Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: 2022 Releases I Still Need To Read


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is a freebie, so I decided to highlight some 2022 releases that are still sitting on my TBR.  I've never been the best at reading new releases, but with my lower reading count last year, there are still plenty of 2022 books that I still have to get to!






Are there any 2022 releases that you still need to catch up on?

Friday, January 27, 2023

Quick Reviews

 See You Yesterday by Rachel Lynn Solomon (2022)

Barrett is hoping for a fresh start in college, but her first day is a disaster - and then Barrett finds herself reliving that same day, over and over again.  She discovers that a fellow student, Miles, is trapped in the time loop with her, and the two begin to work together to figure a way out.  I love a good time loop book, because they have so many opportunities and it's fun to see the same story approached in multiple ways.  Do the characters have to fix something for someone else?  Realize some hidden potential for growth in themselves?  Or could it maybe really be just about the science?  At first I was little leery of Barrett - she's so quick to sarcasm, almost to the point of being abrasive, that it was initially hard to like her.  But as I got to know her, the layers revealed themselves.  It seems inevitable that she and Miles would start to fall for each other, but it was also really sweet.  At times funny, heartwarming, and even a little sad, this story is both a grand adventure and an intimate look at two teenagers hoping to change their future.  4 stars

Not Since Ewe by Susannah Nix (2022)

Thirty years ago, high schooler Tess became pregnant and eventually gave up the baby for adoption.  Now, her daughter has come looking for her, which brings Tess back into contact with the boy who got her pregnant, Donal.  Both want to put the past behind them and get along for Erin's sake, but will their complicated history prevent that?  I really liked this book!  It was so easy to read and the dialogue, especially the conversations between Tess and Donal, felt so realistic (although it was a little frustrating at times how quickly they resorted to arguing, and there's also the fact that some simple communication would have gone a long way, especially when they were younger).  It was nice to have some slightly older protagonists in a romance and it also showcased two different lifestyles (Donal is divorced with two kids and Tess has never been married).  I think Nix does a great job of exploring all the feelings, good and bad, involved in a situation most people probably wouldn't find themselves in - coming face-to-face with the baby you gave up for adoption, who is now a grown adult.  I'm not generally a fan of second-chance romances, but there were so many unresolved issues and feelings that I was rooting for Tess and Donal, and I think you will, too!  4 stars

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Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: New-To-Me Authors I Discovered in 2022


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is new-to-me authors I discovered in 2022.  Here are a few authors I read for the first time in 2022 that I hope to read more from:




Which new-to-you authors did you discover in 2022?

Monday, January 23, 2023

Michele's Monday Picks #5

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! 



The Plus One

By Mazey Eddings

Expected publication: April 4, 2023

From Goodreads:

What starts out as a fake wedding date turns into something these childhood enemies never expected in the next sparkling romantic comedy by Mazey Eddings.

Some facts are indisputable. The sun rises in the east, sets in the west. Gravity exits. Indira doesn’t like Jude. Jude doesn’t like Indira. But what happens when these childhood enemies find the only thing they can rely on is each other?

On paper, Indira has everything together. An amazing job, a boyfriend, and a car. What more could a late twenty-something ask for? But when she walks in on her boyfriend in an amorous embrace with a stranger, that perfect on paper image goes up in flames.

Jude has nothing together. A doctor that’s spent the last three years traveling the world to treat emergencies and humanitarian crises, a quick trip home for his best friend’s wedding has him struggling to readjust.

Thrust into an elaborate (and ridiculously drawn out) wedding event that’s stressing Jude beyond belief and has Indira seeing her ex and his new girlfriend far more frequently than any human should endure, the duo strike a bargain to be each other’s fake dates to this wedding from hell. The only problem is, their forced proximity and fake displays of affection are starting to feel a bit… real, and both are left grappling with the idea that a situation that couldn’t be worse, is made a little better with the other around.

I so enjoyed Mazey’s last book and am eagerly awaiting this one!

