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Top Ten Tuesday: 2021 Releases That I *Meant* to Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic:
2021 Releases I was Excited For... But Didn't Read

Uh, how much time do you have? Because, as with any list concerning what I meant to read/want to read, we could be a while. But in the spirit of playing by the rules (yawn), I'll keep it to just ten.

Don't Kiss the Bride by Carian Cole
The Highland Fling by Meghan Quinn
A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas
A Stormy and Sultry Sea by Katie McGarry
The Sinner by Emma Scott
The Mixtape by Brittainy C. Cherry
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah


The Sunday Post #276 | January 16, 2022


 The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It's a chance to share news: a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books, 
and share what's coming up on your blog in the week ahead.

T H E   W E E K   I N   R E V I E W

We're mid-way through January and I'm still waiting for some actual winter weather. Like, something to even justify wearing a sweater instead of a tee shirt. It's in the mid-60's today... this is not what I had in mind. :)

I was on the Life360 app (checking to see if my mother made it home okay) when I noticed by my name it stated "Tanya has been at home since 1:30 on Wednesday." I forgot how working from home turns me into such a hermit. I need to take a walk or go for a drive today just to get the heck out of the house. Outdoors, fresh air... what a concept!

I mentioned a couple month ago that I had my 30 year work anniversary. I finally got around to ordering my gift and it arrived this week. It's a gorgeous pendant necklace but I've ordered a new chain since the current one is quite short. 

This week's 80's music fix is Someday Someway (1982) by Marshall Crenshaw. One of my feel-good 80's favorites. Enjoy!

O N   T H E   B L O G

Tuesday, January 11

Thursday, January 13

Friday, January 14

W H A T   I   R E A D


Kindle: One Night on the Island by Josie Silver - ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5
Audio: Beloved by Corinne Michaels - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

C U R R E N T L Y  R E A D I N G


eARC: Running Wild by K.A. Tucker
Audio: Beholden by Corinne Michaels

N E W   A D D I T I O N S

For Review

Tattered Stars by Catherine Cowles

T O T A L L Y   R A N D O M


Short Take Reviews: The Greene Family series by Piper Rayne | Books #0.5 - #3

I was recently in the mood for something short and sweet so I picked up My Twist of Fortune on a whim. And I’m so glad I did! This prequel novella to the Green Family series checked all my boxes and was the perfect introduction to the loud, boisterous, meddling, blended Greene family. There's a time jump between the prequel novella and the rest of the series and subsequent books follow each of the (now grown) Greene kids. I'm excited to continue the series, but for now here are my thoughts through book #3.

by Piper Rayne
Greene Family series #0.5
Pub date: February 4, 2021

Marla returns to Sunrise Bay, Alaska with her four children after divorcing her cheating husband. Determined to make a fresh start in her hometown, she almost immediately encounters Hank Greene, her husband’s cousin. They had feelings for one another in high school but never acted on them. Hank, a widower with five children of his own, is ready to (finally) pursue a relationship with Marla but knows there are hurdles to cross – from their kids and from the small-town gossip that spreads like wildfire.

This was my first book from the writing duo of Piper Rayne and I was hooked from the very start. I loved this story of two people of a certain age, who had been dealt some tough hands, but were willing to take a chance on one another to find lasting happiness. With a perfect mix of sweet and steamy plus some humor, I enjoyed this series starter from beginning to end. 4 STARS

by Piper Rayne
Greene Family series #1
Pub date: February 23, 2021

Cade is the eldest of the siblings in the blended Greene clan. He runs a local brewery with his stepbrother Jed, and has a good life, even if his love life is lacking. When he sees a stranger in the bar one day he’s instantly intrigued. Presley has come to Sunrise Bay for the reading of her mother’s will – the biological mother that she never met. Meeting her sister throws a wrench in Presley’s plans and she decides to stay in town and open her own business in the building she inherited. While Cade and Jed were hoping to expand their business into the space next to the brewery, a plan now foiled with Presley’s arrival, Cade is much more interested in the new owner than his business plan.

