Top Ten Tuesday – The One Where I Share Bookish Memories

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is Bookish Memories (Share stories of your reading life as a child, events you’ve gone to, books that made an impression on you, noteworthy experiences with books, authors you’ve met, etc. Reminisce with me!).  I’ve never attended a bookish event or met an author so I decided to take a stroll down memory lane and share a few highlights of my bookish life.

(My post is also a little shout-out to Friends since I wrote all of my memories like they’re episode titles from the show.)

10 Bookish Episodes from My Life

  1. The one where my Dad taught me how to read using Little Golden Books. This will always be one of my favorite childhood memories.
  1. The one where I cried my eyes out because I thought I had lost a library book (Bambi by Felix Salten) and therefore would never be allowed to check out books from my elementary school library again. So traumatizing!
  1. The one where getting to go to the Scholastic Book Fair when it came to my school was like Christmas. So many books!
  1. The one where I felt so grown up in middle school because I was allowed to read To Kill a Mockingbird, which was banned in a lot of schools.
  1. The one where, as a young teen, I used to hide in my grandmother’s house so I could secretly read the steamy historical romance novels I had pilfered from her bedroom.
  1. The one where I took so many literature classes for “fun” in college that I ended up adding English as a Double Major.
  1. The one where I had such an addiction to collecting books that I convinced my husband to convert our formal living room, which never got used, into a home office with wall to wall built in bookshelves. My sanctuary.
  1. The one where I felt the need to find more people to share my love of books with so I started a book blog. 😊
  1. The one where I read the entire Harry Potter series aloud to my son because I wanted to foster a love of reading in him at a young age.
  1. The one where I realized that one of my bffs loves to read as much as I do, so I invited her to guest post on my blog. Hi Sharon!  😊

 

 

Can’t Wait Wednesday – BOOK LOVERS by Emily Henry

 

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.  It is a meme that I have  loved participating in since I first started blogging, but as Jill is no longer actively posting, from now on I’ll be linking to Can’t Wait Wednesday, hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings, which is a spinoff of the original WoW meme.

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My selection for this week is BOOK LOVERS by Emily Henry.  Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation are two of my favorite books so Emily Henry is an auto-buy author for me.  Even if she wasn’t though, that synopsis just screams “You need to read this book!”  A cutthroat literary agent and a brooding editor? And a story that features sisters spending time together?  Yes, please!

BOOK LOVERS by Emily Henry

Publication Date:  May 3, 2022 by Berkley Books

 

From Goodreads:

A by the book literary agent must decide if happily ever after is worth changing her whole life for in this insightful, delightful new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation.

Nora Stephens’ life is books—she’s read them all—and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby.

Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away—with visions of a small town transformation for Nora, who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute.

If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again—in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow—what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.

 

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I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your CWW selection for this week. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday – The Romance Edition: 10 Couples I’d Love an Update On

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is actually Characters I’d Love An Update On (Where are they now that the book is over?).  Since I’ve been mostly reading romance novels since the start of the pandemic, I decided to give this topic a romantic twist and focus on some of my favorite couples.  I have to say that I’ve been very lucky in the sense that many of the romance novels I read have been books in a series so there have been plenty of opportunities to revisit favorite couples and see how they’re doing.  Today I’m  focusing on books where I haven’t had that opportunity.  Sometimes we get nice little epilogues that give a glimpse into the future, but not always.  When I become invested in a couple getting their much deserved happily ever after, I would love to be able to revisit them at some point and know that it truly was a happily ever after for them.  Are they still together?  Are those grumpy/sunshine relationships still working out? Do they now have little grumpy/sunshines running around?

Also, I guess if you haven’t read these books yet but are planning to, my list could maybe considered spoilery since I’m obviously telling you who’s together at the end of their respective books.  But then again, don’t we read romances for the HEA in the first place?  That it’s more about the journey to the HEA rather than guessing who ends up together?  I don’t know. I’m just babbling.  I guess look away if you don’t want to know the couples’ names, lol.

