HEA-athon TBR

This readathon takes place June 1-7 and it’s all about reading books with Happily Ever Afters.

Our hosts are Cassidy and Alexandria:
Cassidy
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmeYSCqHZ1D1DyvUuXdjWwA
https://www.instagram.com/cassidyreads/

Alexandria
https://www.instagram.com/beautifulbitchbookreviews/

These are the prompts:

  • New to you author
  • Taboo/forbidden romance
  • Curvy heroine
  • Book released in 2020
  • Book set in a diff country than you live in
  • Book w/ a black cover
  • Trop don’t typically read
  • Small town romance
  • Name in the title

This is the bingo board:

I decided to choose one book for each prompt. Whether I actually stick to this TBR is debatable, but at least I have a starting point!

My ultimate goal would be to complete all the prompts, but I’ll be happy with just getting bingo!

New to you author
Before I Ever Met You By Karina Halle

Before I Ever Met You

I first met William McAlister when I was just a teenager.
He was handsome, had a beautiful wife and was on the verge of success, having just joined my father as his business partner. Mr. McAlister was full of smooth charm, but back then he was barely a blip on my radar. Just a family friend.
Fast forward ten years: I’m 25 years old and a single mom trying to make things right for her seven-year old son. I’ve made some mistakes, grappled with my demons and now I’m back in the city of Vancouver, getting a second chance at a better life.
I’ve started by working for my father’s production company as an executive assistant. My first day on the job and I already know I could have a promising career there.
That is until I see Will McAlister for the first time in a decade.
Now recently divorced and as sophisticated as always, Will has gone from being my father’s friend and business partner to something so much more.
We’re both older, for one thing, and he just oozes this worldly confidence and stark sexuality. Combined with his tall, muscular build and sharp suits, strong jaw and bedroom eyes, Will has turned into one hell of a distraction.
A distraction I’m having a hard time staying away from, considering his office is right across from my desk and I work with him in such close proximity.
But it’s just a harmless crush, right?
It’s just an innocent fantasy of screwing him on his desk, right?
It can’t ever be more because he’s my father’s best friend, business partner, and my boss.
Right?
Wrong.


Taboo/forbidden romance
Noughts and Crosses By Malorie Blackman

Noughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses, #1)

Two young people are forced to make a stand in this thought-provoking look at racism and prejudice in an alternate society.

Sephy is a Cross — a member of the dark-skinned ruling class. Callum is a Nought — a “colourless” member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood, but that’s as far as it can go. In their world, Noughts and Crosses simply don’t mix. Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum — a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger. Can they possibly find a way to be together? 


Curvy heroine
Man Hands by Sarina Bowen, Tanya Eby
Man Hands (Man Hands, #1)

BRYNN

At thirty-four, I’m reeling from a divorce. I don’t want to party or try to move on. I just want to stay home and post a new recipe on my blog: Brynn’s Dips and Balls.

But my friends aren’t having it. Get out there again, they say. It will be fun, they say. I’m still taking a hard pass.

Free designer cocktails, they say. And that’s a game-changer.

Too bad my ex shows up with his new arm candy. That’s when I lose my mind. But when my besties dare me to leap on the first single man I see, they don’t expect me to actually go through with it.

TOM

All I need right now is some peace and quiet while my home renovation TV show is on hiatus. But when a curvy woman in a red wrap dress charges me like she’s a gymnast about to mount my high bar, all I can do is brace myself and catch her. What follows is the hottest experience of my adult life.

I want a repeat, but my flying Cinderella disappears immediately afterward. She doesn’t leave a glass slipper, either—just a pair of panties with chocolate bunnies printed on them.

But I will find her.
 


Book released in 2020
My Favorite Souvenir By Penelope Ward, Vi Keeland
My Favorite Souvenir

My planned trip for two unexpectedly turned into a trip for one. Rather than let my breakup get me down, I packed my bags and decided a week at a luxury resort was just what I needed.
But one calamity after the next, and suddenly I was stuck without a hotel room, along with a few hundred other people.
It looked like my fancy vacation was about to turn into me sleeping on the hotel lobby floor.
Until I overheard a gorgeous man pretending to be someone he wasn’t in order to steal a reservation from a guest who hadn’t shown up yet.
When I realized there were two rooms, instead of calling him out, I pretended to be his sister. That’s how the story of “Milo and Maddie Hooker” began.
We were the Hookers.
My depressing trip quickly made a U-turn into an adventure.
My fake brother spent the next few days showing me around his hometown. When it was time to leave, neither of us really wanted to go yet.
So, instead of flying back to our respective homes, we ventured on a road trip.
At every stop, we’d pick up souvenirs.
But as hot as our chemistry was, we never crossed the line.
Milo knew I’d just come out of a tough relationship and didn’t want to mess with a vulnerable woman.
So instead, at the end of our trip, we made a pact to meet again in three months.
It was always my intention to meet him.
But when I got back home, reality hit in a big way.
And I worried I may have lost my handsome stranger forever.
Was there a place for him in my future?
Or had the memory of him just become my favorite souvenir?


Book set in a different country than you live in
Your French Kisses By Lauren Blakely
Your French Kisses (Boyfriend Material, #4)

To do list for my last day of my Paris vacation…
1. Walk along the river
2. Visit all the chocolate shops in the city
3. Wander along the cobblestoned streets.

Things I don’t expect to happen…
1. Meet a charming Englishman while strolling along the Seine
2. Spend the afternoon with him exploring Paris, and kissing. So many French kisses…
3. Board a plane that night wishing I’d gotten his last name.