Jumping from the prequel novella to this first book and seeing all the Greene kids grown up was such a treat! As the oldest, Cade took his role as big brother seriously and was always looking out for his siblings. Presley was a little prickly at first, unwilling to accept the kindness and friendship of those in Sunrise Bay, but it was understandable considering her background and her feelings concerning her biological family. Once she came around, look out, because she and Cade were off and running. I thoroughly enjoyed this small-town romance and the tight knit Greene family. The family matriarch, Grandma Ethel, was super sassy and not above meddling as she saw fit – and provided plenty of comic relief. With an ending that provided one surprising set-up for the next book, My Beautiful Neighbor was a real treat. 4 STARS

by Piper Rayne
Greene Family series #2
Pub date: April 6, 2021

Adam has been struggling for the past year, ever since his wife walked out with little explanation, ending what he thought was an idyllic marriage to his high school sweetheart. His heartbreak quickly turns to anger and confusion when she returns to Sunrise Bay and approaches him as if all is well. After an accident, Lucy has a form of amnesia and has come back to Sunrise Bay to reclaim her life, and hopefully her memories. The husband she remembers is now distant and angry but still agrees to help her as she attempts to piece together her memories and try to understand why she left Adam, the man she’s always loved.

I’m a sucker for a second chance romance and this one gave me all the feels. I seriously loved Adam and Lucy and my heart ached for them as they took small steps to reconnect. Adam was devastated when Lucy left and was hesitant to trust again. And Lucy desperately wanted answers on why she walked away from Adam and their life together. I adored these two characters, and they truly captured my heart. Grandma Ethel continued to provide some comic relief and the warm, supportive presence of the entire Greene family made My Almost Ex my favorite in the series so far. 4 STARS

by Piper Rayne
Greene Family series #3
Pub date: May 18, 2021

While on a girl’s trip to Vegas, Nikki wakes up to a strange man in the shower… and a ring on her finger. Finding herself married to MMA fighter Logan Stone is a shock and she returns home determined to put it behind her. But she gets a bigger shock when Logan arrives in Sunrise Bay, meets the family, and announces he’s there to make their marriage work.

Nikki’s reports on the town gossip on-air every day at her job at the radio station. Suddenly, with Logan in town, the gossip is about her. I struggled a bit with Nikki because she hasn’t been my favorite character among the Greene family siblings. Her job is literally spreading gossip and rumors, and no one was immune, not even family members. The shining star for me was Logan. What a sweetheart! He was so certain that he and Nikki were meant to be, and he was willing to make sacrifices to make it happen. His patience with Nikki and her trust issues was seemingly unlimited, and I loved his willingness to put his heart on the line. Once again, Piper Rayne gave an ending that provided a big set-up for the next book, and I can’t wait to read more about the close-knit Greene family. 3.75 STARS


Short Take Reviews: Getting Real and Eleanor & Grey


by Emma Chase
Series: Getting Some #3
Format: Audiobook

Connor Daniels never thought he’d be starting over at dating square one. His career as a successful doctor, and his three boys, are everything to him. It’s not exactly a set-up conducive to a scorching love life—but he’s giving it a shot.

ER nurse Violet Robinson never intended for Connor to find out she’s had a crush on him forever. It was a dirty little secret only meant for her dirty dreams. Her heart trips every time he’s around—and so do her feet.

When Connor sees Violet coasting across the grocery store parking lot—and she falls on her face—he starts falling for the gorgeous, young nurse right back.

Dating can be tricky. And life can be beautiful and crazy and unpredictable. But when it gets real, you discover what matters most . . . and the one person you want loving you through it all.

Get ready for some gushing because I loved this return to the Getting Some series. At forty-two, single father Connor is a successful ER doctor. But his foray into dating since his divorce… not so successful. His focus is on raising his three sons and his career, but that hasn’t stopped him from noticing Violet. Violet is an ER nurse with a raging crush on Connor. When a meddling well-meaning friend sets them up to attend a wedding together, their chemistry is obvious and it’s only a matter of time before they take the next step.

I adore this series and I was so happy to return to characters that I know and love. Connor (Garret’s brother from Getting Schooled) and Violet were thoroughly likable, and I really appreciated that these were two mature adults and acted like it. There was no drama or misunderstandings, just two people, both with some baggage, exploring a new relationship and showing so much love, respect, and support. Chase managed to blend together a mixture of romance, humor, steam, and emotion that worked perfectly. There were a few scenes that got me all choked up and others that had me laughing out loud or melted my heart. The cherry on top was the amazing narration by Andi Arndt and Zachary Webber. They truly brought these characters to life and created a feel-good reading experience that I loved. 4.5 stars

by Brittainy C. Cherry
Format: Kindle

Greyson East left his mark on me.