10 Couples I’d Love an Update On

 

 

1. Teddy and Everett from Very Sincerely Yours

2.  Josh and Hazel from Josh & Hazels’ Guide to Not Dating

3.  Eve and Jacob from Act Your Age, Eve Brown

4.  Rosaline and Harry from Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake

5. Nina and Tom from The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

6. January and Augustus from Beach Read

7.  Alex and Henry from Red, White & Royal Blue

8.  Stella and Michael from The Kiss Quotient

9. Olive and Adam from The Love Hypothesis

10. Jess and River from The Soulmate Equation

 

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Question:  Have you read any of these? Would you like to know what they’re up to these days? 

Can’t Wait Wednesday – THE BODYGUARD by Katherine Center

 

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.  It is a meme that I have  loved participating in since I first started blogging, but as Jill is no longer actively posting, from now on I’ll be linking to Can’t Wait Wednesday, hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings, which is a spinoff of the original WoW meme.

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My selection for this week is THE BODYGUARD by Katherine Center.  I’ve loved everything I’ve read from Katherine Center so far, so I knew I wanted to read this book before I even read the synopsis.  I’m already excited to meet Hannah and Jake, especially the since fake dating trope, one of my favorites, is involved.

THE BODYGUARD by Katherine Center

Publication Date:  July 19, 2022 by St. Martin’s Press

 

From Goodreads:

She’s got his back.  Hannah Brooks looks more like a kindergarten teacher than somebody who could kill you with a wine bottle opener. Or a ballpoint pen. Or a dinner napkin. But the truth is, she’s an Executive Protection Agent (aka “bodyguard”), and she just got hired to protect superstar actor Jack Stapleton from his middle-aged, corgi-breeding stalker.

He’s got her heart.  Jack Stapleton’s a household name—captured by paparazzi on beaches the world over, famous for, among other things, rising out of the waves in all manner of clingy board shorts and glistening like a Roman deity. But a few years back, in the wake of a family tragedy, he dropped from the public eye and went off the grid.

They’ve got a secret.  When Jack’s mom gets sick, he comes home to the family’s Texas ranch to help out. Only one catch: He doesn’t want his family to know about his stalker. Or the bodyguard thing. And so Hannah—against her will and her better judgment—finds herself pretending to be Jack’s girlfriend as a cover. Even though her ex, like a jerk, says no one will believe it.

What could possibly go wrong???  Hannah hardly believes it, herself. But the more time she spends with Jack, the more real it all starts to seem. And there lies the heartbreak. Because it’s easy for Hannah to protect Jack. But protecting her own, long-neglected heart? That’s the hardest thing she’s ever done.

 

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I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your CWW selection for this week. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday – If You Like This, Try That (the Retellings edition)

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is actually Books to Read If You Love/Loved X (X can be a genre, specific book, author, movie/TV show, etc.).  I decided to focus on various retellings since I enjoy them so much and because there are so many good ones out there.

If You Like This, Try That (the Retellings edition)

 

1. If you like Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, try these:

Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev.  “It is a truth universally acknowledged that only in an overachieving Indian American family can a genius daughter be considered a black sheep…” A fun contemporary retelling featuring the aforementioned black sheep and an infuriating but sexy chef.

Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin.  “A modern-day Muslim Pride and Prejudice for a new generation of love.”

Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price.  “A retelling of Pride and Prejudice that reimagines the iconic settings, characters, and romances in a whodunit.”

 

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2. If you like Cinderella, try these:

Cinder by Marissa Meyer.  A fairytale retelling with a sci-fi twist that features Cinderella as a mechanic…and a Cyborg.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston.  Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale.

If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy.  A fun Cinderella retelling featuring plus-sized Cindy, who becomes a body positivity icon for women everywhere.

 

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3. If you like The Little Mermaid, try these:

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo.

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning.

Part of Your World: a Twisted Tale by Liz Braswell.

