is about to take a fancy new position in Washington, D.C. Or so she thinks.

For small town scandals…

When the new job goes up in smoke, Conley finds herself right back where she started, working for her sister, who is trying to keep The Silver Bay Beacon afloat—and she doesn’t exactly have warm feelings for Conley. Soon she is given the unenviable task of overseeing the local gossip column, “Hello, Summer.”

And big-time secrets.

Then Conley witnesses an accident that ends in the death of a local congressman—a beloved war hero with a shady past. The more she digs into the story, the more dangerous it gets. As an old heartbreaker causes trouble and a new flame ignites, it soon looks like their sleepy beach town is the most scandalous hotspot of the summer.

The Little Bookshop of Love Stories by Jaimie Admans

I love books about bookish people! The heroine wins a bookshop! How amazing does that sound?!

Today is the Mondayest Monday ever. Hallie Winstone has been fired – and it wasn’t even her fault!

Having lost her job and humiliated herself in front of a whole restaurant full of diners, this is absolutely, one hundred percent, the worst day of her life.

That is until she receives an email announcing that she is the lucky winner of the Once Upon a Page Bookshop!

Owning a bookshop has always been Hallie’s dream, and when she starts to find secret love letters on the first pages of every book, she knows she’s stumbled across something special.

Things get even better when she meets gorgeous, bookish Dimitri and between them, they post a few of the hidden messages online, reuniting people who thought they were lost forever.

But maybe it’s time for Hallie to find her own happy-ever-after, too?

What’s on your summer TBR?
Have you read any of these? What did you think?

 

Also… next week’s TTT is in celebration of Top Ten Tuesday’s 10th birthday and 500th topic! I’ve made a special button to celebrate and I hope you’ll use it next week!

 

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

Birthday Suit by Lauren Blakely | Book Review

Posted June 11, 2020 by Jana in Adult Fiction, Book Review / 1 Comment

Birthday Suit by Lauren Blakely | Book ReviewBirthday Suit by Lauren Blakely
Series: Sexy Suits #2
Published by Lauren Blakely Books on January 17, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Pages: 306
Source: Audible
Add to Goodreads
Buy on Amazon
5 Stars

There is no rule in the Man Code as unbreakable as this: no matter how beautiful, smart, clever, and witty she is, do not—under any circumstances—fall in love with your best friend’s woman.

Yeah. So there’s that.
Look, it’s not like I didn’t know I screwed up by falling for her.
Also, for the record, unrequited love sucks big time.
And, I might have cut myself some slack by now, given everything that went down in the last few years, but Lulu just walked back into my life in a big way.

***

There are three things I've never been able to resist—my friends, my family, and chocolate.

Leo Hennessy? He was nowhere on that list. He's been a true friend—a friend who walked through hell and back with me.
Now, I'm stepping into my new future. I didn't expect it to include a riddle-filled, race-against-the-clock scavenger hunt across New York City.
With Leo.
Suddenly, I'm looking at this man with new eyes...
But my life spun out because of a man once before, and I can’t risk my fresh start, no matter what the temptation. And Leo is most definitely a temptation of the sexiest, sweetest, and most dangerous variety.
More irresistibly delicious than chocolate...

I will admit, I grabbed this immediately after loving and finishing the first book in this series, Lucky Suit (a novella). And yes, I loved that book a lot, but I think loved it more than I if I had actually read it with my eyes because of the narrators. So when I saw the huge cast of narrators for Birthday Suit (which includes Shane East/Steve West, my love) and read the synopsis (YES), I decided to shove all current plans aside and listen to this immediately. Boy, am I a good decision maker.

Things I Liked:

  • The narrators. Each character in Birthday Suit has their own narrator and, instead of alternating chapters like some audiobooks do with narrator duets or trios, this one was read like it was a TV show! Lulu (Andi Arndt) and Leo (Sebastian York) narrate alternate chapters as a whole, but then whenever any of the characters have anything to say, the narrator assigned to that character reads their lines. It’s SO much fun. This is an AMAZING cast of narrators, and each one brought so much life and personality to their characters. It felt like an episode of Friends. I will actively seek out full casts from now on, and already have a bunch on my wishlist.
  • I have to hand it to Lauren Blakely, because she obviously wrote the book to facilitate the kind of narration we got. It was amazing. The snark and personalities that she created gave the narrators amazing content to work with. All those full cast audiobooks I mentioned above that are now on my wishlist? Yeah, they’re all by Lauren Blakely. I think I’m a total fangirl. I ran to her website to sign up for email notifications so I’ll know exactly what to wish for next.
  • Lulu is a chocolatier with big dreams. She’s divorced after a rather toxic marriage to a guy who had a better relationship with alcohol than he did with her. I really, really like Lulu. She can do hard things and make hard decisions. She puts her best interests ahead of everything else, yet she’s still so caring and compassionate. I really loved reading her story.
  • Speaking of her being a chocolatier… this book will make you crave chocolate. Trust me on this and have some handy while you read because you’re going to be hearing about chocolate recipes and truffles and chocolate fountains… sea salt and caramel… SO MUCH CHOCOLATE.
  • Leo is awesome. He works for a company called Heavenly that is all about chocolate. He immediately recommends Lulu for their Rising Star event, and they bring her on to the team to develop a new line of chocolate treats. Leo has been in love with Lulu since before she married his best friend, and the two of them have the cutest friendship. But, of course, he wants so much more with her. His pining and infatuation with her was very sweet. I loved how he looked out for her and protected her and loved her while also trying to respect his friendship with her ex-husband. He really had to suffer, and I felt for him. He’s got some baggage and some emotional turmoil going on in his head, and he’s so torn on some decisions he has to make.
  • Lulu and Leo have a very cute romance, too. I loved their flirtiness and their backstory as a duo. And their riddles. They love to do riddles together, many of which they make up on their own, and I thought that was so cute!
  • There’s a lot of depth and intense underlying issues going on, which added some interesting layers. I liked the light-hearted romance and chocolate and scavenger hunt, but I also liked the growing and healing and moving on that some of these characters are having to do.
  • The supporting characters are great. Lulu and Leo both have wonderful and supportive friends.
  • All the loose ends are tied up, and things are so swoony and sweet!

What I Didn’t Like:

  • This is hard, because I’m not sure there was anything I didn’t like! I think my only disappointment is that I didn’t get more info on Ginny’s romance. Ginny is one of the supporting characters that I loved. I hope she gets her own book.

Additional Thoughts:

  • Definitely get your hands on the audio if you can! I know it made the story so much better for me. And at the end there’s a 1-hour bonus interview between Andi and Sebastian that was really fun. Listeners learn what recording was like, and rituals of audiobook narrators. They talked about lots of fun things.
  • I could EASILY re-listen to this. I’m not much of a re-reader, but this was so much fun that I know I’ll go back to it again someday.

All in all, this was a total win for me and I’m a Lauren Blakely fangirl! I can’t wait to listen to/read another one of her books! Highly recommended, and a brand new favorite!

5 Stars
Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

Top Ten Books I Want to Read but Forgot Why

Posted June 8, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 24 Comments

This week’s TTT was stolen from Louise @ Foxes & Fairy Tales because I thought it was so funny! I think we book lovers tend to add books to our to-read lists and then forget about them all the time. Have you ever scrolled through your to-read list, seen a cover or title, and gone “Wait. What’s this about again? When did I add this to my list?”? I know I have! So those are the books I’m sharing today: books I once wanted to read (and probably still do), but can’t remember why I added them to my to-read list (aka what are these books even about?!). If you see a book I need to be excited about, let me know!

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella
Must’ve Done Something Good by Cheryl Cory
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig
The Chocolate Thief by Laura Florand

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler
Love Overdue by Pamela Morsi
House of Shadows by Darcy Coates
Nightchaser by Amanda Bouchet

Can anyone tell me why I wanted to read these?

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

Lucky Suit by Lauren Blakely | Book Review

Posted June 4, 2020 by Jana in Adult Fiction, Book Review / 1 Comment

Lucky Suit by Lauren Blakely | Book ReviewLucky Suit by Lauren Blakely
Series: Sexy Suits #1
Published by Lauren Blakely Books on July 1, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Pages: 129
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible
Add to Goodreads
Buy on Amazon
5 Stars

Kristen Leonard is done with setups. She’s not interested in your son or your nephew or your butcher or the guy who mows your lawn, thank you very much, grandma! After all, she’s a modern woman—she’ll take her chances on the algorithms of online dating to find her ideal man. Before long, she meets a man who might just be the one—he’s hilarious, quick-witted, and full of heart. And when she meets up with Cameron in real life, he certainly looks exactly like his profile picture…but something’s not quite right.

There’s really no telling what brought them together and all bets are off as to whether or not they can trust their hearts over their heads. After all, can you fall in love with someone you’re not sure you really even know?