As the young girl who first fell for him, I didn’t know much about life. I did know about his smiles, though, and his laughs, and the strange way my stomach flipped when he was near.

Life was perfect…until it wasn’t, and when we were forced to go our separate ways, I held on to our memories, let go of my first crush, and wished for the day I’d find him again.

When my wish came true, it was nothing like I imagined.

I couldn’t have known when I took the nanny position that it would be his children I looked after, that my new boss would be that boy I used to know, that boy who was now a man—a cold, lonely, detached man.

The smile and laugh I had loved so much were gone, now distant memories. Every part of him was covered in a fresh pain.

When he realized who I was, he made me promise to do my job and my job only.
He made me promise not to try to get to know him, not to recall the memories I’d treasured all this time.

But, sometimes, I saw the boy I’d once known in his stormy eyes. I saw the Greyson who smiled and laughed, who had stolen a young girl’s heart, and there was no doubt in my mind that this boy was worth fighting for.

I was given a second chance with the one who’d left his mark on me. All I hoped was that somehow I’d leave a mark on his soul, too. 

As teenagers, Eleanor and Grey turned to one another and offered support and understanding when they needed it most. Time and distance separated them, and their once-tight bond slowly faded away. Flash forward sixteen years where Eleanor was interviewing for a nanny position – her new employer: the recently widowed Grey. Drowning in grief and guilt, Grey had pulled away from everyone, including his children, after the accident that took his wife. Eleanor barely recognized the man he had become, but was determined to help heal the family, including the boy who once stayed by her side and helped her.

My high expectations may have got the better of me with this one. While there was much to love – the enduring bond between Eleanor and Grey, the realistic portrayal of grief in its many stages and forms, a few characters that were layered and complex (Greyson and Karla) - there were also aspects that left me wanting. Heroine Eleanor was so kind and so pure, and seemingly without faults, that she felt too good to be true. And it was that purity and near-perfection that made her feel like a device, there solely to help Greyson and his children through their grief. At times there was dialogue and some repeated lines (he was him, I was me, and we were us – this was really overused) that started to veer into cheesiness and was *this close* to saccharine. While these few things kept this from being a total win for me, I was invested in Eleanor and Grey and overall enjoyed their emotional journey. 3.75/4 stars (I can't decide)



Top Ten Tuesday: Most Recent Additions

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic:
Most Recent Additions to My Book Shelves

My book buying has lessened considerably over the last year or two as I've concentrated more and more on reading from my own shelves. I have so many books that I am genuinely excited to read, ones that I am certain I will love, and yet they were pushed aside time and time again in favor of new releases and ARC's. A year or two ago I decided enough was enough. I was tired of ignoring my own books. And it has seriously made my book-loving little heart happy.

But that also means I buy less books these days. Many of my new additions are freebies from author newsletters. (Can we take a moment to celebrate the joy that is free books?) There are exceptions, of course: a pre-order from a favorite author, an audiobook, or the occasional rare ARC. So here are the most recent additions to my shelves/Kindle/etc.

Wrecked Palace by Catherine Cowles - I've been meaning to try something by Cowles for ages, especially since her books give me a Devney Perry kind of vibe. Cowles offered this one for free.

Traded by Tess Thompson - This was offered in a recent author newsletter, either Tess's or someone else, I can't recall. The synopsis grabbed me so I nabbed this freebie.

The Summer Proposal by Vi Keelend - I pre-ordered the audio version of this one and it was just released yesterday. Can't wait to start it.

Like the Wind by J. Bengtsson - Like the Wind is the only Bengtsson book I have left to read *sob*. I bought the audio version because hers are always so well done.

Super Hot Wingman by Sarina Bowen & Lauren Blakely - I listened to this one on Sarina's YouTube channel but also downloaded the Kindle version.

Tied by Carian Cole - I listened to Tied last year on audio as a library loan and loved it. One of my favorites of the year. I bought my own copy from Audible because I know I'm going to listen to this one again.

I Really Needed This Today by Hoda Kotb - I received a hardcover copy of this one as a Christmas gift from my sister.

Make Me Stay by Kennedy Fox - Kennedy Fox has become a real favorite over the last year. They offered Make Me Stay for free in a recent newsletter.

Baby, It's Cold Outside by Kait Nolan - This newsletter freebie from Kait Nolan sounds like the perfect wintery read.

The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner - The sole ARC on the list. The publisher sent me a widget since I've reviewed Weiner's last three or four releases. Very excited for this one!