Friday, June 30, 2023

Little Free Library Sightings

It's always fun to see a Little Free Library "out in the wild!"  It's fun to spot them, browse their selection, leave a book if possible, and then look them up on the official website, because sometimes they have lovely stories to go along with them!  There's also an app you can download to find local Little Free Libraries - you can even "check in" to keep track of the ones you've visited.  Here are some I've come across recently:

#90112 - This one is located in a neighborhood not far from me, so I took a drive after work one day to visit it!  It had a good mix of kid and adult books, and I grabbed a Babysitter's Club book for my niece while leaving another book I was getting rid of.  It must be a popular LFL because it had a note on it to limit yourself to 2 books!
#107072 - This LFL is located at River Lea Farm, which is a working farm that also has public walking trails.  The library is located in the parking lot.  It had a good selection of books, and I took a memoir while leaving another book of mine.

#74143 - This LFL is hosted by a community organization - according to the website, "This Little Free Library is offered by Jewish Family Service of Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren Counties as another way for us to serve our community. JFS is a non-profit, non-sectarian social service agency whose mission is to preserve and strengthen the quality of individual, family and community life based on Jewish values."  I stopped by this one quickly one morning and didn't have a book to drop off, unfortunately.  I didn't take a book, either, but noted that there was a mix of books, including a few secular ones.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Michele's Monday Picks #19

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 Rachel Lynn Solomon
Expected Publication: July 4, 2023

From Goodreads:
Chandler Cohen has never felt more like the ghost in "ghostwriter" until she attends a signing for a book she wrote—and the author doesn’t even recognize her. The evening turns more promising when she meets a charming man at the bar and immediately connects with him. But when all their sexual tension culminates in a spectacularly awkward hookup, she decides this is one night better off forgotten.

Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. Her next project is ghostwriting a memoir for Finn Walsh, a C-list actor best known for playing a lovable nerd on a cult classic werewolf show who now makes a living appearing at fan conventions across the country. But Chandler knows him better from their one-night stand of hilarious mishaps.

Chandler’s determined to keep their partnership as professional as possible, but when she admits to Finn their night together wasn’t as mind-blowing as he thought it was, he’s distraught. He intrigues her enough that they strike a deal: when they’re not working on his book, Chandler will school Finn in the art of satisfaction. As they grow closer both in and out of the bedroom, they must figure out which is more important, business or pleasure—or if there's a way for them to have both.

A ghostwriter and a struggling actor help each other on the page and in the bedroom in this steamy romantic comedy from the New York Times bestselling author of The Ex Talk.

Rachel Lynn Solomon is one of my autobuy authors - do you think you’ll be picking this one up?

Friday, June 23, 2023

Quick Reviews

Just Another Love Song by Kerry Winfrey (2022)

I'm late to the Kerry Winfrey train, but after reading this one, I'm not sure I'll be racing to pick up another of hers, unfortunately.  Sandy and Hank were high school sweethearts, but after he leaves for college and she remains in their hometown, they break up.  Fifteen years later, Hank is back, with his son, and the two may get their second chance after all.  This didn't feel like a romance to me at all.  It was more a small-town, contemporary fiction, with a dash of romance thrown in.  The fact that Sandy and Hank have been apart for 15 years and the assumption is they are still madly in love with each other and will just pick right back up where they left off is almost laughable to me.  Fifteen years is a long time, and it just makes me feel bad for Sandy that her life has been "incomplete" this whole time without Hank - honestly, it seems like she has a pretty good life, and it's only when Hank returns that she begins to question how happy she is.  It just didn't sit right with me.  Hank felt so bland and underdeveloped that it was hard for me to root for them.  2.5 stars

Ship Wrecked by Olivia Dade (2022)

Maria and Peter have a steamy one-night stand, only to find out soon after that they've been cast in the same show, putting them in close proximity for the next several years.  Peter doesn't want to be anything more than friends while filming, but when the show ends, will the two get their chance?  I thought this was a fun story!  I didn't realize it was the third book in a series when I bought it, and I think I was missing some information about the other characters that could have made the reading experience different, but overall, I don't think it was super necessary to have read the other books.  Maria and Peter's chemistry is crackling, even when they're trying to just be friends - the way Peter worships Maria, for years, and especially when they finally get together, was so sexy!  I loved Maria's body confidence and the behind-the-scenes look at the making of a major TV show was very fun.  There is a big time jump that was very jarring - I knew it was coming, but I didn't think it was incorporated very well.  The third-act breakup felt very uncharacteristic of both Peter and Maria, so of course I was glad when they got over it to find their happily ever after.  4 stars

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Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Beach at Summerly

Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings and helps us spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!

Beatriz Williams
Expected publication date: June 27, 2023
New York Times bestseller Beatriz Williams returns with a ravishing summer read, taking readers back to a mid-century New England rich with secrets and Cold War intrigue.