Besides, you can’t fall for someone in one day, especially when you live a world apart…


Book w/ a black cover
Bad Habit By Charleigh Rose
Bad Habit (Bad Love, #1)

BRIAR
I was infatuated with Asher Kelley the moment he came tumbling through my brother’s window five years ago.
Even bruised and bloodied, he was the most beautiful boy I’d ever seen.
We couldn’t ever be together.
I was too young, and he was too untouchable.
He was too troubled, and I was too naive.
But the heart is rebellious, and mine decided it didn’t care about any of those things.
As I got older, harmless flirting turned to stolen moments in dark corners.
Until one day, he was gone without a trace.
Now, three years later, he’s back.
Callous and cruel.
He’s my brother’s best friend. My parents’ worst nightmare.
I should hate him.
But like a Bad Habit, I can’t quit him.

ASHER
I was drawn to Briar Vale from the first time she looked up at me with stars in her big, blue eyes.
She was just a kid, nothing but elbows and knees, but she was the most beautiful creature I’d ever seen.
We could never be together.
I was too old and she was too off limits.
She was too good and I was too fucked up.
Eventually, the temptation became too much to resist.
I risked everything for a kiss and she betrayed me.
Three years have passed and I’m forced to see her again, but now she’s all grown up.
She’s my best friend’s baby sister. My downfall.
I hate her for what she did.
But she’s always been my drug of choice


Trope don’t typically read
Saint by EM Snow
Saint (Angelview Academy, #1)

At Angelview Academy, Saint Angelle is considered God.
But don’t be fooled by his ridiculous name or that pretty face because Saint? He’s as wicked as they come.
I should know.
I’m the new girl who pissed him off.
The nobody who called out his crew of vicious tyrants.
The mortal who wouldn’t bow then and sure as hell won’t now.
Saint swears I’ll regret it.
He vows to own every inch of me.
He even promises to make my senior year a living hell.
I don’t believe him, though.
Because if angels can fall, so can so-called gods.
And I want to be the one to bring Saint Angelle to his knees.


SAINT is a full-length, 80,000 word new adult/ mature high school romance with enemies-to-lovers and bullying themes. It is not recommended for readers under 17 as it contains dubious situations and triggers that some readers may find offensive. It is NOT a standalone and ends in a cliffhanger.


Small town romance
Beard in Mind by Penny Reid
Beard in Mind (Winston Brothers, #4)

Beau Winston is the nicest, most accommodating guy in the world. Usually.

Handsome as the devil and twice as charismatic, Beau lives a charmed life as everyone’s favorite Winston Brother. But since his twin decided to leave town, and his other brother hired a stunning human-porcupine hybrid as a replacement mechanic for their auto shop, Beau Winston’s charmed life has gone to hell in a handbasket.

Shelly Sullivan is not nice and is never accommodating. Ever.
She mumbles to herself, but won’t respond when asked a question. She glares at everyone, especially babies. She won’t shake hands with or touch another person, but has no problems cuddling with a dog. And her damn parrot speaks only in curse words. Beau wants her gone. He wants her out of his auto shop, out of Tennessee, and out of his life.

The only problem is, learning why this porcupine wears her coat of spikes opens a Pandora’s box of complexity—exquisite, tempting, heartbreaking complexity—and Beau Winston soon discovers being nice and accommodating might mean losing what matters most.


Name in the title
On the Rocks By Kandi Steiner
On the Rocks (Becker Brothers, #1)

Noah Becker is nothing but trouble.

That’s what Mama told me when I was a kid, kicking his pew in church and giggling at the games we’d play. It’s what the town said when his father died and the Becker brothers went wild. And it’s on repeat in my mind the day I walk into the whiskey distillery where he works to buy a wedding gift for my fiancé.

He’s trouble.
Dirty, sweaty, rude trouble.

No matter how many times I repeat it, I can’t escape Noah in our small Tennessee town. And the more I run into him, the more he infuriates me.

Because he sees what no one else does.

He sees me—the real me.

The me I’m not sure I’m allowed to be.

I’m Ruby Grace Barnett, the mayor’s daughter. Soon to be a politician’s wife, just like Mama and Daddy always wanted. Soon to fulfill my family’s legacy, just like I always knew I would.

Until the boy everyone warned me about makes me question everything, like whether the wedding I’m planning is one I even want.

Everyone says Noah Becker is nothing but trouble.

If only I had listened.
 

 

Contemporaryathon Wrap Up

Last weekend was Contemporaryathon (from Friday to Monday) and I ended up reading a total of 10 books and DNF’d 1.

Don’t get too impressed, all of the books I read over the weekend were under 250 pages!

Let’s talk about the books and what I thought of them!

Let’s get the DNF out of the way…

Taming Her Mountain Man by Cameron Hart

DNF

In this book our main character has just turned 18 and inherited her estranged grandparents’ cabin in the mountains. She runs away from her creepy adoptive parents to secretly move into this cabin she inherits. When she gets there she meets this attractive older man who is a bit of a loner. The premise seemed like something I would really like because I’m all about the loner, but I was so annoyed with the main character. I didn’t mind that she was younger than the hero or that she was a virgin, but what I didn’t like was that she was also incredibly immature. I don’t mind age gaps when the younger heroine is mature for her age and that’s why she has so much chemistry with the older hero, but since she was immature it made the relationship uncomfortable to read about. So… I ended up DNFing this one.

Shy Girls Write It Better (Some Girls Do It, #1)

Shy Girls Write It Better by May Sage

★★★

This is a contemporary workplace romance where our heroine has a side hustle writing erotic romance novels. One day she accidentally gives her boss’s boss a copy of one of her manuscripts instead of a report and he is intrigued. He also notices that she is not great at writing BDSM scenes and, of course, he wants to give her some real world experience.

This book was ok. I didn’t really understand why the heroine was writing about BDSM if she knew that she wasn’t good at it. There was something about her naivety that annoyed me, but otherwise I did enjoy the premise. I also liked the hero. The fact that he easily could’ve been the cocky alpha boss, but wasn’t was a nice surprise. I don’t think I’ll move on in the series just because I have a feeling all the heroines are going to be a little mousy and that can get on my nerves after a while.