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

Friday, January 20, 2023

Quick Reviews: Opposites Attract

Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez (2022)

When Daniel saves Alexis and her car from a ditch, it sparks something between them - but these two are opposites in almost every way imaginable, so could a relationship work?  I really loved this book - I was rooting for Alexis and Daniel from the beginning, although I really couldn't see a scenario where everyone could be happy in the end.  Alexis is 10 years older than Daniel; she's a big-city ER doctor who lives in a huge house and has even bigger expectations placed on her by her parents.  Daniel lives in a small town, working on his carpentry and managing a B&B.  He can't leave his town, and she can't leave her hospital, but the attraction and chemistry between them are undeniable.  I really felt for Alexis - no matter what she accomplishes, her dad will probably never be truly happy or proud, and the way they kept pushing her ex-boyfriend at her made my blood boil (trigger warning: emotional abuse).  There was just something special about this book, something about the way the writing flowed and the characters felt like real people you could meet on any street.  Highly recommend!  4.5 stars

Between Hello & Goodbye by Emma Scott (2022)

Faith is a party girl who also happens to be really good at her job in advertising, but her bosses aren't sure of her commitment, so she takes a two-week vacation in Hawaii to clear her head and figure out what she wants to do.  When she gets injured during a hike, she meets firefighter Asher.  They fall hard for each other, but the distance may prove to be too much.  I have mixed feelings about this one.  I like the premise, that these two people who are total opposites fall in love and try to make it work, despite also living really far from each other, but I had issues.  I didn't like Faith from the beginning.  She seems to have it all, yet she's so immature.  By the end she is a completely different person, and it was jarring.  Large parts of the story were swept over - I would have liked to see them navigate a long-distance relationship more.  There were important issues brought up that the characters seemed to have little or no reaction to, which was weird.   Also, there's a very big event that really came across as emotional manipulation towards the reader - it felt unnecessary for this event to be so tragic, and I wish something like that didn't have to fuel the story (I'm sorry for the vagueness, trying to avoid spoilers!).  This was my first book by Emma Scott, but I'm unsure if I'll be seeking her out in the future.  2.5 stars

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

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Happy Place

Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings and helps us spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!
Emily Henry
Expected publication date: April 25, 2023
A couple who broke up months ago make a pact to pretend to still be together for their annual weeklong vacation with their best friends in this glittering and wise new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Emily Henry.

Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they met in college—they go together like salt and pepper, honey and tea, lobster and rolls. Except, now—for reasons they’re still not discussing—they don’t.

They broke up six months ago. And still haven’t told their best friends.

Which is how they find themselves sharing the largest bedroom at the Maine cottage that has been their friend group’s yearly getaway for the last decade. Their annual respite from the world, where for one vibrant, blue week they leave behind their daily lives; have copious amounts of cheese, wine, and seafood; and soak up the salty coastal air with the people who understand them most.

Only this year, Harriet and Wyn are lying through their teeth while trying not to notice how desperately they still want each other. Because the cottage is for sale and this is the last week they’ll all have together in this place. They can’t stand to break their friends’ hearts, and so they’ll play their parts. Harriet will be the driven surgical resident who never starts a fight, and Wyn will be the laid-back charmer who never lets the cracks show. It’s a flawless plan (if you look at it from a great distance and through a pair of sunscreen-smeared sunglasses). After years of being in love, how hard can it be to fake it for one week…in front of those who know you best? - from Goodreads


Monday, January 16, 2023

Guest Blogger: Changing Tastes

Michele is back today with a new discussion post, all about how our reading tastes change and how we may find ourselves moving away from certain authors.


We all have our favorite and autobuy authors, whether they are ones we’ve followed from the beginning of their careers or those we’ve discovered along the way. However, occasionally it may happen that our tastes change and those authors become ones that we don’t seem to look forward to their new releases. Maybe their stories have become formulaic or they write in a genre that you are growing out of. Whatever the reason, sometimes we decide an author is no longer for us.