All three of these are origin stories for Ursula, the sea witch.

 

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4. If you like Alice in Wonderland, try these:

Heartless by Marissa Meyer.  An origin story for the Queen of Hearts

Unbirthday by Liz Braswell.  “What if Wonderland was in peril and Alice was very, very late?”

 

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5. If you like Beauty and the Beast, try these:

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas.  A Beauty and the Beast retelling featuring Fae.

Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston.  A Beauty and the Beast retelling set in the world of fandom at ExcelsiCon.

 

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6. If you like Jane Eyre, try these:

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins.  A contemporary take on Jane Eyre’s mad woman in the attic.

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye.  “Reader, I murdered him.”  A Gothic retelling of Jane Eyre.

 

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7. If you like Peter Pan, try these:

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. A fun prequel to the classic Peter Pan story.

Lost Boy by Christina Henry.  The true story of Captain Hook.

 

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8. If you like Snow White, try these:

 

Winter by Marissa Meyer.  Snow White but with a sci fi twist

Mirror, Mirror by Jen Calonita.  “What if the Evil Queen poisoned the Prince?”

 

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9. If you like 101 Dalmatians, try these:

Cruelty by K.B. Everly.

Hello, Cruel Heart by Maureen Johnson.

Two fun origin stories for Cruella de Vil.

 

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10. If you like A Christmas Carol, try these:

Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva.  A historical fiction retelling that puts Dickens in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge.

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand.  “On Christmas Eve five years ago, Holly was visited by three ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she’d become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways. She didn’t.  And then she died. Now she’s stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge–as the latest Ghost of Christmas Past.”

 

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Question:  Do you enjoy retellings?  Have you read any of these yet?

Can’t Wait Wednesday – LUCY CHECKS IN by Dee Ernst

 

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.  It is a meme that I have  loved participating in since I first started blogging, but as Jill is no longer actively posting, from now on I’ll be linking to Can’t Wait Wednesday, hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings, which is a spinoff of the original WoW meme.

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My selection for this week is LUCY CHECKS IN by Dee Ernst.  The idea of going to France for a fresh start just really appeals to me, so I’m looking forward to this book.

LUCY CHECKS IN by Dee Ernst

Publication Date:  August 16, 2022 by St. Martin’s Griffin

 

From Goodreads:

Dee Ernst’s Lucy Checks In is a delightful work of romantic comedy about a disgraced hotel manager who travels to Rennes to rebuild a hotel and her own life in the process.

Lucia Giannetti needs a fresh start. Once the hotel manager of a glamorous NYC hotel and intimately involved with the hotel’s owner, Lucy had her entire future planned out. But when the owner disappears, taking millions of dollars with him, Lucy’s life as she knows it falls apart.

Two years later, forty-nine years old and unemployed, Lucy takes a job in Rennes, France to manage the Hotel Paradis. She pictures fur quilts and extravagant chandeliers, but what she finds is wildly different. Lucy is now in charge of turning the run-down, but charming hotel into a bustling tourist attraction. Between painting rooms, building a website, and getting to know Bing, the irritatingly attractive artist, Lucy finds an unexpected home. But can she succeed in bringing the Hotel Paradis to its former glory?

Witty and heartfelt, Lucy Checks In is an inspiring and feel-good novel about reclaiming your life, finding love, and creating a home in places you never thought possible.

 

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I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your CWW selection for this week. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 New Holiday Reads for Your TBR

 

op Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is actually Memorable Things Characters Have Said (quotes from book characters that have stuck with you), but I wasn’t feeling it so I decided it would be fun to share some of the great holiday fiction that has come out this year.  If you love holiday reads as much as I do, you’re going to want to put these titles on your reading list. I’ve read and loved two of them so far, A Holly Jolly Diwali and Christmas in Peachtree Bluff, and look forward to diving into the other eight this holiday season.  🙂

 

10 New Holiday Reads for Your TBR

 