Powertools: Collection 1 (Powertools #1-2)

Powertools Collection 1 by Jayne Rylon

★★★★★

Yup. I gave this one 5 stars.

This is a reverse harem novella that includes two short stories involving the same five construction workers.

The first story takes place in the summer time with our heroine who is renovating her house while these construction workers are working on the house next door and the second story takes place in the autumn at her friend’s bakery that is getting renovated.

This book was surprisingly good. Yes, it was ridiculous and I think the fact that I expected that going into this was helpful, but what I was not expecting the romance to be so strong in both of the stories. Particularly in the second book, the hero was so freaking sweet and it was actually romantic – not something you’d expect from a reverse harem novel at all!

Beyond that – I love how each of the stories were seasonal. The first book felt like summer and the second had all the autumn vibes.

Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2)

Point of Retreat (Slammed #2) by Colleen Hoover

★★★★

This is the second book in the Slammed series that I read a few months ago. It’s a contemporary new adult romance that has a slam poetry element in it.

I didn’t initially realize this was a series, but it makes sense as to why it is. The couple’s story definitely wasn’t finished and I think this wrapped it up nicely. I believe there is another book in this series as well, which I think may be a little overkill, but we’ll see.

This wasn’t my favorite Colleen Hoover, but I haven’t disliked a book I’ve read by her yet – and that is true for this one. I felt just a little disconnected from these characters since it has been a little while since I’ve read the first books – and I don’t recall being particularly in love with them in the first place, but overall it was a good story with Colleen Hoover’s signature great characters.

Mind Reader

Mind Reader by Kristy McManus

★★★★

This interesting contemporary, magical realism romance has such a cute premise: the hero can predict soul mates and when others will meet them.

I anticipated a few things going into this book and I was wrong for quite a few of them. This was both good and bad. It was bad because I was excited about a few of the things I was predicting, but it was good because I think it would’ve been boring if this was too predictable.

The hero was a little cringy in the beginning. I thought that he was going to get on my nerves a lot more than he did. This book actually turned out to be really sweet with very low steam, so for those of you looking for a short, sweet, low-steam romance, this is a great pick!

P.S. It's Always Been You: Part 1

PS It’s Always Been You by Lauren Blakely

★★★

This super short audiobook is a second chance romance between a woman who works with historical items and an adventure/reality TV show host. It’s part of a series of super short books and I’m honestly unsure why they are all broken up. Seriously. This audiobook was, like, two hours long.

And this book was fine. I always want to like Lauren Blakely books more than I do. They have a lot of potential, she creates really likable characters in interesting situations, but lately I feel like the books I’ve read by her have been somewhat lackluster.

She comes out with a TON of books per year and it makes me wonder if maybe if she focused on writing fewer – and perfecting those – then maybe they’d be a lot better.

With that being said, I really do appreciate how much she is involved in the making of her audiobooks – and how much she loves on her narrators. She’s really in touch with the audiobook world which is nice because I feel like it gets neglected by authors more often than not.

Cutting Edge (The Edge, #0.5)

The Edge Series Books 0.5 – 2 by CD Reiss

★★★★★

This is an intense contemporary military romance between a military psychiatrist and a military surgeon.

And I’m officially obsessed.

The prequel to this series is so important, so I highly recommend starting there if you are planning on reading this series. I felt like my heart was racing the entire time I was reading this book for so many reasons – between the intensity of the romance and the fact that their relationship was building in the middle of a warzone in the first book – then the turn the books take in the first and second books – whew!

It’s so clear to me, in these books, why I love CD Reiss so much. She’s a beautiful writer, who obviously puts a lot of time into researching the topics she is writing about. She’s able to mix beautiful prose with super taboo and steamy scenes without making them seem raunchy or cringey.

I can’t wait to finish the ARC I’m reading right now so that I can finish this series!

Desolate (Grace, #1)

Desolate (Grace Trilogy #1) by Autumn Grey

★★★★

This is an emotional contemporary romance between a guy who has wanted to become a catholic priest his entire life and a girl who was mislabeled as the town slut by her abusive ex boyfriend.

Autumn Grey is quickly becoming a favorite author of mine and I’ve only read two of her books, but man… I adore her books so much.

I always appreciate when authors build the chemistry between love interests and that is something that this author does really well, especially in this story. I fully understood the conflict that the hero is going through between wanting to pursue his lifelong goal of becoming a priest like the uncle he looks up to and not being able to stay away from this girl that he has been drawn to his entire life.

My one complaint is that I felt a little disenchanted with the hero after a while. I wanted him to suck it up and make a decision. This book also ends on a cliffhanger with no HEA or HFN, however it is part of a trilogy.

The Fire Between High & Lo (Elements, #2)

The Fire Between Hi & Lo by Brittainy C. Cherry

★★★★

This is a new adult contemporary romance between a hero with a troubling home life and an addiction problem and the heroine who is able to see the bright side despite her issues with her mother.

We love BCC around here. I’ve been slowly making my way through her backlist and haven’t found a book I disliked yet. Though this wasn’t my favorite, it was mostly because of the subject matter rather than anything to do with the romance or the story. I’m not a big fan of drug use and addiction in books and one of the main characters is dealing heavily with both.

I think my favorite part of the book was the meetcute. Although, I feel weird calling it a meetcute because it is actually quite a sad situation.

Overall, this was a very successful readathon! I always aim to read around 5-6 books for weekend readathons, so reading double that many was great! I definitely felt like I was on a roll and didn’t want to stop reading all weekend, so it worked out!

Weekend Smutathon Reading List/TBR

I am so ready for this next round of Smutathon. I have many books on my Kindle that have been calling to me and this is the perfect time to work my way through a few of them!

