Category: Top Ten Tuesday

Ten Books I Recently Cleared off My Shelves to Make Room for More

Posted March 8, 2021 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 2 Comments

Welcome to another TTT! This week’s topic is a spring cleaning freebie, which you can interpret any way you would like. I chose to focus on books I’ve recently cleared off my shelves to make room for more. These books are either ones I lost interest in, or I just didn’t feel like I need to own them in my actual collection. I only have so much room! I’m excited to see how everyone spun the topic this week!

1. The Second Chance Plan by Lauren Blakely
I love Lauren Blakely, but I felt very meh about the first two books in this series and don’t expect to read this one of the next one.

2. The Escape Room by Megan Goldin
This sounded AMAZING. I love forced proximity-type thrillers. But then I read some reviews and heard from some friends that this one is pretty boring. And I also read that it jumps back and forth between past and present-day, which I really don’t like in books like this. It takes the tension and excitement completely away.

3. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Have you SEEN the content and trigger warnings on this book? I had no idea until I sat down to read it for book club with some friends. Luckily I was able to return this on Amazon and get something else.

4. The Orphan of Cemetery Hill by Hester Fox
This author broke my trust by describing a very violent act of animal cruelty in a previous book (luckily I found out before I got to it and was able to DNF the book), but once an author does this I can’t read any more of their books moving forward.

5. Warcross by Marie Lu
I’ve just kind of fallen out of interest with sci-fi books. Maybe someday I’ll find something that intrigues me again, but for now I don’t think so.

I’ve also started to prefer adult contemporary romances over YA ones because I feel I identify with the main characters and their life situations now than I used to. So that’s my reasoning for the other five books I’ve chosen to clear off.

6. Stealing Home by Becky Wallace
7. Famous In a Small Town by Emma Mills
8. Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone
9. My Life Uploaded by Rae Earl
10. Wesley James Ruined My Life by Jennifer Honeybourn

So! There you have it.
If you could save one of these and force me to read it, which one would you pick?

Top Ten Book Characters Whose Job I Wish I Had

Posted March 1, 2021 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 13 Comments

Welcome to another TTT! How is it March already!? We’re coming up on a year of COVID, which feels like it began both yesterday and 35 years ago. What is time right now?

Anyway, this week’s topic is Characters Whose Jobs I Wish I Had. This could seriously be spun in any direction, so I hope people get really creative with this! Maybe you want to be a Duchess because of a historical romance you read and loved. Maybe you want to be a guardian of gifted, magical children or a pirate or a rock star. Maybe you want to be someone’s cool co-worker or the enemy of that hot guy in marketing in the enemies-to-lovers workplace romance you just finished. Or perhaps you read a memoir that mentioned a cool sounding job. Whatever the case may be, forgot about working from home and masking up and being socially distanced and pick some fun jobs or workplace environments you’ve read about and would like to become a part of.

1. Bailey, Dr. Russell’s surgical assistant (from Hotshot Doc by R.S. Grey)
Dr. Russell is a dreamboat, so…

2. Heidi, the receptionist at an audiobook recording company (from Heidi’s Guide to Four Letter Words by Tara Sivec and Andi Arndt)
Bookish environment, celebrity narrator encounters, free reading material, and tons of really cool workplace stories to share with friends? Yes.

3. Liv, amateur documentary director and Atlantis hunter (from Love & Olives by Jenna Evans Welch)
I don’t think this needs much of an explanation, but I’d be happy exploring Greece and looking for Atlantis, all while dressing people up, staging scenes, and falling in love with the cameraman.

4. Henley, cruise line marketing manager (from Shipped by Angie Hockman)
Yes, I’ll go on a cruise of the Galapagos in order to find inspiration to develop a new campaign for the company and hopefully get a promotion, boss. Even if it means I have to work alongside a smokin’ hot social media manager fighting for that same promotion.

5. Stacey, Renaissance Faire actress (from Well Played by Jen DeLuca)
Renn Faire sounds like so much fun, but to dress up in period clothing and play a role? Yes. Plus, I’d get to fall in love with a man in a kilt which is really not a bad thing, in my opinion.

