Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Book Releases for the First Half of 2020

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is:

Most Anticipated Book Releases for the First Half of 2020

1. One of Us Is Next
Author: Karen M. McManus

2. Whatever It Takes &
Author: Krista & Becca Ritchie

3. Great and Precious Things
Author: Rebecca Yarros

4. Hearts, Heroes, and Heath Hall
Author: Kasie West

5. Undercover Bromance
Author: Lyssa Kay Andrews

6. Heartland
Author: Sarina Bowen

7. Bastard Bachelor Society
Author: Sara Ney

8. Riven Knight
Author: Devney Perry

9. This is Forever
Author: Natasha Madison

10. That Secret Crush
Author: Meghan Quinn

Review: The Map from Here to There (Emery Lord)

The Map from Here to There
Series: The Start of Me and You, #2
Author: Emery Lord
Publication Date: January 7, 2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Acclaimed author Emery Lord crafts a gorgeous story of friendship and identity, daring to ask: What happens after happily ever after?

It’s senior year, and Paige Hancock is finally living her best life. She has a fun summer job, great friends, and a super charming boyfriend who totally gets her. But senior year also means big decisions. Weighing “the rest of her life,” Paige feels her anxiety begin to pervade every decision she makes. Everything is exactly how she always wanted it to be–how can she leave it all behind next year? In her head, she knows there is so much more to experience after high school. But in her heart, is it so terrible to want everything to stay the same forever?

Emery Lord’s award-winning storytelling shines with lovable characters and heartfelt exploration of life’s most important questions.


The Map from Here to There is the sequel to Emery Lord’s beloved The Start of Me and You. It begins at the end of summer before Paige’s senior year of high school. Paige is excited for Max to return from Italy and for them to start their relationship and senior year together. The only thing standing the way of Paige’s happiness is the pressure of choosing a college and what that means for her new relationship with Max.

I’m just going to be blatantly honest with you all. I did not love this book as much as The Start of Me and You. It had some of the things I loved from that book: Paige and Max, Emery Lord’s addictive writing and the feels it gave me, all the friendships, the families, new characters to like, dealing with mental health issues. All of that should have been a recipe for success, but this was a case of the first book ending perfectly and the second book trying to mess with everything. I loved that the story was valid and very realistic, but Paige’s anxiety made me anxious and sad, and her actions made me irritated. I just wanted to love it and I didn’t love the feelings it gave me. I had to push myself to through parts of the middle to get me back to the things that made me love the first book so much.

BUT (and that’s a big but) I recognize that The Map from Here to There wasn’t written for me. I’m not a teenager. I can see a ton of value in this book for a teenager. It deals with a multitude of issues relating to senior year, picking colleges, relationships that might change with choices made for the future. It also does a good job portraying stress, anxiety, and being overwhelmed by the future. So while it wasn’t my favorite read, I see a need for it. I see younger people connecting with and enjoying it more than I did and absolutely loving it.

Review: #IMomSoHard (Hensley & Smedley)

#IMomSoHard
Authors: Kristin Hensley, Jen Smedley
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
Publisher: HarperOne
Genre: Memoir, Humor, Non-Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

In their highly-anticipated first book, the hilarious mom duo with millions of followers explores all the ridiculous shit you’re expected to do to keep multiple humans alive and happy-ish, and celebrates the love for the friends who get you through it.

Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley, the creators of #IMomSoHard, are just like you and your best mom friend, only funnier and with more wine. Perhaps you’ve seen one of their insanely popular videos musing on everything from impractical swimsuit fashions to “Things I Found in My Bra.” Or maybe you’ve gone to one of the shows on their sold-out tour, hailed as “monster truck rallies for moms.” Or you might have just taken a break from mom-ing so hard yourself and decided to read some adult words for a few minutes. Did you pour yourself some wine?

This is not a self-help book. Kristin and Jen know that you probably didn’t get to shower today and that the last thing you need is advice on all the stuff you’re doing wrong. Instead, Kristin and Jen talk nipple hair, sex after marriage, Mom-bods, and their unhealthy obsession with Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones. #IMomSoHard is packed with the back-and-forth laugh-out-loud best-friend banter that Kristin and Jen are known for, with plenty of real talk about post-partum depression, bullying, and the dark thoughts that plague every mom. Throughout it all, they know the ups and downs of motherhood often have nothing to do with your kids—it’s the female friendships and solidarity you have with other moms that makes it all worthwhile.