There are also some really fun virtual bookish events that I am planning to “attend,” so I’m super excited for a fun book-filled weekend!

Tomorrow I am planning on posting this TBR on my BookTube channel and I’ll be doing a weekend vlog as well.

Here is the Weekend Smutathon Information:

Dates: April 25-26th

There are no challenges other than to read as many smutty romances as you want, but we do have an optional group book you can read with us!

The optional group book is: THEIRS FOR THE NIGHT by Katee Robert (free on Kindle!)

 

Weekend Smutathon TBR

As always, my goal for readathons is to read as many books that I own first and foremost, and also books that are on my TBR.

For this readathon in particular, since it is only two days long, I’m focusing on eBooks that I already have on my Kindle (of which there is over 400 – #cantstopwontstop) that are under 200 pages long.

I have an entire excel spreadsheet full of eBooks on my Kindle that are under 200 pages long, but I narrowed down that list to the ones I want to prioritize for this readathon. Most of these books are available on KU or are free or go on sale for free very often. I will make note of this beneath each title.

At some point I’d love to put together a list of KU eBooks under 200 pages, but for now, we’ll stick with my TBR for Weekend Smutathon.

 

 

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Theirs for the Night by Katee Robert

Free on Kindle | 85 pages
This is the Smutathon buddy read. It’s an MMF romance about a girl who meets two “gorgeous guys” at a club on her birthday… and I think we all know what happens from there. I loved Desperate Measures by this author, she’s able to build believable romances in very few pages, so I have high hopes!

 

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His Forbidden Obsession by Jessa Kane

Available on KU | 53 pages
I feel like a Smutathon wouldn’t be complete without some Jessa Kane. She’s known for her super short, super smutty romances with (mostly) ridiculous premises. This, I believe is a romance between a nun and her bodyguard.

 

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Her 2 Protectors by Jessa Kane

Available on KU | 73 pages
This is an MMF fireman romance and we’re ready for it.

 

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The Farmer’s Daughter by Jessa Kane

Available on KU | 82 pages
It would appear the theme for my Smutathon TBR is MMF, because this is another one. This time it takes place on a farm with a surly rancher and a tattooed ranch hand.

 

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SOLD: Auctioned to the Billionaire (Steele Series Book 1) by Natalia Banks

Free on Kindle | 84 pages
I mean, I think the title says it all. A dark, brooding billionaire and a girl who has been down on her luck.

 

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First Verse (Second Verse Book 1) by Emily Snow
Free on Kindle | 97 pages
Now, on to something a little… less… smutty. I think. This is a country music forbidden romance.

 

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January: Calendar Girl Book 1 by Audrey Carlan

Free on Kindle | Available on Audible Escape | 108 pages
This series, I believe, revolves around an escort service. This book, in particular, is about a girl who is trying to save her dad who has a gambling problem by becoming an escort to earn the money needed to pay off his debts.

 

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The Loner’s Lady by Jessa Kane

Available on KU | 60 pages
This sounds like a short, probably-not-as-good version of Birthday Girl. The heroine is fake dating some guy and ends up attracted to his loner father. Give me all the loners and all the forbidden romance, please and thank you!

 

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The Secret Note by Lauren Rowe

Free on Kindle | 69 pages
What?! A Lauren Rowe book I haven’t read and know nothing about? How is this possible? This is a little brother’s best friend romance!

 

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Beauty Touched the Beast: A Sexy Modern Fairy Tale by Skye Warren

36 pages
Unfortunately, this book is no longer available on Amazon. I bought it back in 2017. From what I understand it is a smutty Beauty and the Beast retelling – which I will always be down for. Skye Warren does have another book that sounds similar to this one called Beauty and the Professor.

 

 

 

Historical Readathon Wrap Up

The Historical Romance Readathon wrapped up on Sunday and I’m really glad I participated. First of all, it was hosted by some of my BookTube favs: RemarkablyLisa, PeaceLoveBooks, and LaceyBookLovers. They did such a great job hosting.

As I mentioned in my TBR for this challenge, I’m not a big historical romance reader. My sister and my mom are huge HR readers, but for whatever reason – probably because of the book covers to be completely honest – I’ve never gotten into the genre.

However, I’ve been intrigued by a lot of the books thanks to these booktubers. So, I decided to participate.

The books I chose were books that my sister and mom gave to me, as well as one recommended by Lacey.

Overall, this was a successful readathon. I read five books during the week, but I didn’t have any five-star books.

I have certainly read a few five-star historicals, but I just didn’t vibe completely with the books I read during the readathon.

I haven’t given up on the genre, if anything, I’m more motivated to find some that I love, but these were all just ok or pretty good.

 

Here’s what I read for the Historical Romance Readathon

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Sins of a Duke (Scandalous House of Calydon #3) by Stacy Reid

Bingo Categories: Titled Hero, In a Series, Pub after 2000, Rake, By an Author of Color
Rating: ★★★
I really loved the first book I read by Stacy Reid, My Darling Duke, and I’m not going to give up on this author just yet.

I really enjoyed the premise of this book, which is about a Lady who has been shamed in society because of her mother’s indiscretions and a rakish Duke who is secretly responsible for starting the rumor about her to exact revenge on her brother.

I felt like this had a lot of potential, but I ended up getting a little annoyed with the heroine. The Duke was kind of a jerk to her – very hot and cold – throughout the entire book and she just kept chasing after him. She wasn’t necessarily needy, but I still felt like she needed to hang on to some form of her dignity. I just didn’t see why she was putting up with him.

That really was the only complaint I had against this one, otherwise I enjoyed it. It’s a short book and the length felt just right – nothing dragged on for too long and it didn’t feel rushed either.