June 1946. As the residents of Winthrop Island prepare for the first summer season after the sacrifice of war, a glamorous new figure moves into the guest cottage at Summerly, the idyllic seaside estate of the wealthy Peabody family. To Emilia Winthrop, daughter of Summerly’s year-round caretaker and a descendant of the island’s settlers, Olive Rainsford opens a window into a world of shining possibility. While Emilia spent the war years caring for her incapacitated mother, Olive traveled the world, married fascinating men, and involved herself in political causes. She’s also the beloved aunt of the two surviving Peabody sons, Amory and Shep, with whom Emilia has a tangled romantic history.

As the summer wears on, Emilia develops a deep rapport with Olive, who urges her to leave the island for a life of adventure, while romance blossoms with the sturdy and honorable Shep. But the heady promise of Peabody patronage is blown apart by the arrival of Sumner Fox, an FBI agent who demands Emilia’s help to capture a Soviet agent who’s transmitting vital intelligence on the West’s atomic weapon program from somewhere inside the Summerly estate.

April 1954. Eight years later, Summerly is boarded up and Emilia has rebuilt her shattered life as a professor at Wellesley College, when shocking news arrives from Washington—the traitor she helped convict is about to be swapped for an American spy imprisoned in the Soviet Union, but with a mysterious condition only Emilia can fulfill. A reluctant Emilia is summoned to CIA headquarters, where she’s forced to confront the harrowing consequences of her actions that fateful summer, and a choice that could destroy the Peabody family—and Emilia’s chance for redemption—all over again. - from Goodreads

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: My Summer TBR


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is our summer TBR.  I've been focusing a lot lately on the unread physical books I own, but I also want to get to some books that have been lingering on my TBR for far too long, so that's what I'm going to try to do this summer!  I think I have a good mix of genres, too!

What will you be reading this summer?

Friday, June 16, 2023

Guest Blogger: My Go-To’s When I Need a Break from Romance

Michele is back today with a fun discussion post!


The majority of my reading falls under the contemporary romance genre.  But – and I feel safe admitting this here among friends – it can feel formulaic after a while.  So to keep my reading fresh, I am always looking to other genres - some similar, some very different – so when I come back to contemporary romance, it feels fun again.  Here are some of my go-to genres and authors when I need a little break:

Romantasy – for when I want romance, but also fairies, pirates and zombies!


Historical mysteries – A whodunnit (but make it historical) is always fun!


Historical fiction – A trip to the past!


Thrillers – murder, suspense and intrigue!


What is your go-to genre?  How do you keep your reading fresh?

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Seven Year Slip

Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings and helps us spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!

Ashley Poston
Expected publication date: June 27, 2023
Sometimes, the worst day of your life happens, and you have to figure out how to live after it.

So Clementine forms a plan to keep her heart safe: stay busy, work hard, find someone decent to love, and try to remember to chase the moon. The last one is silly and obviously metaphorical, but her aunt always told her that you needed at least one big dream to keep going. And for the last year, that plan has gone off without a hitch. Mostly. The love part is hard because she doesn’t want to get too close to anyone—she isn’t sure her heart can take it.

And then she finds a strange man standing in the kitchen of her late aunt’s apartment. A man with kind eyes and a Southern drawl and a taste for lemon pies. The kind of man that, before it all, she would’ve fallen head-over-heels for. And she might again.

Except, he exists in the past. Seven years ago, to be exact. And she, quite literally, lives seven years in his future.

Her aunt always said the apartment was a pinch in time, a place where moments blended together like watercolors. And Clementine knows that if she lets her heart fall, she’ll be doomed.

After all, love is never a matter of time—but a matter of timing.

An overworked book publicist with a perfectly planned future hits a snag when she falls in love with her temporary roommate…only to discover he lives seven years in the past, in this witty and wise new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Dead Romantics. - from Goodreads

Monday, June 12, 2023

Michele's Monday Picks #18

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 Ali Hazelwood
Expected Publication: June 13, 2023

From Goodreads:
Rival physicists collide in a vortex of academic feuds and fake dating shenanigans in this delightfully STEMinist romcom from the New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis and Love on the Brain.

The many lives of theoretical physicist Elsie Hannaway have finally caught up with her. By day, she’s an adjunct professor, toiling away at grading labs and teaching thermodynamics in the hopes of landing tenure. By other day, Elsie makes up for her non-existent paycheck by offering her services as a fake girlfriend, tapping into her expertly honed people pleasing skills to embody whichever version of herself the client needs.

Honestly, it’s a pretty sweet gig—until her carefully constructed Elsie-verse comes crashing down. Because Jack Smith, the annoyingly attractive and broody older brother of her favorite client, turns out to be the cold-hearted experimental physicist who ruined her mentor’s career and undermined the reputation of theorists everywhere. And that same Jack who now sits on the hiring committee at MIT, right between Elsie and her dream job.

Elsie is prepared for an all-out war of scholarly sabotage but…those long, penetrating looks? Not having to be anything other than her true self when she’s with him? Will falling into an experimentalist’s orbit finally tempt her to put her most guarded theories on love into practice?