#IMomSoHard is like a long, funny, gab session with your best mom friends. Kristin and Jen know 6:00–8:00 pm is the worst time to call you. They know not to give harass you when you show up to a playdate in a free t-shirt you got from the dentist. They won’t give pep talks, but they will talk you down from the motherhood ledge, because, congrats: you’re passing with a “C”—and that’s all any of us can hope for.


I put #IMomSoHard on my Christmas list after watching Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley’s comedy special of the same title. I laughed my butt off watching that show, and I knew I would do the same reading the book. I totally did. These ladies know how to make life entertaining. I identified with so much of their mommy, body, pregnancy, life talk. I loved how they took boring facts about themselves and made them funny. #IMomSoHard was a hilarious read.

Review: Bitter Falls (Rachel Caine)

Bitter Falls
Series: Stillhouse Lake, #4
Author: Rachel Caine
Publication Date: January 21, 20120
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

She’s investigating a cold case no one else could—by going places no else would dare.

In spite of a harrowing past still haunting her, Gwen Proctor is trying to move forward. Until a new assignment gives her purpose: the cold-case disappearance of a young man in Tennessee. Three years missing, no clues. Just Ruth Landry, a tortured mother in limbo. Gwen understands what it’s like to worry about your children.

Gwen’s investigation unearths new suspects…and victims. As she follows each sinister lead, the implications of the mystery grow more disturbing. Because the closer Gwen gets, the closer she is to a threat that looms back home.

In a town that’s closed its ranks against Gwen; her partner, Sam; and her kids, there’s no bolder enemy than the Belldene family—paramilitary, criminal, powerful, and vengeful. As personal vendettas collide with Gwen’s investigation, she’s prepared to fight both battles. But is she prepared for the toll it could take on everyone she loves?


I’m a fan of Rachel Caine’s Stillhouse Lake series. I love how she writes a good, fast-paced thriller. Since Bitter Falls contains a thrilling mystery, I’m going to keep my review to what I liked and didn’t like about this book.

Likes:

  • Rachel Caine’s writing was just as easy to get swept away in as always. She kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what was coming next.
  • I loved the Prologue. It made me so curious as to what was to come.
  • Seeing how Gwen’s kids’ lives continued to be burdened by their father’s notoriety was interesting.
  • The whole cult aspect of this book was fascinating. It gave an even more twisted feel to things — especially with its connections to Wolfhunter River (book 3).
  • How everything came together in the end.

Dislikes:

  • I hate to say it, but some of the continued themes that have traveled through each book are starting to feel a little too repetitive.
  • Some things that happened felt a little unbelievable.

Overall, Bitter Falls was a great addition to the Stillhouse Lake series. If you like thrillers and haven’t yet read this series, I highly recommend going back and starting at Stillhouse Lake.

WWW Wednesday: January 1, 2020

Welcome to WWW Wednesday!

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. The purpose is to share what I’ve reading lately. The three W’s stand for:

What did you recently finish reading?
What are you currently reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Recently Read

HAPPY NEW YEAR’S DAY! I hate to say it, but I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump over the past couple of weeks as well as super busy hanging with my family. The only book I was able to finish was an ARC of The Fight for Forever (Legend Trilogy, #3).

Currently Reading

I’m started reading #IMomSoHard earlier this week and am about half way through it. I’m also a little less than half way through Love Broken.

Reading Next

I think I’m going to read  Art & Soul.

What are you reading? Make sure to leave me your link below so I can check out your post. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten of My Favorite Books I Read in 2019

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is:

Ten of My Favorite Books I Read in 2019

These are all books I read this year. They didn’t have to be published in 2019. They’re just books that have stuck in my mind long past finishing them.

1. Daisy Jones & The Six
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid

2. The Other Side
Author: Kim Holden

3. Letters to Molly
Author: Devney Perry

4. Collared
Author: Nicole Williams

5.The Simple Wild
Author: K.A. Tucker

6. Salvaged
Author: Jay Crownover

7. Flight Patterns
Author: Karen White

8. Beard with Me / Beard Necessities
Author: Penny Reid

9. Next Year in Havana
Author: Chanel Cleeton

10. The How & the Why
Author: Cynthia Hand

2019 End of the Year Survey

Welcome to my 2019 End of the Year Survey
(Hosted by The Perpetual Page Turner)

**2019 READING STATS**

Number Of Books You Read: More than I care to admit. Let’s just say I hit my Goodreads goal and then some. I actually read about 50 or so less books than in 2018, though.

Number of Re-Reads: Like 16? All were audiobook re-reads, so actually listens.

Genre You Read The Most From: Contemporary Romance

1. Best Book You Read In 2019?

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

Good: I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did for some reason.