1. THE CHRISTMAS BOOKSHOP by Jenny Colgan “When the department store she works in closes for good, Carmen has perilously little cash and few options. She doesn’t want to move in with her perfect sister Sofia, in Sofia’s perfect house with her perfect children and her perfectly ordered Edinburgh life. Frankly, Sofia doesn’t exactly want Carmen there either. Her sister has always been sarcastic and difficult. But Sofia has yet another baby on the way, a mother desperate to see her daughters get along, and a client who needs a retail assistant for his ailing bookshop, so welcoming Carmen might still have some benefits for everyone. At Sofia’s behest, Carmen is thrown into the daily workings of old Mr. McCredie’s ancient bookshop on the streets of the old dark city. Can she use her design skills to revamp the store and bring it back to popularity in time to benefit from Christmas shopping traffic? Can she choose between bad boy literary rock star Blair and quiet Quaker student Oke? And will she heal the rift with the most important people of all: her family?”

 

2. THE CHRISTMAS ESCAPE by Sarah Morgan  – “It was supposed to be Christy Sullivan’s perfect Christmas getaway—a trip to Lapland with her family and best friend, Alix. But facing a make-or-break marriage crisis, Christy desperately needs time alone with her husband. Her solution? Alix can take Christy’s little daughter to Lapland, and they will reunite there for Christmas Day. It’s a big ask, but what else are friends for? There’s nothing Alix won’t do for Christy. But Christy’s request to save Christmas is giving Alix sleepless nights. She knows something is wrong, but for the first time ever, Christy isn’t talking. And even the Arctic temperatures in Lapland aren’t enough to dampen the seriously inconvenient sizzle Alix is developing for Zac, a fellow guest and nemesis from her past. As secrets unravel and unexpected romance shines under the northern lights, can Christy and Alix’s Christmas escape give them the courage to fight for the relationships they really want, and save the precious gift of each other’s friendship?”

 

3. DEAR SANTA by Debbie Macomber – “Lindy Carmichael isn’t feeling particularly joyful when she returns home to Wenatchee, Washington, for Christmas. The man she thought was “the one” has cheated on her with her best friend, and she feels completely devoid of creativity in her graphic-design job. Not even carolers or Christmas cookies can cheer her up–but Lindy’s mother, Ellen, remembers an old tradition that might lift her daughter’s spirits.  Reading through a box of childhood letters to Santa and reminiscing about what she’d wished for as a young girl may be just the inspiration Lindy needs. With Ellen’s encouragement, she decides to write a new letter to Santa, one that will encourage her to have faith and believe just as she’d done all those years ago. Little does Lindy know that this exercise in gratitude will cause her wishes to unfold before her in miraculous ways. And, thanks to some fateful twists of Christmas magic–especially an unexpected connection with a handsome former classmate–Lindy ultimately realizes that there is truly no place like home for the holidays. In Dear Santa, Debbie Macomber celebrates the joys of Christmas blessings, old and new.

 

4. THE HOLIDAY SWAP by Maggie Knox  – “A feel-good, holiday-themed romantic comedy about identical twins who switch lives in the days leading up to Christmas–perfect for fans of Christina Lauren’s In a Holidaze and Josie Silver’s One Day in December.

All they want for Christmas is a different life. When chef Charlie Goodwin gets hit on the head on the L.A. set of her reality baking show, she loses a lot more than consciousness; she also loses her ability to taste and smell–both critical to her success as show judge. Meanwhile, Charlie’s identical twin, Cass, is frantically trying to hold her own life together back in their quaint mountain hometown while running the family’s bustling bakery and dealing with her ex, who won’t get the memo that they’re over. With only days until Christmas, a desperate Charlie asks Cass to do something they haven’t done since they were kids: switch places. Looking for her own escape from reality, Cass agrees. But temporarily trading lives proves more complicated than they imagined, especially when rugged firefighter Jake Greenman and gorgeous physician’s assistant Miguel Rodriguez are thrown into the mix. Will the twins’ identity swap be a recipe for disaster, or does it have all the right ingredients for getting their lives back on track?