In terms of genres, I tend to not read as much YA as I used to – I have a few authors whose YA novels still excite me, but most do not anymore. The kids either act too young or too old – it is a very fine line to make teenagers seem believable. Additionally, there are a few authors lately who I have read many books from, but they seem to have become very formulaic. The books seem to run together, rely on the same tropes and events and are not as distinct to me anymore. These particular authors are very prolific as well, easily putting out at least five books per year, meaning I would have to devote lots of precious reading time to just keep up. Because there are just too many great books in the world, I have decided to take a break from these authors and I probably won’t keep up with their new releases for the foreseeable future.

I probably put too way much thought into this but it bums me out to decide to not follow an author anymore after I have enjoyed their works in the past. I enjoy supporting authors in their endeavors but with limited time and resources, I just can’t read ALL the books. I want to be excited every time I pick up a book, not just feel like I’m checking a box.

Do you have a hard time moving away from authors or are you normal? Have your reading tastes changed over the years?

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Summer of Songbirds

Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings and helps us spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!
Kristy Woodson Harvey
Expected publication date: July 11, 2023
Four women come together to save the summer camp that changed their lives and rediscover themselves in the process in this heartwarming new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Veil.

Nearly thirty years ago, in the wake of a personal tragedy, June Moore bought Camp Holly Springs and turned it into a thriving summer haven for girls. But now, June is in danger of losing the place she has sacrificed everything for—and begins to realize how much she has used the camp to avoid facing difficulties in her life.

June’s niece, Daphne, met her two best friends, Lanier Bradley and Mary Stuart Harris, during a fateful summer at camp, and the three are inseparable even in their thirties. But when attorney Daphne discovers that Lanier’s fiancé—who just so happens to be her client—has done something highly illegal, she must choose between her job and her friendship.

Meanwhile, Lanier is hiding secrets both new and old that might make Daphne see the situation in an entirely different light. When one of those secrets unexpectedly rises to the surface, it threatens to change the very fabric of their friendship.

But when the women learn that their childhood oasis is in danger of closing, they put aside their own problems and band together with June to save it, sending them on a journey that promises to open the next chapters in their lives.

From an author whose “writing coats your soul with heart” (E! Online), The Summer of Songbirds is a lyrical and unforgettable celebration of female friendship, and a love letter to the places and people that make us who we are.
  -  from Goodreads

Monday, January 9, 2023

Michele's Monday Picks #4

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! 



By Elsie Silver

Published: October 14, 2022

From Goodreads:

Working as a nanny for the world’s grumpiest single dad should have been simple. Except I can’t keep my eyes off him. And he can’t keep his hands off of me.

Cade Eaton is thirteen years older than I am and barely looks my way. Until I get him into the hot tub one night for a game of truth or dare. Then all bets are off—and so are our clothes.

He’s gruff, a little rough around the edges. But broad-shouldered ranchers with calloused hands and filthy mouths are this city girl’s kryptonite. So who am I to resist?

But it’s in our quiet moments together that he softens. It’s when he takes care of me that I realize his hardened exterior is just a façade. It’s when I watch him go all sweet with his little boy that I really fall for him.

Someone convinced him once that his best wasn’t good enough. But I’ve never felt more cherished than I do in his arms.

My contract may say this arrangement is only for two months.

But my heart says this is forever.

Elsie Silver is a newer indie author who has won my heart! I look forward to each new book she publishes.

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

Friday, January 6, 2023

Quick Reviews

 Before I Do by Sophie Cousens (2022)

