Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Cuban Heiress

Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings and helps us spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!
Chanel Cleeton
Expected publication date: April 11, 2023
In 1934, a luxury cruise becomes a fight for survival as two women’s pasts collide on a round-trip voyage from New York to Havana in New York Times bestselling author Chanel Cleeton's page-turning new novel inspired by the true story of the SS Morro Castle.

New York heiress Catherine Dohan seemingly has it all. There’s only one problem. It’s a lie. As soon as the Morro Castle leaves port, Catherine’s past returns with a vengeance and threatens her life. Joining forces with a charismatic jewel thief, Catherine must discover who wants her dead—and why.

Elena Palacio is a dead woman. Or so everyone thinks. After a devastating betrayal left her penniless and on the run, Elena’s journey on the Morro Castle is her last hope. Steeped in secrecy and a burning desire for revenge, her return to Havana is a chance to right the wrong that has been done to her—and her prey is on the ship.

As danger swirls aboard the Morro Castle and their fates intertwine, Elena and Catherine must risk everything to see justice served once and for all. - from Goodreads


Monday, March 20, 2023

Michele's Monday Picks #10

Angela is so generous to let me pop in with a new little series, Michele’s Monday Picks! I’m not a blogger or bookstagrammer, but I love getting excited about new releases with the rest of you. Here I’ll be sharing new books I’m really looking forward to! 

Vacation Wars

By Meghan Quinn

Expected publication: April 18, 2023

From Goodreads:

From USA Today and Amazon Charts bestselling author Meghan Quinn comes a fun, sexy story about the family dynamics that can stand in the way of rekindling a romance.

Prepared for a good time, Tessa is thrilled to spend the weeks before her sister’s wedding at their family’s favorite vacation spot: Santorini. Sandy beaches, stonewashed houses, attractive men—it’s heaven.

But Tessa’s idea of a girl’s trip comes to a screaming halt when her sister thinks it’s high time Tessa finds some love herself. Unfortunately, Tessa forgot about the deal she made back in high school: she has to find her soulmate before her sister’s wedding. Or else.

As she dodges suitors and her sister’s pranks, Tessa finds an ally in the oh-so-dreamy Myles, her childhood crush who just so happens to work at the resort. But Myles is dealing with some family conflict of his own. He’s elated at being reunited with Tessa, but his father’s refusal to acknowledge his interest in the family business and relegating him to only grunt work casts a dark cloud.

As Tessa and Myles help navigate their way through their families’ antics, they begin to realize that their past feelings may have a future—if only they can turn their island fantasies into something real.

I just started getting into Meghan’s books and this one sounds fun!

Do you think you’ll be picking this one up?

Friday, March 17, 2023

Henry's Shelves #4


My little bookworm continues to love his stories!  I've been choosing a theme for each month and grabbing a good mix of library books and things from our own shelves.  I keep all of our monthly reads in a bin by our comfy reading chair, and Henry definitely lets me know which ones are his favorites!  Here are some of the ones we've enjoyed over the last few months.




Have you read any of these?

* This post contains affiliate links; I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases, at no cost to you.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: My Spring TBR


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is our spring TBR!  Some of these books have been on my TBR for quite awhile, so I'm hoping that listing them here will give me the motivation I need to finally get to them!

What will you be reading this spring?

Friday, March 10, 2023

Quick Reviews

My Contrary Mary by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (2022)

The author trio is back with another series, this time focusing on famous Marys of history and literature.  Their first offering retells a period in the life of Mary, Queen of Scots.  Although technically Queen of Scotland, Mary spent most of her life in France, betrothed to the dauphin, Francis, and this story looks at the time when Mary and Francis are wedded and soon after become rulers in their own right, although this Mary is hiding a big secret.  The Lady Janies was such a fun series, so I was happy to dive into this new book, which brings the whimsy and charm I've come to expect from the trio.  It also has some ties to the first Jane book, and it was great to revisit that world.  In this story, Mary has her flaws, but she's also determined to be a great leader, and she and Francis make a good pair.  I like how the authors make the "adults" in these books seem a little ridiculous and over-the-top while still somewhat staying true to the historical record.  They do take a lot of liberties (obviously, the real Mary, Queen of Scots did not have the ability to change into a mouse), and while I like that mostly everyone gets a happy ending here, the conclusion was a little jarring knowing how things really ended for Francis and Mary.  4 stars