 

5. A HOLLY JOLLY DIWALI by Sonya Lalli  – “One type-A data analyst discovers her free-spirited side on an impulsive journey from bustling Mumbai to the gorgeous beaches of Goa and finds love waiting for her on Christmas morning.  Twenty-nine-year-old Niki Randhawa has always made practical decisions. Despite her love for music and art, she became an analyst for the stability. She’s always stuck close to home, in case her family needed her. And she’s always dated guys that seem good on paper, rather than the ones who give her butterflies. When she’s laid off, Niki realizes that practical hasn’t exactly paid off for her. So for the first time ever, she throws caution to the wind and books a last-minute flight for her friend Diya’s wedding.  Niki arrives in India just in time to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, where she meets London musician Sameer Mukherji. Maybe it’s the splendor of Mumbai or the magic of the holiday season, but Niki is immediately drawn to Sam. At the wedding, the champagne flows and their flirtatious banter makes it clear that the attraction is mutual. When Niki and Sam join Diya, her husband and their friends on a group honeymoon, their connection grows deeper. Free-spirited Sam helps Niki get in touch with her passionate and creative side, and with her Indian roots. When she gets a new job offer back home, Niki must decide what she wants out of the next chapter of her life–to cling to the straight and narrow like always, or to take a leap of faith and live the kind of bold life the old Niki never would have dreamed of.”

 

6. THE MATZAH BALL by Jean Meltzer  – “Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt is a nice Jewish girl with a shameful secret: she loves Christmas. For a decade she’s hidden her career as a Christmas romance novelist from her family. Her talent has made her a bestseller even as her chronic illness has always kept the kind of love she writes about out of reach. But when her diversity-conscious publisher insists she write a Hanukkah romance, her well of inspiration suddenly runs dry. Hanukkah’s not magical. It’s not merry. It’s not Christmas. Desperate not to lose her contract, Rachel’s determined to find her muse at the Matzah Ball, a Jewish music celebration on the last night of Hanukkah, even if it means working with her summer camp archenemy—Jacob Greenberg. Though Rachel and Jacob haven’t seen each other since they were kids, their grudge still glows brighter than a menorah. But as they spend more time together, Rachel finds herself drawn to Hanukkah—and Jacob—in a way she never expected. Maybe this holiday of lights will be the spark she needed to set her heart ablaze. 

 

7. NICK AND NOEL’S CHRISTMAS PLAYLIST  – “Nick Winters and Noel Carter have known each other their whole lives. After years of shared family holidays, working together on the Winters’ Christmas tree farm, and being each other’s safe haven, they wouldn’t dream of crossing the line from friends to something more….But when Nick comes home for the holidays after serving overseas and finds that his long-term girlfriend has decided to get her stocking stuffed elsewhere, Noel is there to pick him up and show him that instead of a Blue Christmas he can still have a Wonderful Christmastime without his cheating ex.  A night on the town and an impulsive kiss later has Noel thinking that perhaps this year they’ll be rockin’ around the Christmas tree as a couple, but only if the ghost – er rather – girlfriend of Nick’s Christmas past doesn’t decide to haunt their holiday…. “

 

8. CHRISTMAS IN PEACHTREE BLUFF by Kristy Woodson Harvey  – “When the Murphy women are in trouble, they always know they can turn to their mother, Ansley. So when eldest daughter Caroline and her husband, James, announce they are divorcing—and fifteen-year-old daughter Vivi acts out in response—Caroline, at her wits end, can’t think of anything to do besides leave her with Ansley in Peachtree Bluff for the holidays. After all, how much trouble can one teenager get into on a tiny island? Quite a lot, as it turns out.  As the “storm of the century” heads toward Peachtree Bluff, Ansley and her husband, Jack, with Vivi in tow, are grateful they’re planning to leave for the trip of a lifetime. But Vivi’s recklessness forces the trio to shelter in place during the worst hurricane Peachtree has ever seen. With no power, no provisions, and the water rising, the circumstances become dire very quickly…and the Murphy sisters, who evacuated to New York, soon realize it’s up to them to conduct a rescue mission. With the bridges closed and no way to access Peachtree Bluff by land or air, they set sail on Caroline’s boat, The Starlite Sisters, determined to rebuild their beloved town—as well as their family.