6. Angel, chef at a research station in Antarctica (from Whiteout by Adriana Anders)
I’m solely interested in this job because I’d love to go to Antarctica! And think of the people she met and the things she learned!

7. Victoria, scientist aboard a research vessel in the Mariana Trench (from Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant)
I can’t say I’m excited about the idea of going on a voyage where imminent death by murder mermaids is what I’m looking for in my life, but I would like to go on a ship to visit this location and learn about the sea life there. It just sounds so interesting.

8. Nani the travel blogger (from Christmas at Frozen Falls by Kiley Dunbar)
I just want to travel, ok? I want people to pay me to travel and write about it. Ideal job right there. THAT’S the dream.

9. Maddie, owner of adorable book store (from Dating By the Book by Mary Ann Marlowe)
I love book stores, and owning one sounds amazing. I’d love to talk books with people, host fun events, and flirt with the cute regulars.

10. Gracie, jewelry designer in NYC (from The Gem Thief by Sian Ann Bessey)
What a cool job!! AND when a beautiful piece she designed was replaced with a forgery, she has to go on a mission with her rich client and that rich client’s sexy FBI agent grandson to solve the mystery. She gets an all-expenses paid vacation around the Mediterranean! What a hard job… I’ll take it.

Which jobs have you read about in books and wish you had?


Top Ten Books That Made Me Laugh Out Loud

Posted February 22, 2021 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 25 Comments

Welcome to another TTT! And thank you to Claire @ Book Lovers Pizza for suggesting this fun topic! I love books that make me laugh, so this topic is right up my alley. It should surprise no one that my books are all romances… because it’s not even worth reading a book unless there’s romance in it (except I do love mystery/thriller, but those are rarely funny).

Twice Shy and You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
Sarah’s kind of humor is my kind of humor. Just follow her on Twitter and you’ll get a taste of it, but both of these books have so much heart and had me laughing so, so much. Maybell in Twice Shy has some of the best inner monologues. She’s so funny. And the relationship is YDEO is full of hilarious sabotage and shenanigans. Both books have such deep concepts as well, so they’re well rounded and wonderful.

Hotshot Doc by R.S. Grey
Josie is the young teen sister of the heroine. I don’t think I have ever loved a kid in a book more. She is so, so funny. She sees and hears everything, and she really loves her sister. Her relationship with Matt is so cute. One night, he stays over at their place because the weather is bad and he can’t drive home. He sleeps on the couch, and Josie is so concerned that he’s going to have to go to bed without a book to read that she forces The Hunger Games on him.

Call Me Maybe by Cara Bastone
This is on audiobook only, and I loved it! The narrators used the best tones of voices to convey humor and sarcasm, so I laughed even easier than I would have if I’d just read it. Vera is a character, too. She’s so funny and kind of dramatic.

Heidi’s Guide to Four Letter Words by Tara Sivec & Andi Arndt
Heidi is hilarious. She’s super awkward, and would rather roll into the bushes and hide after falling than just get up and face her hot neighbor… which is what she does. And when she tries to read a sexy scene in a book? Gold.

The Christmas Pact by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward
This was such a fun listen! I love a good fauxmance (as you know), and this one was delightful. The two main characters share a name, but in reverse. He’s Kennedy Riley, and she’s Riley Kennedy. They also work for the same company, and keep getting each other’s emails. She politely forwards his along, but he gets nosey and reads them all… and then forwards them along with his comments/thoughts/musings. I just loved it.

The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare
It actually really surprises me that I didn’t review this one, because I had so many happy feelings from it! I loved our animal-loving heroine and our hero who is reluctant to admit he’s got a soft, squishy core. It was also so funny. Tessa really hit it out of the park with this one!

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
I absolutely could not ever leave CLo out of a topic like this one. After the entire wedding party except Olive and Ethan gets food poisoning and there’s still a non-refundable honeymoon to go on… why shouldn’t they go together? A free trip to Hawaii is worth putting up with your enemy, right? Watching these two people who really hate each other pretending to be newlyweds is so much fun.