 

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Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers #4) by Lisa Kleypas

Bingo Categories: Pub before 2000, In a Series, Wallfower
Rating: ★★★★

This was my first Lisa Kleypas, and it won’t be my last. Lacey LOVES this author, so I looked on Scribd and found this one. It was available and the shortest one I could find – and I also really liked the premise.

It’s about somewhat flighty Daisy whose businessman father is demanding she marry ASAP, otherwise he is making her marry one of his favorite ruthless employees, Matthew. Matthew is very business-savvy and seemingly just like Daisy’s father (which isn’t a good thing), so Daisy has no interest in marrying him. However, people aren’t always what they seem and sometimes chemistry is hard to deny.

I can already tell from this book that I love Lisa Kleypas and I’m going to enjoy other books in this series. I really liked the side characters in this novel, and I can tell that Daisy’s sister likely had a novel before this one that I really want to read because I loved her sister and her sister’s husband.

There were quite a few really entertaining scenes in this and I felt like Daisy and Matthew had great chemistry and banter. I subtracted a star only because the story dragged a bit. I felt like there was a lot of unnecessary drama toward the end that I could’ve done without.

 

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Silent Melody (Georgian #2) by Mary Balogh

Bingo Categories: Titled Hero, Pub Before 2000, In a Series,
Rating: ★★★

I was most excited for this book out of all of the books I chose for this readathon. My mom really likes this author and I really liked the premise.

It’s about Lady Emily who is mute and deaf, she’s also wild and free and an artist. Growing up she would follow around family friend Lord Ashley until he moved to India. Ashley and Emily had a strong connection, they could read each other really well and had their own way of communicating, so when he left, Emily took quite a blow. Fast forward and Emily is no longer a child, she’s a beautiful Lady in society about to get betrothed and Ashley returns, married and with a child.

This book had so much potential, but it rubbed me the wrong way from the very beginning. I was fine with the relationship Ashley and Emily had when she was a child, until Ashley – a grown man – kisses 13 year old Emily in a very adult way when he leaves. I get that this takes place in a different time period, but it totally skeeved me out. The story would’ve worked just fine without that. Their connection was completely innocent before it happened, and to me, that totally ruined it.

I liked the book well enough, but I could give or take Lord Ashley. I didn’t really like his character.

 

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Born to Be Wilde (The Wildes of Lindow Castle #3) by Eloisa James

Bingo Categories: Pub before 2000, In a series, Set outside of London, POC MC
Rating: ★★★★

Lacey recommended this book for the POC MC category, and I thought that the premise sounded promising.

It’s about Lavinia who, under desperate circumstances, proposes to her long-time friendly rival, Parth… and gets rejected. Instead, he offers to find her someone to marry, even though he is harboring some serious feelings for her.

This definitely lived up to my expectations based on the synopsis. There was just the right amount of drama, there was great chemistry between the characters, and I just loved Parth. I’m a big fan of the hero who “loves from a distance” aspect and I totally understood why he initially turned down her offer to marry. I also liked the history these two characters had with each other.

 

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Dancing at Midnight (The Splendid Trilogy #2) by Julia Quinn

Bingo Categories: Scarred hero, Bookish MC, Published before 2000, In a series
Rating: ★★★

This was a bit of a disappointment. I was totally here for the bookish, smart main character and a grumpy wounded war hero thing, but … I just felt like it wasn’t done well. Or, at least, it could’ve been done much better.

I was hoping for more of a brooding hero and more of a witty main character, but both of them fell pretty flat. The entire book kind of felt forced somehow. To be completely honest, I kind of immediately forgot about this one as soon as I finished it.

 

Historical Romance Recommendations for #HRREADATHON20 From My Sister

I’m so excited to participate in the Historical Romance Readathon beginning tomorrow. I’m not a huge historical reader, but my sister is, so I sent her the bingo board and asked to borrow some books.

Historical Romance Readathon Info

Dates: March 16-22
Hosts: @peacelovebooks, @remarkablylisa, @laceylovesbooks
Bingo Board:
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Historical Romance Recommendations

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Never Trust a Rogue (Heiress in London #2) by Olivia Drake
Published after 2000

  • War Hero/Scoundrel and guardian of young ward
  • Sneaky “fake detective” heroine
  • Murderer on the loose

Goodreads

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Seduce me at Sunrise (The Hathaways #2) by Lisa Kleypas
POC MC

  • Hero of mysterious origins who doesn’t think he’s good enough for the heroine
  • Hero and heroine separated for a long period of time
  • Secrets and high stakes

Goodreads

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The Last Debutante by Julia London
Highlander

  • Sexy laird w/ supposed amnesia
  • Spirited English lady
  • Adventure, romance, kidnapping

Goodreads

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A Wallflower Christmas (Wallflowers #4.5) by Lisa Kleypas
Wallflower

  • Hero w/ shocking American ways
  • Proper lady-in-waiting
  • Matchmaking

Goodreads

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The Proposal (The Survivors’ Club #1) by Mary Balogh
Titled hero

  • Solitary widowed heroine
  • Daring war hero
  • Rescue meetcute

Goodreads

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Highland Scandal (The Scandalous Series #2) by Julia London
Highlander

  • Hero on the run
  • Marriage of convenience
  • Niece of a highland laird

Goodreads

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Silent Melody (Georgian #2) by Mary Balogh
Series, Published before 2000

  • Beautiful, wild, unspoiled, deaf, and mute heroine betrothed to the wrong man
  • Dark and reckless lord hero
  • Second chance romance

Goodreads

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First Comes Marriage by Mary Balogh
Marriage of convenience

  • Fiery sensual family
  • Proud, daring, widowed heroine
  • Eligible bachelor hero

Goodreads

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Again the Magic (Wallflowers #0.5) by Lisa Kleypas
Set outside of London