In “pitch-perfect tones” (Publishers Weekly) and written with her signature Southern charm, New York Times bestselling author Kristy Woodson Harvey explores the magic of Christmas, the power of forgiveness, and the importance of family in a tale that reminds us that, no matter the circumstances, home is always where we belong—especially during the holidays. ”

 

9. THE SANTA SUIT by Mary Kay Andrews  – “When newly-divorced Ivy Perkins buys an old farmhouse sight unseen, she is definitely looking for a change in her life. The Four Roses, as the farmhouse is called, is a labor of love—but Ivy didn’t bargain on just how much labor. The previous family left so much furniture and so much junk, that it’s a full-time job sorting through all of it.  At the top of a closet, Ivy finds an old Santa suit—beautifully made and decades old. In the pocket of a suit she finds a note written in a childish hand: it’s from a little girl who has one Christmas wish, and that is for her father to return home from the war. This discovery sets Ivy off on a mission. Who wrote the note? Did the man ever come home? What mysteries did the Rose family hold? Ivy’s quest brings her into the community, at a time when all she wanted to do was be left alone and nurse her wounds. But the magic of Christmas makes miracles happen, and Ivy just might find more than she ever thought possible: a welcoming town, a family reunited, a mystery solved, and a second chance at love.

 

10. A SEASON FOR SECOND CHANCES by Jenny Bayliss  – “Annie Sharpe’s spark for life has fizzled out. Her kids are grown up, her restaurant is doing just fine on its own, and her twenty-six-year marriage has come to an unceremonious end. Untethered for the first time in her adult life, she finds a winter guardian position in a historic seaside home and decides to leave her city life behind for a brand-new beginning.  When she arrives in Willow Bay, Annie is enamored by the charming house, the invigorating sea breeze, and the town’s rich seasonal traditions. Not to mention, her neighbors receive her with open arms–that is, all except the surly nephew of the homeowner, whose grand plans for the property are at odds with her residency. As Christmas approaches, tensions and tides rise in Willow Bay, and Annie’s future seems less and less certain. But with a little can-do spirit and holiday magic, the most difficult time of her life will become…a season for second chances.”

 

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Question:  Do you enjoy holiday reads?  Have you read any of these yet?

Can’t Wait Wednesday – THE REUNION by Meghan Quinn

 

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.  It is a meme that I have  loved participating in since I first started blogging, but as Jill is no longer actively posting, from now on I’ll be linking to Can’t Wait Wednesday, hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings, which is a spinoff of the original WoW meme.

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My selection for this week is THE REUNION by Meghan Quinn.  I loved The Wedding Game when I read it earlier this year and have been wanting to try more of Quinn’s books ever since.  This book, which features romance, sibling rivalries, and a 50th wedding anniversary just sounds like too much fun to pass up.

THE REUNION by Meghan Quinn

Publication Date:  February 22, 2022 by Montlake

 

From Goodreads:

From the USA Today bestselling author of The Wedding Game comes a new romantic comedy about the antics that ensue when three siblings come together for their parents’ fiftieth-anniversary party.

Martin and Peggy Chance believe love should last a lifetime. With their fiftieth wedding anniversary on the horizon, they’ve modeled a beautiful relationship for their three grown children. But to their dismay, that lesson hasn’t quite caught on—the three siblings just can’t seem to take a chance and find love in their own lives.

There’s Ford, the eldest, devoted to his work and resistant to romance…or so he claims. Cooper, the middle child, can’t get past his divorce—until he reconnects with a feisty baker from his past. And Palmer, the baby of the family, is the free-spirited world traveler who always pictured herself with someone other than a handsome small-town family doctor.