Save the Date by Morgan Matson
The family in this book is so, so funny. And oh my, everything that could possibly go wrong for this wedding pretty much does! It’s hilarious, if not a little unbelievable how unlucky this family is! There’s a suit mix-up, electrical problems, gardening problems, and more. There’s so much going on at once that I found myself tearing through the pages to figure out how each issue was resolved. Honestly, this book would make such an amazingly fun and funny movie.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
I was bound to mention this one. It’s perfect and hilarious and swoony and deep. All the things I love.

What books have made you laugh out loud?
And if you have any romancey funny books, tell me!
I need more rom-coms and funny characters in my life.

Top Ten Purple, Yellow, & Green Book Covers

Posted February 15, 2021 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 19 Comments

Happy Mardi Gras (or maybe where you live it’s called Carnival)! Today is Mardi Gras in the USA, and since I used to live in Louisiana as a child I love to think back on the excitement of this holiday. I loved going to parades to catch beads, and I loved getting King Cake at school and hoping to find the little plastic baby in my piece. It was also fun to see all the decorations. Some houses and businesses were decorated with more lights and sparkle than Christmas! Mardi Gras colors are purple, yellow, and green so I thought it would be fun to share books with any/all of those colors on the covers! I tried picking books that had all three, but that got to be way too hard so I’m just going to share a mix of all three. I’ve learned that yellow is a REALLY popular color for book covers right now! Who knew? And surprisingly, I’ve read (and loved) all the yellow books mentioned here and the others are on my TBR.

Well Played by Jen DeLuca
Accidentally Engaged by Farrah Heron
New York, Actually by Sarah Morgan
Gentlemen Prefer Nerds by Joan Kilby
Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory
Love at First by Kate Clayborn
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
My (Not So) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
New Orleans Rush by Kelly Siskind
Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle

Do you celebrate Mardi Gras/Carnival where you live?
What did you do with this week’s topic?
Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

Top Ten Books With Hearts on the Cover

Posted February 8, 2021 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 27 Comments

Welcome to another TTT! This week’s topic is a Valentine’s Day/love freebie! I’m excited to see what you all did with this topic. The possibilities were endless, but I decided to share books from my collection that have hearts on the covers! Some of these books are favorites, and others are on my TBR.

Boomerang by Noelle August (LOVED this.)
Heidi’s Guide to Four Letter Words by Tara Sivec and Andi Arndt (Definitely a favorite!)
Lucky Suit by Lauren Blakely (Super fun, especially on audio.)
The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren (Not my favorite of theirs, but still really enjoyed!)
The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett (LOVE Jenn Bennett)
Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West (TBR)
Heart-Shaped Hack by Tracey Garvis Graves (SO good. I need to read the sequel!)
RomeAntically Challenged by Marina Adair (TBR)
By the Book by Amanda Sellet (TBR)
Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker (A long-time favorite.)

Have a happy Valentine’s Day this weekend!
I will be eating pasta and lemon cream cake and reading a really great book. :)

Top Ten Books on My TBR That Were Written Before I Was Born

Posted February 1, 2021 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 31 Comments

Welcome to another TTT! And happy February! I can’t believe we’re already a month into 2021, but also… how are we only a month into 2021? I dunno. What is time right now?

Anyway, this week I’m sharing books that aren’t new releases! I feel like, as book bloggers, many of us get caught up in all the new shiny books. We’re always going after ARCs and trying to be one of the first to read a highly anticipated novel. There’s blog tours and cover reveals and pre-order gifts and so much excitement surrounding these new books, but what about the older ones that maybe have gathered a little dust on the shelf? Let’s talk about those ones today. Actually, let’s talk about the books that pre-date us altogether. I was born in 1987, so I will be sharing books from my TBR that were written in 1986 or earlier. This should be fun, and will hopefully renew my excitement for these books that have been on my TBR for a while! Thank you to Davida Chazan at The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for this fun topic idea. It’s time to dig deep!