Lauren Blakey might be one of my new favorite authors! After reading Lucky Suit and its sequel, Birthday Suit, in less than a week’s time (and giving both of them 5-star ratings) I’m eager and excited to read more from her! Lucky Suit was a free Audible Original about a year ago, so I grabbed it because I’m a huge lover of romance (as you know). This one was short and sweet, just how I like them sometimes!

What I Liked:

  • I loved the narrators. Andi Arndt and Zachary Webber have both rocketed their way into my very favorite narrators ever. They were both so much fun to listen to, and really brought the characters to life. I’m going to keep an eye out for books read by both of them in them in the future. Andi’s got this sassy, sweet voice and can really bring the snark and sarcasm. And Zachary has this swoony, sexy voice that made me totally fall for Cameron. He’s also great at infusing personality into the character.
  • Kristen and Cameron are both such great characters. I love Cameron for how sweet he was with Kristen’s grandma, playing online poker and talking fancy cars with her. I can just picture him winking and humoring her, and I love guys like that. He’s also funny and charming and so sweet!
  • Kristen is super relatable. She’s skeptical of dating and finding the right guy, and I totally agree with her. She’s very smart and completely analytical about a lot of things.
  • Jeannie, the grandma, is a HOOT. I love her so much!
  • The pranks in this story are top notch. No spoilers, so I won’t expound on this!
  • No sexytimes, which I appreciate because they make me blush on audio!!

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Honestly, I just wish the story was longer. I wanted more romance, more online chats, more Jeannie antics, more everything! But it’s a favorite of mine just as it is, so I’m not that upset!

Additional Thoughts:

  • Definitely read this one before you read Birthday Suit. Even though it’s tiny, and basically a novella, Cameron shows up in Birthday Suit and I was excited to see him again. You appreciate him more in BS if you’ve read LS, at least in my opinion. Although, I’m pretty sure Lucky Suit takes place DURING Birthday Suit because we never hear about Kristen, just a “mystery woman”. But anyway! Do it for Cameron.
  • Must find more books read by Andi and/or Zachary!
  • Must go browse Lauren Blakely’s other books and find more swoony stories!

All in all, this was so much fun and I highly recommend it! If you can listen to it, do it, because I think it made me love it even more.

5 Stars
Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

Top Ten Books That Give Off Summer Vibes

Posted June 1, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 20 Comments

Welcome to another TTT! And happy summer! I can’t believe summer starts this month. Have we been quarantining for 7 years yet? I’ve chosen to share 5 books I loved that give off summery vibes and 5 from my TBR that look like the pages will drip sunshine. Some have summery covers or titles, and some just have very summery content. I’m looking forward to browsing some of your books this week. Goodness knows I need a little vacation to a tropical paradise right about now!

Summery Books I Loved

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren – Hawaiian unhoneymoon!
On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves – An island!
Well Met by Jen DeLuca – Summer Renn Fair
Roman Crazy by Alice Clayton – Italy!
Catch of the Day by Kristan Higgins – Look at that boating cover!

Summery Books On My To-Read List

Island Affair by Priscilla Oliveras
Around the World With My Ex by Maxine Morrey
Emerald Coast by Anita Hughes
Finding You by Jo Watson
Well Played by Jen DeLuca

 

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

New-to-Me Author Summer Bingo Event Announcement

Posted June 1, 2020 by Jana in Blog Event / 16 Comments

I’m so excited to announce that Jessica (Reading with Jessica) and I are hosting a fun summer reading event called New-to-Me-Author Summer Bingo! We’ve both been wanting to collaborate on something on our blogs, and since we’ve both been meaning to start branching out and exploring the works of authors we’ve never read before this event was born. We hope you’ll join us!

The Basics:

  • This event lasts from June 1st-August 31st, which is perfect because it won’t overrun any other reading challenges you’re participating in or books you’re excited to read that don’t fit this challenge’s parameters.
  • You can only count books towards the bingo card if you have not read that author before.
  • A bingo can be horizontal, vertical, or diagonal. You can also go for multiple bingos or blackout if you’re feeling ambitious.
  • Use the hashtag #nasbingo to share updates on your progress and tell us what you’re hoping to read.

I cannot wait to participate with you all summer!!! Jessica and I will be hosting reading sprints on our Twitter pages (@ArtsyReaderGirl and @ReadingwJessica), so be sure to follow us there to join in!

Here is the bingo card with all the prompts, as well as a blank one if you’d like to fill in the books on your TBR or update it once you’ve read. Feel free to share this challenge with others!

 

 

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email