When the Chance siblings come together to plan the ultimate anniversary party for their parents, they’ll have to navigate romantic entanglements, sibling rivalries, and the definitive end of their childhood. Whatever happens, The Reunion promises to be a fun, flirty, wild ride.

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I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your CWW selection for this week. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Would Hand to Someone Who Claims to Not Like Reading Romance

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is actually Books I Would Hand to Someone Who Claims to Not Like Reading.  I’ve been on such a romance kick lately after years of saying I didn’t like reading romances.  I was mostly reading my grandmother’s old historical romances and they just didn’t appeal to me.  It turns out, I just wasn’t reading the right kind of romances.  As soon as I picked up my first contemporary romance, I was hooked and have been devouring them ever since.  Rom-coms seems to be my preference of late, but I also just finally read my first Colleen Hoover book the other day and can attest that I’m also a fan of the more emotional, dramatic romances that rip your heart out and have you reaching for the teaching.  All of that said, today I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite romances, ones that I would definitely hand to someone I was trying to convince that they’d like romance as soon as they found the right book.  Most of these are standalones, but there are a few books from series included as well, including The Bromance Book Club, The Brown Sisters, and Wild.

 

Books I Would Hand to Someone Who Claims to Not Like Reading Romance

 

1. PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION by Emily Henry “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?”

 

2. THE LOVE HYPOTHESIS by Ali Hazelwood  – “As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.  That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding…six-pack abs.  Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.”

 

3. THE SIMPLE WILD by K.A. Tucker – “Calla Fletcher wasn’t even two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when Calla learns that Wren’s days may be numbered, she knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born. She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this rugged environment, Jonah—the unkempt, obnoxious, and proud Alaskan pilot who helps keep her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild. Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. Soon, she finds herself forming an unexpected bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago. It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.”

 

4. ACT YOUR AGE, EVE BROWN by Talia Hibbert  – “Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong—so she’s given up trying. But when her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding (someone had to liberate those poor doves), her parents draw the line. It’s time for Eve to grow up and prove herself—even though she’s not entirely sure how… Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner’s on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry—and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she hits him with her car—supposedly by accident. Yeah, right. Now his arm is broken, his B&B is understaffed, and the dangerously unpredictable Eve is fluttering around, trying to help. Before long, she’s infiltrated his work, his kitchen—and his spare bedroom. Jacob hates everything about it. Or rather, he should. Sunny, chaotic Eve is his natural-born nemesis, but the longer these two enemies spend in close quarters, the more their animosity turns into something else. Like Eve, the heat between them is impossible to ignore—and it’s melting Jacob’s frosty exterior.”

 

5. RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE by Casey McQuiston  – “First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations. The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?”

 

6. THE KISS QUOTIENT by Helen Hoang  – “Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases—a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.  It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice—with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan—from foreplay to more-than-missionary position… Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…”

 

7. THE SOULMATE EQUATION by Christina Lauren  – “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.”

 

8. IT HAPPENED ONE SUMMER by Tessa Bailey  – “Piper Bellinger is fashionable, influential, and her reputation as a wild child means the paparazzi are constantly on her heels. When too much champagne and an out-of-control rooftop party lands Piper in the slammer, her stepfather decides enough is enough. So he cuts her off, and sends Piper and her sister to learn some responsibility running their late father’s dive bar… in Washington. Piper hasn’t even been in Westport for five minutes when she meets big, bearded sea captain Brendan, who thinks she won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills. So what if Piper can’t do math, and the idea of sleeping in a shabby apartment with bunk beds gives her hives. How bad could it really be? She’s determined to show her stepfather—and the hot, grumpy local—that she’s more than a pretty face. Except it’s a small town and everywhere she turns, she bumps into Brendan. The fun-loving socialite and the gruff fisherman are polar opposites, but there’s an undeniable attraction simmering between them. Piper doesn’t want any distractions, especially feelings for a man who sails off into the sunset for weeks at a time. Yet as she reconnects with her past and begins to feel at home in Westport, Piper starts to wonder if the cold, glamorous life she knew is what she truly wants. LA is calling her name, but Brendan—and this town full of memories—may have already caught her heart.”