The King of the Castle by Victoria Holt (1967)
The Other Side of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon (1973)
Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan (1974)
Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors by Piers Paul Read (1974)
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (1936)
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813)
Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers (1934)
The House Of The Whispering Pines by Anna Katharine Green (1910)
Stillwatch by Mary Higgins Clark (1984)
A Cry in the Night by Mary Higgins Clark (1982)

Have you read any of these? 
What books would you like to read that were written before you were born?

Top Ten New-to-Me Authors I Discovered In 2020

Posted January 25, 2021 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 27 Comments

Welcome to another TTT! I can’t believe this is our last January TTT topic! Next week is February, and that’s insane to me. Today I’m sharing 10 authors I discovered in 2020 that I am excited to read more books by! I thought about excluding 2020 debuts, but I couldn’t do that so… here we go!

1. Sarah Morgenthaler (Moose Springs, Alaska books)
2. Sarah Hogle (You Deserve Each Other)
3. Jen DeLuca (Well Met and Well Played)
4. Mira Grant (Rolling In the Deep and Into the Drowning Deep)
5. Penny Reid (Neanderthal Seeks Human)
6. Sarah MacLean (Wicked and the Wallflower and Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake)
7. Simone St. James (The Sun-Down Motel)
8. Jana Aston (The Reindeer Falls trilogy)
9. Tara Sivec & Andi Arndt (Heidi’s Guide to Four Letter Words)
10. Cara Bastone (Call Me Maybe)

Which authors did you discover in 2020?

Top Ten 2020 Releases I Was Excited to Read But Didn’t Get To

Posted January 18, 2021 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 30 Comments

Welcome to another TTT! This week’s list features books I meant to read in 2020 and didn’t get around to. I thought about sharing which books I didn’t get to from each of my seasonal TBRs from last year, but have decided to just share some 2020 releases that I was super excited about and just didn’t have enough time for. Hopefully I can squish them in this year around all the 2021 releases!

Ten Rules for Faking It by Sophie Sullivan
RomeAntically Challenged by Marina Adair
The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez
To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters
The Deep by Alma Katsu
Your French Kisses by Lauren Blakely
Hearts on Hold by Charish Reid
The Return by Rachel Harrison
Lord Holt Takes a Bride by Vivienne Lorret
Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop by Roselle Lim

I can’t wait to read some of these this year! 
Which books had you been hoping to read in 2020, but didn’t have enough time for?

Top Ten Goals and Hopes for 2021

Posted January 11, 2021 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 24 Comments

Welcome to another TTT! This week’s topic is about my hopes and goals for 2021. I’ve never subscribed to the idea that a new year means a new me. I’m good just the way I am. BUT a new year is a symbolic fresh start, and I enjoy making small goals and wishes for the coming year because they give me something to aim for. 2020 was hard, so my theme for 2021 is going to be “happiness”. Everything I’m hoping for and aiming to achieve in 2021 will ultimately be for my increased happiness and well-being. Some of these things are bookish, and some are more personal.

1. Learn to sew and crochet! I’ve always loved being crafty and artistic, and I’ve lost that in recent years. I got some sewing notions and a couple project books for Christmas that I’m excited to start working my way through. One of my friends sent me some minky fabric, and another friend is going to teach me how to make a throw blanket. I also got some crochet supplies for my birthday last summer that I haven’t used yet, so I want to learn how to do both of these things.

2. Become an amazing bread maker! I love homemade bread a LOT. I could live on bread and butter alone, so what better hobby to learn than baking bread? And my mom bought me a really cool bread cookbook for Christmas that teaches you how to make all kinds of breads and other bread products like cinnamon rolls and pizza.

3. Set aside at least an hour a day to do something good for myself (non-hobby related). This could be working on my mental or spiritual health, researching natural healing, doing biofeedback for muscle relaxation, going on a walk (even if on the treadmill), exercising, etc. I can do one or a combination of any of these things.