The (Half) Truth by Leddy Harper (2019)
After her fiancé dumps her, chef Tatum is still working at the same restaurant as him, along with his new girlfriend.  One day she tells a little lie that she's seeing a new guy, who just happens to be her best friend's cousin that just arrived in town.  What will happen when Tatum's lies start to spin out of control?  This is why I need to write reviews right after I finish a book, because this one has almost completely faded from my memory already.  Maybe I misread the blurb, but I expected a fake dating scenario, and that's not what happened here.  Tatum concocts a story that she's dating Jason, never cluing him in on the scheme, while also starting a no-strings-attached relationship with him.  Tatum was just the most frustrating character.  She constantly lies and her awkward, bumbling personality wasn't cute, just obnoxious.  The person I felt for was Jason - Tatum's lies meant that other people got the wrong impression about him, and his cousin just kept bringing up his player days from high school (totally ignoring the fact that he just got out of a five-year relationship, so clearly he's changed).  Overall, just a miss for me.  2.5 stars

* This post contains affiliate links; I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases, at no cost to you.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl

Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings and helps us spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!
Renee Rosen
Expected publication date: April 25, 2023
It’s 1938, and a young woman selling face cream out of a New York City beauty parlor is determined to prove she can have it all. Her name is Estée Lauder, and she’s about to take the world by storm, in this dazzling new novel from the USA Today bestselling author of The Social Graces and Park Avenue Summer.

In New York City, you can disappear into the crowd. At least that’s what Gloria Downing desperately hopes as she tries to reinvent herself after a devastating family scandal. She’s ready for a total life makeover and a friend she can lean on—and into her path walks a young, idealistic woman named Estée. Their chance encounter will change Gloria’s life forever.

Estée dreams of success and becoming a household name like Elizabeth Arden, Helena Rubinstein, and Revlon. Before Gloria knows it, she is swept up in her new friend’s mission and while Estée rolls up her sleeves, Gloria begins to discover her own talents. After landing a job at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York’s finest luxury department store, Gloria finds her voice, which proves instrumental in opening doors for Estée’s insatiable ambitions.

But in a world unaccustomed to women with power, they’ll each have to pay the price that comes with daring to live life on their own terms and refusing to back down. - from Goodreads


Monday, March 6, 2023

Michele's Monday Picks #9

Angela is so generous to let me pop in with a new little series, Michele’s Monday Picks! I’m not a blogger or bookstagrammer, but I love getting excited about new releases with the rest of you. Here I’ll be sharing new books I’m really looking forward to! 

If Only You (Bergman Brothers #6)

By Chloe Liese

Expected Publication: April 11, 2023

From Goodreads:

Brace yourself for longing, laughter, and a swoony slow-burn in this brother’s best friend sports romance about scoring the love of your life when you least expect to.


I’m the youngest player on the National Soccer team, the baby of my family, and thoroughly sick of being underestimated, so I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands. Which is where my brother’s best friend and teammate, the infamous Sebastian Gauthier, comes in. 
Seb needs to rehab his reputation. I want to give mine an edge. So I propose a fake friendship with real benefits: spending time in the public eye, my good-girl image and his bad-boy notoriety rubbing off on each other. He’s my devious, dark-haired fantasy come to life, but his destructive ways make it easy to keep him in the (fake) friend zone. Or so I thought, until I start to see the heart of gold he’s been hiding beneath that sinister surface…


Like any self-respecting reprobate, I’ve been spiraling downward, and finally I’ve hit rock bottom. My hockey career and sponsorships are in jeopardy, and while I’m not ready to actually reform my ways, I’m happy to pretend that I have, to secure the life I’m on the brink of losing. 
So when my best friend’s sister, Ziggy Bergman, proposes a public “friendship” to revamp our reputations, it’s an offer I can’t refuse. Up till now, I’ve stayed away from Ren’s sweet, shy little sister to avoid any risk of ruining my one good friendship. But I reassure myself there’s no risk in our scheme. I’ll fake a friendship with Ziggy, fix my reputation, and get back to hockey, the one and only thing I love. At least, it was, until what began as a transactional arrangement became the most loving relationship I’ve ever known.

​If Only You is a brother’s best friend, (fake) friends with benefits to friends to lovers romance about a bighearted, quietly fierce soccer star on the autism spectrum, and a thoroughly unprincipled, almost irredeemable hockey player who has celiac disease. Complete with an absurd level of mutual pining, meddling family and friends, and a spicy slow burn, this standalone is the sixth in a series of novels about a Swedish-American family of five brothers, two sisters, and their wild adventures as they each find happily ever after.

I have loved every book in this series so far and Chloe Liese is one of my favorite authors - do you think you’ll be picking this one up?