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Showing posts from 2021

Plots of Gold in a Month Filled with Rainbows

Game Changers series by Rachel Reid   Contemporary romance, Carina Press   For fans of Sawyer Bennett, Sarina Bowen, Kate Meader, hockey, and sports romances with as much emotional substance as sexual heat   1. Game Changer   Being oneself is worth the risk.   2. Heated Rivalry   Misdirection misleads almost everyone, even the two people involved.   3. Tough Guy   Hard shell, soft center. Yum. Unapologetically authentic creative. More yum.   4. Common Goal   Not quite May-December brings the heat off the ice year-round.   5. Role Model (coming August 2021)   The first four rank high on emotional intimacy, sexual chemistry, and nuanced character complexity. They range from medium to high on the squick-o-meter of physical intimacy.  Reviews for the following two titles will post to at some later date.   Learned Reactions (Higher Education #2) by Jayce Ellis   Contemporary romance, Carina Press   A recluse and a playboy eventually figure out what they want.   https:/

#TBT #ThrowbackThursday May 13, 2021

  Bookshelves Got Stacks by Cardyn Brooks   as inspired by “Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-a-Lot   I like big books and I can not lie   You other readers can't deny   That when a good book takes up so much prime shelf space, wow   And a wide spine in your face, you get crazed   Wanna check it out ‘cause you notice that title is bait   Deep thought meanings, it's blaring   I'm intrigued and can’t stop staring   Oh, big books, I wanna start reading   And take your measure   Reviewers tried to warn me   That big books ARCs sent (they so binge-y!)   Oh, door-stopper reads   You say you wanna expand my mind?   Well, do it, do it   ‘Cause you ain't that average-length read    

Mommy Issues, Good Mothers, Bad A** Moms, Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage & More

  It's Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake by Claire Christian   Contemporary romantic women's fiction   Mira Books, February 2021   Noni Blake is smart, funny, and dedicated to her family, friends, and students. She's also a charming, neurotic mess who uses a list of past lovers to set off on a journey to become her most authentic self. It's a risky and intentional endeavor to navigate adulthood. Near the beginning during a chat between Noni and her bestie, they speculate that “… aging is actually just about getting used to yourself… or fighting against it.”   In a slapstick, absurdist manner that also incorporates emotional nuance and sensitivity, It's Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake taps into prominent themes from Alice Walker’s non-fiction work The Same River Twice as applied to one's romantic past with Cher's “If I Could Turn Back Time" and Willie Nelson's and Julio Iglesias’s “To All the Girls I've Loved Before" (where Girls = People) dominating

It's Independent Bookstore Day Saturday, April 24, 2021!

  Today and every day books--new releases, remainders, collectibles, rare finds,, used (pre-read?), sheet music, bookish merch, etc.--need readers to buy them from independent bookstores that keep them in stock and special ordered, just waiting to be discovered and claimed by curious humans of all ages, orientations, ethnicities, nationalities, abilities, shapes, sizes, heights, shades, genders, and personality types who are eager to explore the universes of adventure, entertainment, and information a stellar variety of authors and creatives contribute to the readersphere. Independent bookstores anchor their neighborhoods and serve their neighbors. They're sources of dynamic exchanges of investments in mutual benefits of enrichment—cultural, economic, emotional, and intellectual—engagement, connection, and joy.   As a person who was born in Washington, D.C., raised mostly in Maryland, and attended college in Virginia, my regional bias leans toward the U.S. mid-Atlantic, and my list

Warm Weather, Hot Reads & Dyslexia Strategies

Fur Baby Matchmaker on a Mission   Joint Custody by Lauren Baratz-Logsted & Jackie Logsted -contemporary   Sex, Lies & Conspiracies    Earl’s Well That Ends Well (Way to a Lord's Heart #5) by Jane Ashford -historical   No Holding Back by Lori Foster -contemporary   Walking the Edge by Sue Ward Drake -contemporary   Who Wants to Marry a Duke (Duke Dynasty #3) by Sabrina Jefferies -historical   A Wolf After My Own Heart (BeWere My Heart #2) by MaryJanice Davidson -contemporary   Won't Go Home Without You (Richardson Sisters #2) by Cheris Hodges -contemporary   Seri(es)ous Reading   Any Rogue Will Do (Misfits of Mayfair #1) by Bethany Bennett -historical   Beauty Tempts the Beast (Sins for All Seasons #6) by Lorraine Heath -historical  • More an assortment of clever twists on “My Fair Lady" than a retelling of “Beauty and the Beast"   Careless Whispers (Jackson Falls #4) by Synithia Williams -contemporary   Falling Hard (Colorado High Country #3) by Pam