4. Do something that makes me happy each day. This can be reading a book, watching TV/movie, playing Animal Crossing or other video games, talking with friends, working on one of the new hobby I mentioned above, listening to music, working on a puzzle, etc. I don’t spend enough time just being happy, and I know it would do such good things for me.

5. Drink more water. I’m chronically dehydrated, and I know that’s not helping some of my chronic pain and organ dysfunction. I’d like to eventually work up to a gallon, but that’s going to take work. So for now I’d just like to try and increase my intake and see how I feel. I’ve heard that as you drink more, your body wants more.

6. Blog more! I love blogging and have always found it to be a fun outlet where I can share my thoughts. I fell into a bit of a slump in the last year and then got so buried by my backlog of reviews that needed to be written, that I just kind of quit altogether. Blogging is supposed to be fun and for me, so I need to make it fun.

7. DNF faster so I end up loving more books in 2021 than not. 2020 had a lot of great reads, but also a lot of meh or downright awful ones. If I’m not excited to read, I’m doing something wrong. I need to stop reading the books I’m not enjoying faster so that I can read more of the ones I love. I might even read more books this year if I do this!

8. Go through and organize and get rid of my stuff. I want my things to bring me joy, and if they don’t then they need to go. I have too much stuff.

9. Surround myself with good people, who make my life better and happier. Maybe not physically because COVID is still a thing (so hoping that it’s a thing of the past soon), but even just emotionally. I need to embrace the love in my life and move away from the toxicity.

10. Lessen the stress in my life. We don’t always get to pick what we deal with, but sometimes we bring it upon ourselves. I need to really figure out what I need to do to feel calmer and less stressed. Even just a little. If there’s anything I can do to change or reduce my stress, I want to figure out what that is and then do it (or work towards it).

I hope 2021 is everything you hope it will be.
And if all you hope is that you’ll be safe and healthy, that’s 100% good enough.

And I hope it’s so much better for all of us than 2020 was. 

Top Ten Most Anticipated Books Releasing In the First Half of 2021

Posted January 4, 2021 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 34 Comments

Happy New Year, and welcome to another TTT! I hope your 2021 is off to a great start (and let’s hope it’s going to be better than 2020, yes?). A new year brings a whole bunch of new books, and this TTT’s focus is on those upcoming releases in January – June of this year! I’m looking forward to quite a few, so this list was both tricky and fun to compile.

Mr. Right Across the Street by Kathryn Freeman
January 22, 2021

Mia Abbott’s move to Manchester was supposed to give her time and space from all the disastrous romantic choices she’s made in her past. But then the hot guy who lives opposite – the one who works out every day at exactly 10 a.m., not that Mia has noticed thank-you-very-much – starts leaving notes in his window…for her.

Bar owner Luke Doyle has his own issues to deal with but as he shows Mia the sites of her new city he also shows her what real romance looks like for the first time. And when he cooks up a signature cocktail in her honour, she realises that the man behind the bar is even more enticing than any of his creations. And once she’s had a taste she knows it will never be enough!

Much Ado About You by Samantha Young
February 2, 2021

At thirty-three-years old Evangeline Starling’s life in Chicago is missing that special something. And when she’s passed over for promotion at work, Evie realizes she needs to make a change. Some time away to regain perspective might be just the thing. In a burst of impulsivity, she plans a holiday in a quaint English village. The holiday package comes with a temporary position at Much Ado About Books, the bookstore located beneath her rental apartment. There’s no better dream vacation for the bookish Evie, a life-long Shakespeare lover.

Not only is Evie swept up in running the delightful store as soon as she arrives, she’s drawn into the lives, loves and drama of the friendly villagers. Including Roane Robson, the charismatic and sexy farmer who tempts Evie every day with his friendly flirtations. Evie is determined to keep him at bay because a holiday romance can only end in heartbreak, right? But Evie can’t deny their connection and longs to trust in her handsome farmer that their whirlwind romance could turn in to the forever kind of love.