Bad: There was so much hype surrounding this one, and it just didn’t live up to it at all.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Hmm… I’m not sure. I feel like I’m pushing Bright Side by Kim Holden and Nine Minutes by Beth Flynn every year. I don’t know if everyone read it that I told to, but I did push this one a lot.

5. Best series you started in 2019? Best Sequel of 2019? Best Series Ender of 2019?

This question is brutal this year! Honestly, I could have answered these so many different ways, but here’s what I am going with…

Best series I started: Landon & Shay: Part 1 by Brittainy C. Cherry
Best sequel of 2019: Letters to Molly (Maysen Jar, #2) by Devney Perry
Best series ender of 2019: Beard Necessities (Winston Brothers, #7) by Penny Reid

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2019?

Devney Perry

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I’m lumping these two together. I read Illuminae a couple of years ago, but just got back to finishing the series.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

This is probably my favorite thriller I read this year.

 9. Book You Read In 2019 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

For some reason, this is my go-to book and series to re-listen to. I have a feeling I’ll be doing that again next year.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2019?

11. Most memorable character of 2019?

Daisy Jones

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2019?

Bryn Greenwood writes such ugly things is such a pretty way. I don’t even know how to describe it.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2019?

This is a personal one for me because both the author and her MC are adoptees. I am as well, so I identified with a lot of the thoughts and feelings.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2019 to finally read? 

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2019?

“Guilt and me, we’re conjoined. One. When it isn’t stabbing me, I drag it around like a ball and chain.”
Kim Holden, The Other Side

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2019?

Longest: 1014 pages

Shortest: 32 pages

(How I did this: Went to my read books on Goodreads and sorted by page number and just looked for what I knew I read this year that was the shortest and longest.)

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)

I did not see the cliffhanger coming at all.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

I read mostly romance, so this was a hard choice for me. I have to go with Wheeler and Poppy, though.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Cap, Kline, Thatch, Will, Trent, Theo… All the billionaire book club members.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2019 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

21. Best Book You Read In 2019 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:

Thanks, Ari!

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2019?

I don’t really do fictional crushes and this guy would be too young, so he’s just one of my new favorite male characters: Jace from Girl at Heart. Jace was super nice and an all around good guy.

23. Best 2019 debut you read?

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

I couldn’t just pick one, so you get three: The Guy on the Right, Top Secret, and Girl at Heart.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2019?

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

I felt so horrible for the kids in this book.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2019?

The format really set this book apart. The audio was especially amazing.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

If you’ve read this one, you probably know why. There’s a relationship that I was not okay with. It made me really uncomfortable, but the writing was so dang good!

1. New favorite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2019?

Our Book Boyfriends

2. Favorite post you wrote in 2019?

I don’t have one. That’s sad, right? So here’s my review for my favorite book of the year:
https://anovelglimpse.com/2019/03/29/review-daisy-jones-the-six-taylor-jenkins-reid/

3. Favorite bookish related photo you took in 2019:?

I didn’t really take any bookish photos that would be favorites. Lol.

4. Best bookish event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events,  etc.)?

Sadly, I didn’t attend any bookish events this year.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2019?

This year I focused on reading backlisted books on my TBR. I was able to prioritize and bring the number of books on my TBR down.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Writing reviews. I didn’t always feel inspired.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

My review for Meghan March’s Deal with the Devil:
https://anovelglimpse.com/2019/01/17/review-deal-with-the-devil-meghan-march/

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Can I just say ALL OF THEM?

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

My most recent discovery is probably the Read Me Romance podcast. It’s a fun way to listen to romance novellas written by some of my favorite authors.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I did a Goodreads Challenge of 200 books and completed that. I also set out to read a book set in each of the 50 United States. I was able to complete all with the exception of Delaware, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Rhode Island.

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2019 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2020?

I’m just waiting for my library hold to come in…

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2020 (non-debut)?

3. 2020 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2020?

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2020?

I want to finish reading all of the backlilst books on my TBR and then focus on the new releases I want to read. I want to continue to limit the ARCs I request as well.

6. A 2020 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

Review: Firecracker (Kelly Jamieson)

Firecracker
Author: Kelly Jamieson
Publication Date: January 28, 2020
Publisher: Kelly Jamieson Inc
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Arden Lennox’s charmed life may be in pieces, but she’d sooner get her hoohaw bleached than move back in with her parents. She’s no longer the prom-queen princess married to the football star. She’s a broke, penniless widow, and it’s time she stood on her own two feet.

An under-construction unit in a quaint Chicago brownstone is cheap (free), but it comes with an unexpected surprise. Tyler Ramirez, her brother’s gawky high school best friend, is now a smoking hot firefighter who spends most of his spare time in her unit hammering, drilling, and screwing. Usually with his shirt off—a temptation she has no intention of indulging.