2021 First Quarter (Mostly) Romance Reading Round-Up*

Contemporary Reads for Lovers of Lists (& Rules to Break) to Add to Their TBR Lists How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams  Much Ado About You by Samantha Young  Ten Rules for Faking It by Sophie Sullivan  Revenge/Retribution   The Devil in Her Bed (Devil You Know #3) by Kerrigan Byrne (historical)  The Last True Gentleman (True Gentlemen #12) by Grace Burrowes (historical)  Triple M Murder by Carmen Cady (contemporary supernatural romantic suspense) -involuntary compliance trigger warning Contemporary Meta Paradise for Trope Lovers   Truth, Lies, and Second Dates (Danger, Sweetheart universe #3) by MaryJanice Davidson  Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur**   Faux-mance Gone Real    First Comes Like (Modern Love #3) by Alisha Rai (contemporary)  Someday My Duke Will Come (Isle of Synne #2) by Christina Britton (historical)  Nonconformists in Love   The Worst Duke in the World (Penhallow Dynasty #5) by Lisa Berne (historical)  40-Love (Marysburg #2) by Olivia Dade (c


Big Bad Wolf by Suleikha Snyder   Supernatural romance thriller   Sourcebooks Casablanca, January 26, 2021   Is it possible to defend the indefensible?   Attorney and psychologist Neha Ahluwalia is tasked with finding the answer from Joe Peluso. At first glance he's a homicidal vigilante who's a lone wolf in more ways than one. When Neha probes deeper, assorted deadly secrets are revealed, putting her and Joe into multiple sets of dangerous crosshairs and sending them on the run where their smoldering chemistry ignites.   Warring criminal factions, covert operatives, political gamesmanship, bloody conflicts, and competing supernatural groups make Big Bad Wolf a rollicking good read. An organically inclusive cast of characters who move through an exaggerated sociopolitical magnification of present-day cultural strife adds nuanced emotional intimacy, philosophical complexity and resonance to this edgy alternate universe. Key elements are reminiscent of the World of the Lupi serie

Celebrate Love 24/7/365 (Not Just V-Day)

  Unforgettable Valentine by Stella Williams   Contemporary erotic romance novella  Serpentine Creative, LLC, February 12, 2021  Sanai Carlisle sets out on a blustery winter night to surprise her boyfriend. On the way there she collides with Dominic Westmoore and alters the course of both their lives. Unforgettable Valentine is a super sexy romp that uses a clumsy, awkward meet-cute to launch into a mad-cap homage to popular romance tropes. Caught in flagrante delicto, stranded with a stranger, fake relationship, and more combined with surprising moments of profound self-reflection and emotional intimacy make Sanai and Dominic's story a fun, satisfying read. It's a sizzling, sweet bonbon of a tale.   [note: In the NetGalley ARC the spelling of the lead character's name flip flops between Sanai and Sinai.]   Winner Takes All by Sandra Kitt   Contemporary romance   Sourcebooks Casablanca, April 6, 2021   Juggling the daily responsibilities and last-minute duties for the mayor

Adulting & Saving the Universe Are Exhausting

Reality in Chaos by Monique Kelley  Contemporary women's fiction  Black Rose Writing, January 13, 2021   In 1999 best friends and newly minted Hampton University graduates Simone, Jackie, and Taylor move to Los Angeles, California to pursue their respective professional goals in advertising, acting, and art. Eighteen years later as their fortieth birthdays approach their lives have unfolded into disappointing circumstances beneath the surface of their self-confident public personae. Will their shared milestone year mark a reset or a death knell for turning their dreams into reality?   Monique Kelley uses a first-person confessional style that fosters a deep sense of emotional intimacy between characters and readers. Starting with HBCU culture in the prologue evolves into broader issues of skin-color hierarchies, biases related to social class and geographic region, and ageism. Those themes and more are layered upon the foundation of gilded cages of privilege and the often high cost

Celebrating You & Breaking Through in 2021, Plus Romance

Is last year's bumper crop of lemons the main ingredient for this year's success?  Here's a book with plenty of reasons why yes is the answer.  Rethink, Smashing the Myths of Women in Business   Andi Simon, Ph.D.   Non-fiction business biography  Fast Company Press (Greenleaf Book Group, distributor)   January 5, 2021   At a time when the world is reeling from being forced to improvise almost everything on a daily basis, Rethink profiles eleven women, including the author, whose lives and professional careers are prime examples of adaptability that defy entrenched gendered expectations. Invisible barriers to achievement in science, management, finance, and other industries are examined through the lenses of these accomplished women's experiences. Their profiles make for compelling reading and comprise the majority of the text, which is its strength. Notable reading frustrations include points of view and blanket statements that reinforce a narrow focus on a hetero, priv