Love at First by Kate Clayborn
February 23, 2021

Sixteen years ago, a teenaged Will Sterling saw–or rather, heard–the girl of his dreams. Standing beneath an apartment building balcony, he shared a perfect moment with a lovely, warm-voiced stranger. It’s a memory that’s never faded, though he’s put so much of his past behind him. Now an unexpected inheritance has brought Will back to that same address, where he plans to offload his new property and get back to his regular life as an overworked doctor. Instead, he encounters a woman, two balconies above, who’s uncannily familiar…

No matter how surprised Nora Clarke is by her reaction to handsome, curious Will, or the whispered pre-dawn conversations they share, she won’t let his plans ruin her quirky, close-knit building. Bound by her loyalty to her adored grandmother, she sets out to foil his efforts with a little light sabotage. But beneath the surface of their feud is an undeniable connection. A balcony, a star-crossed couple, a fateful meeting–maybe it’s the kind of story that can’t work out in the end. Or maybe, it’s the perfect second chance.

Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron
March 2, 2021

Reena Manji doesn’t love her career, her single status, and most of all, her family inserting themselves into every detail of her life. But when caring for her precious sourdough starters, Reena can drown it all out. At least until her father moves his newest employee across the hall–with hopes that Reena will marry him.

But Nadim’s not like the other Muslim bachelors-du-jour that her parents have dug up. If the Captain America body and the British accent weren’t enough, the man appears to love eating her bread creations as much as she loves making them. She sure as hell would never marry a man who works for her father, but friendship with a neighbor is okay, right? And when Reena’s career takes a nosedive, Nadim happily agrees to fake an engagement so they can enter a couples video cooking contest to win the artisan bread course of her dreams.

As cooking at home together brings them closer, things turn physical, but Reena isn’t worried. She knows Nadim is keeping secrets, but it’s fine— secrets are always on the menu where her family is concerned. And her heart is protected… she’s not marrying the man. But even secrets kept for self preservation have a way of getting out, especially when meddling parents and gossiping families are involved.

Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle
April 6, 2021

Maybell Parrish has always been a dreamer and hopeless romantic. But living with her head in the clouds has long been preferable to dealing with reality, whether it’s navigating the wild world of dating apps or getting her coworkers to show her a little respect. So when Maybell inherits a stately old Tennessee manor from her Great Aunt Violet, she seizes the opportunity to make a fresh start.

But when she arrives at her new home, it seems her troubles have only just begun. Not only is the manor practically falling apart around her, but she isn’t the only inheritor: she has to share everything with Wesley Koehler, the groundskeeper who’s just as grouchy as he is gorgeous–and it turns out he has a very different vision for the property’s future.

Convincing the taciturn Wesley to stop avoiding her and compromise is a task more formidable than any of the many other dying wishes Great Aunt Violet left behind. But when Maybell uncovers something unexpectedly sweet beneath Wesley’s scowls and silences, she realizes they might have more in common than she ever dreamed. And as the two slowly begin to let their guards down, they just might learn that sometimes the smallest steps outside one’s comfort zone can lead to the greatest rewards.

To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters
April 6, 2021

The widowed Diana, Lady Templeton and Jeremy, Marquess of Willingham are infamous among English high society as much for their sharp-tongued bickering as their flirtation. One evening, an argument at a ball turns into a serious wager: Jeremy will marry within the year or Diana will forfeit one hundred pounds. So shortly after, just before a fortnight-long house party at Elderwild, Jeremy’s country estate, Diana is shocked when Jeremy appears at her home with very different kind of proposition.

After his latest mistress unfavorably criticized his skills in the bedroom, Jeremy is looking for reassurance, so he has gone to the only woman he trusts to be totally truthful. He suggests that they embark on a brief affair while at the house party—Jeremy can receive an honest critique of his bedroom skills and widowed Diana can use the gossip to signal to other gentlemen that she is interested in taking a lover.