I absolutely loved Ali Hazelwood’s last novel - do you think you’ll be picking this one up?

Friday, June 9, 2023

Quick Reviews

A Mountain Divides Us by Allie Winters (2023)

Kristen is a widow with twin 6-year-olds; she needs to make some extra money so she decides to rent out a room in her house.  She doesn't expect, though, kind and handsome Eli to come into their lives.  He's only here for a month, but the two fall hard and fast for each other.  Eh, this was just kind of a meh read for me.  I did identify with Kristen at times, how she was reluctant to believe that anyone could be attracted to her, especially as a mom, although her protests got a little too much at times.  I thought the premise was interesting, but the execution wasn't great.  The timeline is so condensed that it can't be anything other than insta-love, and the two leads act so immature at times, it felt like I was reading conversations between teenagers.  I also thought Eli got way too involved with the kids too quickly (like, on his first day there, it just felt forced).  The ending felt very rushed and I wish the epilogue had taken place more than just a week or so later; it's hard to imagine if this is a happily ever after or happy for now.  3 stars

The Nanny by Lana Ferguson (2023)

After being laid off, Cassie is desperate to find a job, when a live-in nanny opportunity comes her way.  It seems like a dream job, until she realizes that the dad she's nannying for used to watch her on OnlyFans, and the two had gotten pretty close, only for him to disappear one day.  I loved this premise so much; it's so modern and funny, and it mostly worked for me!  I really liked Cassie - she's fun, witty, and hardworking.  The push and pull between her and Aiden, being attracted to each other but not wanting to act on it, was full of chemistry and there are plenty of spicy scenes for those who are looking for that element.  I loved Aiden and Sophie, his daughter, together, and his desire to be a better and more present father after Sophie's mom's death was admirable (although I wanted more back story - there is so much emphasis on Sophie's aunt and how she thinks Aiden is unfit to be a dad, I couldn't really understand why she was so forceful).  However, while I enjoyed the story, there was just something missing and I can't really place my finger on it.  The story is a bit overly long and the writing is really repetitive at times.  3.5 stars

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

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer Book Covers


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is books/covers that feel/look like summer.  I love a good cover and this is the perfect time to showcase all those summery covers on my TBR!

Monday, June 5, 2023

Michele's Monday Picks #17

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!


Kiss Me in the Coral Lounge: Intimate Confessions from a Happy Marriage

By Helen Ellis

Expected publication date: June 13, 2023

From Goodreads:

New York Times bestselling author Helen Ellis ("As original as she is hilarious." -People magazine) unleashes a boisterous, bawdy, and unabashedly romantic new collection of essays about love, marriage, and her last first kiss.

Welcome to the Coral Lounge, a room in Helen Ellis's New York City apartment painted such an exuberant shade that a peeping Tom left a sticky note asking for the color. It is in the Coral Lounge where all the parties happen: A game called "What's in the box?" makes its uproarious debut, the Puzzle Posse pounces on a 500-piece jigsaw of a beheaded priest, and guests don blindfolds for a raucous bridal shower. When the pandemic shuts down the city, the Coral Lounge becomes a place of refuge, where Helen and her husband binge-watch Joan Collins's Dynasty, dote on two spoiled cats, and where Helen discovers that even twenty years into marriage, her husband still makes her heart pitter patter. In these surprising, sexy, and hilariously frank essays Helen Ellis paints a portrait of true romance for our times.

I listened to Helen’s Southern Lady Code and really enjoyed it – I think this audio will be really fun!

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

Friday, June 2, 2023

Month in Review: May 2023


May was a busy month!  Tom and I were able to take a Friday afternoon to see Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3, and we really liked it!  We spent a long weekend in Cape May (Mother's Day weekend, actually).  Tom's mom and two sisters joined us, and Henry had a great time with everyone (although I wasn't happy that he was getting up at 5:30am every day!).  We went to the Cape May Zoo, walked around the park/beach at the lighthouse, and strolled on the Wildwood boardwalk.  Our VRBO was in a great location, just a couple blocks from the Washington Street Mall.  We took plenty of neighborhood walks, too.  We celebrated at a birthday party for two of Henry's cousins and he had way too much fun playing in the bounce house and small pool.  We had a barbeque on Memorial Day and some of my family came over.

Henry update!  Last month he transitioned to the Toddler room at daycare and he is doing great!  They say he is very sociable and curious.  He passed his baked egg allergy test, so we are incorporating some more foods and keeping our fingers crossed for his next allergy test later this year.  He is now 18 months, which blows my mind!  It's so interesting to see how he can now follow simple directions (although he will ignore me just as often).  Unfortunately we are having some food troubles and he's refusing to eat foods he used to happily eat before, like broccoli.  I think that's totally normal for his age, but it's frustrating!  He can recognize shapes (he loves pointing out stars), point to different body parts, and his favorite word is bubble!

 The Books


The Posts and Reviews

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