  • Forbidden romance
  • High class heroine
  • Hero who becomes powerful

Goodreads

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Only a Kiss (The Survivors’ Club #6) by Mary Balogh
Set outside of London

  • Secluded heroine who witnessed her husband’s murder
  • Hero who inherits heroine’s residence unknowingly
  • Can be read as standalone

Goodreads

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Dancing at Midnight (The Splendid Trilogy #2) by Julia Quinn
Titled hero, Scarred hero, set outside of London

  • Smart and beautiful heroine taking a break from Marriage Mart
  • Wounded war hero
  • Hate to love

Goodreads

Goodreads

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A Rogue of my Own (Reid Family #3) by Johanna Lindsey
By Johanna Lindsey

    • Unknowing rivalry
    • Courtly spies
    • Spies and double lives

 

Goodreads

Backlist Readathon 2020 TBR

The backlist readathon is happening next week, so I figured I’d share my TBR with you!

I love this readathon because it’s so easy for me to find books I already own since I read so many backlist titles as it is.

Here is the info about the readathon:\\B A C K L I S T R E A D A T H O N

DATES:
March 9th – 15th

CHALLENGES:
| read the shortest backlist title
| read the backlist title that intimidates you the most
| read a backlist title you added because of someone else’s recommendation
| read a backlist you are most excited for
| read a diverse backlist book (lgbt, mental illness, author of color, etc.)
| read a backlist with blue on the cover

HOSTS:
| Gabby
| Chan
| Jacqueline
| Emily
| Zoë
| Melanie

Here are the books I’m planning to read for each challenge:

shortest backlist title
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The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace
I thought for the shortest book, it would be good to read a poetry book. I’ve had this on my bookshelf for years and on my TBR for even longer. I love modern poetry, so I hope to enjoy this one.
Goodreads

 

backlist title that intimidates you the most
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The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
I bought this on Audible when it went on sale, but I kind of knew when I bought it that it would take me a while to read it because it’s SO long. However, I am pretty excited about reading this.
Goodreads

 

someone else’s recommendation
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Off Sides by Sawyer Bennett
I organized my Audible library by the shortest length book and I came across this one that I must’ve forgotten I owned. I remember seeing this back in 2017 on Goodreads and a few of my GR friends really enjoyed it.
Goodreads

 

most excited for
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Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains #1) by Katee Robert
I’ve been dying to read this entire series because they are dark romance retellings of Disney stories! This one, I believe, is about Jasmine and Jafar.
Goodreads

 

diverse backlist book
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Love from A to Z by SK Ali
There is so much diversity in this book and it also has a character with MS (like me!) so I’m super interested to read it.
Goodreads

 

blue on the cover
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Bloom by Kevin Panetta, Savanna Ganucheau
There is so much diversity in this book and it also has a character with MS (like me!) so I’m super interested to read it.
Goodreads

 

Kindle Unlimited Weekend Readathon Wrap Up

The Kindle Unlimited Weekend Readathon was this past weekend – and it was the best readathon I’ve ever participated in.

I read so many books (granted they were all super short) in such a short amount of time and I interacted with so many fun people on Twitter, Instagram, and even on YouTube.

I read 9 books in total Friday, Dec. 27-29.

Here are all the books I read, their ratings, and mini-reviews:

Something in the Water by Anne Frasier
★★★★★
This book was only a few pages long and I read it in under 20 minutes. This was such a delightful short read that packed a punch. Fair warning, it does end on a cliff-hanger, but I wasn’t mad about it. Knowing that this is a super short story changed my expectations, and I appreciated the ending more than I would have otherwise. I do wish that this book was longer because I love the premise of it, but it was absolutely great as is.
Goodreads

Fling (Wrong #2.5) by Jana Aston
★★★★★
I totally forgot how much I adored this series! I have no idea why I didn’t read this book, I skipped right over it when I was reading the series, but it’s actually my favorite book in the entire series and my favorite read for this entire readathon. Nobody writes hilariously cringey romance scenes as good as Jana Aston.
Goodreads

Brock (Bourne Bodyguards #1) by Mandy Morgan
★★★
I loved the beginning of this book. I thought it started off really strong and I was really liking Brock’s character. But then, it did the thing that short romance novellas usually do, which is rush through the romance, taking away the believability. It ended up taking me out of the story in the end, unfortunately. I am curious about the rest of this series because you do get to see a little something happening between the main character’s roommate and the Hero’s best friend that seemed really interesting.
Goodreads

Hot Doctor by Hope Ford
★★
The idea of this was better than the execution. I think this would’ve been better as a slow burn, full-length novel, but that basically changes the entire story, so… yeah. LOL! This was another case of instalove that I wasn’t invested in. I also wish, since it is called Hot Doctor, that it was more of a hospital romance, but it was much more of a nanny romance than anything.
Goodreads

Sacrificed to the Beast by Jessa Kane
★★★★
This book was so wonderfully steamy! It has one of my favorite tropes, which is the inexperienced guy who needs “teaching.” Also, I’m always a fan of Beauty and the Beast reimaginings. While this wasn’t anything ground-breaking, the romance definitely was on point, in my opinion. This story wasn’t as serious as I anticipated it to be, it was written more like a romcom than you’d imagine from the cover. It honestly reminds me a lot of the Ice Planet Barbarians series that I’ve been reading lately because of how secluded the beast is.
Goodreads

Cellar Door by Trisha Wolfe
★★★★★
Ughhhh it’s been way too long since I’ve read a book by Trisha Wolfe and I’m so happy I did! I’d forgotten how much I adore her writing and her storytelling. I will admit that the beginning seemed a little slow only because I was expecting a romance right from the beginning, however, the romance doesn’t kick in until much later in the story and it’s very low key. But JUST as good as her other dark romances. This was such an interesting thriller with twist and turns I didn’t see coming.
Goodreads