Tyler can’t believe his high school crush is living right across the hall, or how fast his fierce lust for her comes blazing back. She’s still gorgeous—a little sadder, a little quieter, but still with the amazing smile and sweet body that fueled his awkward teenage fantasies.

Despite her best intentions, Arden can’t resist grown up Tyler but the sparks between them send her into full retreat. And by the time she realizes the heat between them could last a lifetime, it could be too late to tell him…


I’m a big fan of a few of Kelly Jamieson’s hockey romance series, so when I saw she was releasing Firecracker I jumped on the opportunity to read it. I thought I would love it based on her previous writing and the blurb. I love a falling in love with your brother’s best friend romance.

Firecracker is one of those books that I didn’t completely fall in love with but enjoyed for the most part. Arden and Tyler’s romance was super cute, sweet, and packed with scorching chemistry. Where it lacked for me was in Arden’s character. I didn’t like what was going on in her head. It felt a little forced and frustrated me. That could be largely in part to this book being written in third person or maybe I just didn’t truly connect with Arden’s character. I don’t know. Whatever it was left me feeling in like but not love with Firecracker. I would still totally read a book about Jamie and Mila, though, if Jamieson was to write one.

Series Review: Jamison Valley (Devney Perry)

Over the past couple of weeks I have been binge reading the Jamison Valley series by Devney Perry. Today, I’m sharing with you my mini reviews for each book.


The Coppersmith Farmhouse ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
I can’t believe this was Perry’s first novel. It was written like a seasoned veteran author. I mean, I can see how her writing has matured since I read some of her newer releases first, but I was still impressed. I loved everything that was going on in the novel. My favorite thing about it had to be Jess, though. I loved the way he loved Gigi and Rowen. I have some of the same concerns Gigi had, but I loved how those worked themselves out. My only complaint about this book is that Jess didn’t get his own POV.

The Clover Chapel ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I read the Gypsy King last month. I didn’t realize that this book was connected to that book. It was a great surprise — one that started this book out on top. I ended up loving The Clover Chapel so much. It’s Devney Perry’s writing at its best. I adored Nick and Emmy. Their romance and story was fabulous!

The Lucky Heart ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
I thought that I wasn’t going to be as big of fan of this book as I was the first two because of Felicity. The introduction to her character in The Clover Chapel did not make me a fan. The Lucky Heart did. I liked that she had grown up over the years since high school and wanted to make amends to the people she hurt. It didn’t hurt that Silas brought out the best in her. I loved their romance.

The Outpost ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
This was another book in the series I wasn’t sure I would like because of how I met Sabrina in the previous book. I wasn’t her biggest fan in that book. I ended up really loving it. Beau and Sabrina were so cute together. I loved the build up of their relationship and how it all came together in the end. I also liked the peak at Bryce, who we meet again in Perry’s new series Gypsy King (Tin Gypsies, #1).

The Bitterroot Inn ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I don’t have much to say about The Bitterroot Inn other than I loved it. It was predictable in the way romances with a touch of suspense can be, but that only added to the story. Hunter was so sweet to Maisy. I was so happy she got her happy ending after that first book.

The Candle Palace ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
This was a great way to end the series. It was short and sweet. Perry somehow managed to pack as much punch in this novella as she did in each of the full length books. I loved that I got to know how Milo met Sara.

Overall, this was a great series. I loved that I could see Perry’s writing progress and strengthen throughout it. Plus, all the romances were lovely.

WWW Wednesday: December 25, 2019

Welcome to WWW Wednesday!

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. The purpose is to share what I’ve reading lately. The three W’s stand for:

What did you recently finish reading?
What are you currently reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Recently Read

Merry Christmas to those who are celebrating today!
This week I finished binge reading the Jamison Valley series with The Bitterroot Inn (Jamison Valley, #5) and The Candle Palace (Jamison Valley, #6). I read 2020 ARCs of Firecracker and Bitter Falls (Stillhouse Lake, #4). I also read the holiday novella Kissmas Eve and Tempt the Hookup (Tempt, #3).


Currently Reading

I’m reading Perfectly Oblivious (Perfect,#1).

Reading Next

Since I’m writing this post ahead of time, I won’t know if any books “magically” showed up under my tree today. If one did, I’m going to make that my next read.

Did any books show up under your tree today or did you receive any as holiday gifts if you celebrate a different holiday? Let me know which ones in the comments! Also, make sure to leave me your link below so I can check out your post. 🙂