Audrey is just hours away from marrying Josh when Fred, Audrey's "one who got away," shows up as a guest at the wedding.  It puts Audrey in a tailspin, wondering if the universe is trying to tell her something, especially when everything else seems to be going wrong with her big day.  I've become a big fan of Cousens' novels - she takes such interesting scenarios and puts great spins on them.  In her newest book, as the chapters move back and forth in time, she explores how Audrey and Fred met and what happened between them, as well as how Audrey and Josh's relationship progressed.  But, it's so much more than that.  There's Audrey's complicated relationship with her mother and her mother's many husbands and boyfriends.  There are some twists that will really make you feel for Audrey and help you understand her a lot better.  At times, the present-day timeline seemed to drag - I just wanted to know what would happen on the wedding day!  However, hang in there because the way the story unfolds is really wonderful.  4 stars 
The Lady Tempts an Heir by Harper St. George (2022)
In this historical romance, Maxwell Crenshaw has been given an ultimatum by his father to settle down and start a family.  His acquaintance, Lady Helena March, is a widow trying to establish a home for "fallen" women and their children, but her unmarried status is causing donors to shy away.  The two decide to solve both their problems, at least for a little while, with a fake courtship, but their mutual attraction is making it difficult.  I've really been enjoying St. George's Gilded Age Heiresses series, and this was another fantastic addition.  Helena and Max have such great chemistry, and the fact that their lives are already intertwined because of his sisters adds a whole other layer to it.  Helena is definitely a woman ahead of her time, and I loved that Max appreciated this about her and didn't make her feel bad about it, like others in the novel.  Max, too, is a very open-minded and fair businessman, so he and Helena are perfect together.  Even with the strict morals of the time period, this book exudes plenty of steam for those who enjoy it.  I think the ending was perhaps a bit rushed and I wanted to know more about how the Crenshaw family felt about Helena's issues, but who doesn't love a happy ending?  4 stars

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

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Homecoming

Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings and helps us spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!
Kate Morton
Expected publication date: April 4, 2023
Adelaide Hills, Christmas Eve, 1959: At the end of a scorching hot day, beside a creek on the grounds of the grand and mysterious mansion, a local delivery man makes a terrible discovery. A police investigation is called and the small town of Tambilla becomes embroiled in one of the most shocking and perplexing murder cases in the history of South Australia.

Sixty years later, Jess is a journalist in search of a story. Having lived and worked in London for almost twenty years, she now finds herself laid off from her full-time job and struggling to make ends meet. A phone call out of nowhere summons her back to Sydney, where her beloved grandmother, Nora, who raised Jess when her mother could not, has suffered a fall and been raced to the hospital.

Nora has always been a vibrant and strong presence: decisive, encouraging, young despite her years. When Jess visits her in the hospital, she is alarmed to find her grandmother frail and confused. It’s even more alarming to hear from Nora's housekeeper that Nora had been distracted in the weeks before her accident and had fallen on the steps to the attic—the one place Jess was forbidden from playing in when she was small.

At loose ends in Nora's house, Jess does some digging of her own. In Nora's bedroom, she discovers a true crime book, chronicling the police investigation into a long-buried tragedy: the Turner Family Tragedy of Christmas Eve, 1959. It is only when Jess skims through the book that she finds a shocking connection between her own family and this once-infamous crime—a crime that has never been resolved satisfactorily. And for a journalist without a story, a cold case might be the best distraction she can find…

An epic novel that spans generations, Homecoming asks what we would do for those we love, and how we protect the lies we tell. It explores the power of motherhood, the corrosive effects of tightly held secrets, and the healing nature of truth. Above all, it is a beguiling and immensely satisfying novel from one of the finest writers working today. -  from Goodreads


Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Books of 2022

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is our favorite books of 2022!

What were some of your favorite books of 2022?

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

Monday, January 2, 2023

Month in Review: December 2022

December was a busy month!  We had Henry's first birthday party at my sister's house, and it was a lot of fun!  My mom and Tom's older sister both flew in for the party, so that was really nice.  I went to my company Christmas party for the first time; it was great to get out of the house for awhile!  All three of us got sick before Christmas, which wasn't fun, but we were feeling better by Christmas.  We celebrated Christmas Eve at my dad's house with 4 of my 5 siblings and their kids.  Christmas morning was just the three of us, and then Tom's family came over for dinner.  Henry got way too many toys, which are currently taking over our living room.  At the very end of the month, we went to the Turtleback Zoo to see their Christmas light displays.  It was very crowded, but also a lot of fun and we really lucked out with the weather, which was actually pretty warm!  We all crashed early on New Year's Eve - no surprise there!

The Books


The Posts and Reviews
Happy new year!  How are you doing?
* This post contains affiliate links; I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you.