Barbarian’s Mate (Ice Planet Barbarians #6) by Ruby Dixon
★★★★
I’ve been loving this entire freaking series even though they seem utterly ridiculous. At the end of the day, this series is Avatar fanfiction, let’s be real. But I’m not against that. These books are steamy AF and have, again, my favorite thing in romance novels – an inexperienced hero. This book in particular wasn’t my favorite, but I ate it up like candy. I didn’t really like Josie’s character in previous books, however, she didn’t annoy me nearly as much in this book as she did in others. Also, I LOVE the love interest and have loved him since he was introduced in previous books.
Goodreads

The Music of the Night by Amanda Ashley
★★★★
The Phantom of the Opera retelling I never asked for, but am so glad I read. To be honest, this book started off super cheesey. I was like, “Really, this is what we’re doing?” at first, however, I was not expecting the angle it took in the end… and it completely changed my view of the entire thing. I wish this book was longer, because I absolutely would’ve loved more to this story!
Goodreads

Masquerade by Amanda Ashley
★★★★
Amanda Ashley obviously loves Phantom of the Opera as much as I do, because this has very Phantom-ish feels, though not as blatant as the previous book on this list. It was a paranormal romance novella and I adored it. It has your stereotypical dark, brooding, mysterious hero who lurks in the shadows, and I’d forgotten how much I love that trope. I was absolutely here for it with this book.
Goodreads

50 Short Kindle Unlimited Romance Novels/Novellas Under 300 Pages {Kindle Unlimited Readathon Recs}

I’m so excited to be participating in the Kindle Unlimited Readathon. I was invited to participate by my sweet friend Shelby over at Shelby Taggart Reads on Booktube.

The Readathon takes place over a weekend 12/27-12/29 and the goal is to read as many Kindle Unlimited books as you can during that period.

Reading more Kindle Unlimited books is something I’d like to start doing more of… I need to get the most out of my membership after all – so this readathon is perfect.

I’ve also discovered so many great books that are available on this service thanks to all the recommendation videos associated with this readathon.

Unfortunately, I have an incredibly busy weekend during this readathon, so I started going through all the books I want to read that are available on Kindle Unlimited and pulled all the books that are under 300 pages.

I also did some research and found a bunch of super short novellas.

I compiled the list and thought I’d share it with you in case you are participating in the readathon – or if you just have KU and want to check these out!

You can find the complete list on Amazon here.

I’ve listed these in order from shortest page count to highest page count. I’ve also linked the covers to Goodreads so that you can check out the ratings and read the synopsis for each one.

Continue reading “50 Short Kindle Unlimited Romance Novels/Novellas Under 300 Pages {Kindle Unlimited Readathon Recs}”

Buzzwordathon (Round 4) TBR & Recs

This will be my second Buzzword Readathon I’ll be participating in, and this time around the buzzword is “you.”

Any form on “you” is acceptable.

This readathon is taking place June 12-June 18 – find out more here.

Watch my Buzzwordathon TBR video here

or read on below:

Buzzwordathon Recs

By Your Side by Kasie West
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An irresistible story from Kasie West that explores the timeless question: What do you do when you fall for the person you least expect?

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her.

Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye.

As he and Autumn at first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

Me Before You by Jojo Moyles
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Discover the love story that captured over 20 million hearts in Me Before You, After You, and Still Me.

They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A Love Story for this generation and perfect for fans of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover
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Colleen Hoover delivers a tour de force novel about a troubled marriage and the one old forgotten promise that might be able to save it.

Quinn and Graham’s perfect love is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair.

All Your Perfects is a profound novel about a damaged couple whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past. This is a heartbreaking page-turner that asks: Can a resounding love with a perfect beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people?

How to Date Your Dragon by Molly Harper
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Anthropologist Jillian Ramsay’s career has taken a turn south.

Concerned that technology is about to chase mythological creatures out into the open (how long can Sasquatch stay hidden from Google maps?), the League for Interspecies Cooperation is sending Jillian to Louisiana on a fact-finding mission. While the League hopes to hold on to secrecy for a little bit longer, they’re preparing for the worst in terms of human reactions. They need a plan, so they look to Mystic Bayou, a tiny town hidden in the swamp where humans and supernatural residents have been living in harmony for generations. Mermaids and gator shifters swim in the bayou. Spirit bottles light the front porches after twilight. Dragons light the fires under crayfish pots.

Jillian’s first assignment for the League could be her last. Mystic Bayou is wary of outsiders, and she has difficulty getting locals to talk to her. And she can’t get the gruff town sheriff, Bael Boone, off of her back or out of her mind. Bael is the finest male specimen she’s seen in a long time, even though he might not be human. Soon their flirtation is hotter than a dragon’s breath, which Bael just might turn out to be….

Dating You Hating You by Christina Lauren
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All’s fair in love and work. The first standalone romance by New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Beautiful Bastard) is a sexy, compulsively readable romantic comedy that dives headlong into the thrill and doubt of modern love.

Despite the odds against them from an embarrassing meet-awkward at a mutual friend’s Halloween party, Carter and Evie immediately hit it off. Even the realization that they’re both high-powered agents at competing firms in Hollywood isn’t enough to squash the fire.

But when their two agencies merge—causing the pair to vie for the same position—all bets are off. What could have been a beautiful, blossoming romance turns into an all-out war of sabotage. Carter and Evie are both thirtysomething professionals—so why can’t they act like it?

Can Carter stop trying to please everyone and see how their mutual boss is really playing the game? Can Evie put aside her competitive nature long enough to figure out what she really wants in life? Can their actor clients just be something close to human? Whether these two Hollywood love/hatebirds get the storybook Hollywood ending or just a dramedy of epic proportions, you will get to enjoy Christina Lauren’s heartfelt, raucous, and hilarious romance style at its finest.