 

9. VERY SINCERELY YOURS by Kerry Winfrey  – “Teddy Phillips never thought she’d still be spending every day surrounded by toys at almost thirty years old. But working at a vintage toy store is pretty much all she has going on in her life after being unceremoniously dumped by her longtime boyfriend. The one joy that she’s kept is her not-so-guilty pleasure: Everett’s Place, a local children’s show hosted by Everett St. James, a man whom Teddy finds very soothing . . . and, okay, cute.  Teddy finds the courage to write to him, feeling slightly like one of the children who write to him on his show. He always gives sound advice and seems like he has everything figured out–and he pretty much does: Everett has a great support system, wonderful friends, and his dream job. But there’s still that persistent feeling in the back of his mind that something’s missing.  When a woman named Theodora starts writing to Everett, he is drawn to her honesty and vulnerability. They continue writing to each other, all the while living their lives without meeting. When their worlds collide, however, they must both let go of their fears and figure out what they truly want–and if the future they want includes each other.”

 

10. THE BROMANCE BOOK CLUB by Lyssa Kay Adams  – “The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club.  Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.  Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.  Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.”

 

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Question:  What romance novels would you hand to someone who claims not to like reading romance?

Can’t Wait Wednesday – THE MAGNOLIA PALACE by Fiona Davis

 

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.  It is a meme that I have  loved participating in since I first started blogging, but as Jill is no longer actively posting, from now on I’ll be linking to Can’t Wait Wednesday, hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings, which is a spinoff of the original WoW meme.

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My selection for this week is THE MAGNOLIA PALACE by Fiona Davis. Davis writes historical fiction novels that are set in iconic buildings in New York City, including the New York Public Library, Grand Central Station, The Chelsea Hotel, the Barbizon Hotel for Women, and the Dakota apartment building.  As someone who loves historical fiction and New York City, Davis’ books are a perfect fit for me and I’ve enjoyed all that I’ve read so far.

THE MAGNOLIA PALACE by Fiona Davis

Publication Date:  January 25, 2022 by Dutton

 

From Goodreads:

Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue, returns with a tantalizing novel about the secrets, betrayal, and murder within one of New York City’s most impressive Gilded Age mansions.

Eight months since losing her mother in the Spanish flu outbreak of 1919, twenty-one-year-old Lillian Carter’s life has completely fallen apart. For the past six years, under the moniker Angelica, Lillian was one of the most sought-after artists’ models in New York City, with statues based on her figure gracing landmarks from the Plaza Hotel to the Brooklyn Bridge. But with her mother gone, a grieving Lillian is rudderless and desperate—the work has dried up and a looming scandal has left her entirely without a safe haven. So when she stumbles upon an employment opportunity at the Frick mansion—a building that, ironically, bears her own visage—Lillian jumps at the chance. But the longer she works as a private secretary to the imperious and demanding Helen Frick, the daughter and heiress of industrialist and art patron Henry Clay Frick, the more deeply her life gets intertwined with that of the family—pulling her into a tangled web of romantic trysts, stolen jewels, and family drama that runs so deep, the stakes just may be life or death.

Nearly fifty years later, mod English model Veronica Weber has her own chance to make her career—and with it, earn the money she needs to support her family back home—within the walls of the former Frick residence, now converted into one of New York City’s most impressive museums. But when she—along with a charming intern/budding art curator named Joshua—is dismissed from the Vogue shoot taking place at the Frick Collection, she chances upon a series of hidden messages in the museum: messages that will lead her and Joshua on a hunt that could not only solve Veronica’s financial woes, but could finally reveal the truth behind a decades-old murder in the infamous Frick family.

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I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your CWW selection for this week. 🙂