Diana thinks taking him up on his counter-proposal can only help her win her wager. With her in the bedroom and Jeremy’s marriage-minded grandmother, the formidable Dowager Marchioness of Willingham, helping to find suitable matches among the eligible ladies at Elderwild, Diana is confident her victory is assured. But while they’re focused on winning wagers, they stand to lose their own hearts.

Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne
April 13, 2021

Distraction (n): an extreme agitation of the mind or emotions.

Ruthie Midona has worked the front desk at the Providence Luxury Retirement Villa for six years, dedicating her entire adult life to caring for the Villa’s residents, maintaining the property (with an assist from DIY YouTube tutorials), and guarding the endangered tortoises that live in the Villa’s gardens. Somewhere along the way, she’s forgotten that she’s young and beautiful, and that there’s a world outside of work—until she meets the son of the property developer who just acquired the retirement center.

Teddy Prescott has spent the last few years partying, sleeping in late, tattooing himself when bored, and generally not taking life too seriously—something his father, who dreams of grooming Teddy into his successor, can’t understand. When Teddy needs a place to crash, his father seizes the chance to get him to grow up. He’ll let Teddy stay in one of the on-site cottages at the retirement home, but only if he works to earn his keep. Teddy agrees—he can change a few lightbulbs and clip some hedges, no sweat. But Ruthie has plans for Teddy too.

Her two wealthiest and most eccentric residents have just placed an ad (yet another!) seeking a new personal assistant to torment. The women are ninety-year-old, four-foot-tall menaces, and not one of their assistants has lasted a full week. Offering up Teddy seems like a surefire way to get rid of the tall, handsome, unnerving man who won’t stop getting under her skin.

Ruthie doesn’t count on the fact that in Teddy Prescott, the Biddies may have finally met their match. He’ll pick up Chanel gowns from the dry cleaner and cut Big Macs into bite-sized bits. He’ll do repairs around the property, make the residents laugh, and charm the entire villa. He might even remind Ruthie what it’s like to be young and fun again. But when she finds out Teddy’s father’s only fixing up the retirement home to sell it, putting everything she cares about in jeopardy, she’s left wondering if Teddy’s magic was all just a façade.

People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry
May 11, 2021

Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart–she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown–but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.

Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since.

Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together–lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.

Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?

The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren
May 18, 2021

Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. Raised by her grandparents—who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno—Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father’s never been around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before Juno was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close, but working constantly to stay afloat is hard…and lonely.

But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: this Jess understands.

At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98% compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Pena. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Pena. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate. But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess—who is barely making ends meet—is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond” pairing that could make GeneticAlly a mint in stock prices, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist—and the science behind a soulmate—than she thought.

Funny, warm, and full of heart, The Soulmate Equation proves that the delicate balance between fate and choice can never be calculated.

The Layover by Lacie Waldon
June 15, 2021

After ten years as a flight attendant, Ava Greene is poised to hang up her wings and finally put down roots. She’s got one trip left before she bids her old life farewell, and she plans to enjoy every second of it. But then she discovers that former pilot Jack Stone–the absurdly gorgeous, ridiculously cocky man she’s held a secret grudge against for years–is on her flight. And he has the nerve to flirt with her, as if he doesn’t remember the role he played in the most humiliating night of her life. Good thing she never has to see him again after they land….

But when their plane encounters mechanical problems, what should have been a quick stop at the Belize airport suddenly becomes a weekend layover. Getting stuck on a three-hour flight with her nemesis was bad enough. Being stranded with him at a luxury resort in paradise? Even with the sultry breeze and white sand to distract her, it will take all the rum punch in the country to drown out his larger-than-life presence.

Yet the more time Ava spends with him under the hot Caribbean sun, the more she begins to second-guess everything she thought she knew about him…and everything she thought she wanted from her life. And all too soon, she might have to choose between keeping her feet on the ground and her head in the clouds….

Are you excited for any of these?
Can you tell I love contemporary romance and romcoms?
Any recs for some of your favorites in these genres? I am gobbling them up these days.
Which upcoming releases are you most excited about?