Buzzwordathon TBR

Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai
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One night. No one will know.
That was the deal. Every year, Livvy Kane and Nicholas Chandler would share one perfect night of illicit pleasure. The forbidden hours let them forget the tragedy that haunted their pasts—and the last names that made them enemies.

Until the night she didn’t show up.

Now Nicholas has an empire to run. He doesn’t have time for distractions and Livvy’s sudden reappearance in town is a major distraction. She’s the one woman he shouldn’t want . . . so why can’t he forget how right she feels in his bed?

Livvy didn’t come home for Nicholas, but fate seems determined to remind her of his presence—and their past. Although the passion between them might have once run hot and deep, not even love can overcome the scandal that divided their families.

Being together might be against all the rules . . . but being apart is impossible.

The One You Want by Gena Showalter
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New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter introduces the Original Heartbreakers—about sexy bad boys each meeting their match—with a special prequel novella!

In small-town Oklahoma, reputation is everything, and Kenna Starr will do anything to overcome hers. The supposed bad girl is determined to walk the straight and narrow, a seemingly impossible task when Tall, Dark and Sexy shows up…

Rich and powerful, Dane Michaelson is every woman’s dream. When he returns to Strawberry Valley after a sixteen-year absence, he is unprepared for the redheaded girl he’s never been able to forget. She’s all woman now—and he’s never wanted anyone more. But to have her, he’ll have to break through her defenses… and surrender his own.

* First published in the 2014 anthology, All For You.

The Closer You Come by Gena Showalter
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New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter introduces the Original Heartbreakers, where three not-quite-reformed bad boys are about to meet the women who will bring them to their knees.

Just released from prison, Jase Hollister has a dark and twisted past. And now, he has only one goal: stay out of trouble. Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma, sounds like the perfect place for him and his two brothers-by-circumstance to settle down and live a nice, simple life. But model citizen isn’t exactly this rugged bachelor’s default setting—especially when it comes to a certain hot-blooded Southern beauty…

Brook Lynn Dillon has always been responsible. Not that it’s done her much good. The down-on-her-luck waitress is broke, single and fun-deprived. Until Jase comes along. He is dangerous, stunningly protective, breathtakingly sexy and as tempting as sin, and the passion sizzling between them is undeniable. But can it melt her resistance? After all, the right kind of trouble might be just what they both need.

Everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too by Jomny Sun
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The illustrated story of a lonely alien sent to observe Earth, where he meets all sorts of creatures with all sorts of perspectives on life, love, and happiness, while learning to feel a little better about himself—based on the enormously popular Twitter account.

Here is the unforgettable story of Jomny, an alien sent to study Earth. Always feeling apart, even among his species, Jomny feels at home for the first time among the earthlings he meets. There is a bear tired of other creatures running in fear, an egg struggling to decide what to hatch into, a turtle hiding itself by learning camouflage, a puppy struggling to express its true feelings, and many more.

The characters are unique and inventive—bees think long and hard about what love means, birds try to eat the sun, nothingness questions its own existence, a ghost comes to terms with dying, and an introverted hedgehog slowly lets Jomny see its artistic insecurities. At the same time, Jomny’s curious presence allows these characters to open up to him in ways they were never able to before, revealing the power of somebody who is just there to listen.

Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too is also the story behind the widely-shared and typo-filled @jonnysun twitter account. Since the beginning, Sun intentionally tweeted from an outsider’s perspective, creating a truly distinct voice. Now, that outsider has taken shape in the character of Jomny, who observes Earth with the same intelligent, empathetic, and charmingly naïve voice that won over his fans on social media. New fans will find it organic, and old fans will delight at seeing the clever words that made them fans in the first place.

Through this story of a lost, lonely and confused Alien finding friendship, acceptance, and love among the animals and plants of Earth, we will all learn how to be a little more human. And for all the earth-bound creatures here on this planet, we will all learn how sometimes, it takes an outsider to help us see ourselves for who we truly are.

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo
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From the author of I Believe in a Thing Called Love, a laugh-out-loud story of love, new friendships, and one unique food truck.

Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind?

With Maurene Goo’s signature warmth and humor, The Way You Make Me Feel is a relatable story of falling in love and finding yourself in the places you’d never thought to look.

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
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Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook and Liar.

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn’t she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal.

Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up.

On the Way to You by Kandi Steiner
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What makes you happy?

That was the question Emery Reed asked me the day we met, and I couldn’t give him a single answer. I could have said my dog, or my books, or yoga — but I just stared.

And then, I got in his car.

It was crazy to take a road trip with a stranger, but after years of standing still, he was my one-way ticket to a new life, and I wasn’t going to miss it.

We shared the same space, the same car, the same hotel room — and still, we were strangers. One day we’d be laughing, the next, we wouldn’t speak. Emery was surrounded by impenetrable walls, but I wanted in.

Discovering his journal changed everything.

I read his thoughts, words not meant for anyone’s eyes, and the more I learned about him, the harder I fell. It turned out nothing made Emery Reed happy, and I wanted to change that.

I earned his trust by violating his privacy, and as wrong as it was, it worked — until one entry revealed a darkness I never knew existed, a timer I never knew was ticking.

Suddenly, what made me happy was saving Emery from himself. I just didn’t know if I could.

Buzzword Readathon Vlog | Owlcrate/SipsBy Unboxing, Book Shopping, & A Lot of Whining {New Video}

I’ve successfully completed my very first Buzzword Readathon!

It wasn’t without it’s challenges. Both of my girls were sick and then I got sick, but I somehow was able to read all six books that I was planning on reading this week for the Readathon.

If you’re interested, I vlogged the entire time. You can check out the video here:

I’ll be updating again soon with my reviews of the books I read during the readathon. 🙂