Top Ten Tuesday: Had to Have Them, But Haven't Read Them


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

This Week's Top Ten Tuesday Topic:
The Books I HAD to Have... But Have Not Read

Was this an easy prompt, or what? I mean, this is the life of every bookworm. 
We see the book, we need the book, we buy the book... and yeah, you know the rest.

  We all know that buying the book does not equate to actually reading the book.   
So here are ten books that I HAD to have - I may have even pre-ordered them or bought them on the day of release - but have yet to read. 

The Highland Fling by Meghan Quinn
Don't Kiss the Bride by Carian Cole
A Stormy and Sultry Sea by Katie McGarry
Whiteout by Adriana Anders
Dane's Storm by Mia Sheridan
A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas
Credence by Penelope Douglas
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

Have you read any of these books?

The Sunday Post #288 | May 15, 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

My mom gave us a scare this week. She had a TIA (transient ischemic attack) Thursday afternoon and even though the symptoms (very similar to stroke symptoms) passed quickly, we still had her transported to the hospital. After a 24 hour stay, numerous tests, and many consultations, she was released to go home. Every single person we dealt with at the hospital was kind and caring and just amazing, but it was still a pretty stressful - and exhausting - few days.

Feel free to skip this part if you have no interest in the NHL playoffs. 😉 The Tampa Lightning won Game 4 last Sunday, lost Game 5 on Tuesday, and that meant they had to win Game 6 on Thursday. They ended up winning in overtime (I thought I was going to have a heart attack from the suspense LOL) and it was *so* exciting. As I write this it is Saturday afternoon and Game 7 is tonight. This will determine who moves on to round two of the playoffs... and who just goes home. It will be an exciting night at my house! 😀
Update 11:55 pm: They did it! The Lightning won Game 7 and will advance to Round Two of the Stanley Cup playoffs! <insert screaming and flailing>

If this story of a woman's 92-year-old grandpa asking her over for a sleepover doesn't bring a tear to your eye... well, you might not have a heart. ;)

The Husband and I are headed out for a little getaway in about a week and I can't wait. I'm in desperate need of some R&R. It's been way too long. Hopefully this coming week will fly by!

This week's 80's music fix is Mary's Prayer (1987) by Danny Wilson. While it wasn't a huge hit, I always loved it. Enjoy!

O N   T H E   B L O G
Tuesday, May 10

Friday, May 13

W H A T   I   R E A D

Kindle: One Way Back to Me (Wilder Brothers #1) by Carrie Ann Ryan - ⭐⭐⭐.25
Audio: My Famous Frenemy (The Greene Family #6) by Piper Rayne - ⭐⭐⭐.5
Audio: A Greene Family Vacation (The Greene Family #6.5) by Piper Rayne - ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Kindle: Whisper of Sin (Psy-Changeling #0.75) by Nalini Singh - ⭐⭐⭐⭐.25

C U R R E N T L Y   R E A D I N G 


Kindle: Stone (Pittsburgh Titans #2) by Sawyer Bennett
Audio: Just One Night (The Kingston Family #1) by Carly Phillips

N E W   A D D I T I O N S

Not a thing.

T O T A L L Y   R A N D O M


Short Take Reviews: The Psy-Changeling Edition


Hi friends. I'm using my Short Take Review banner for this post but I'm not even sure these can be considered reviews. More like my fast and furious thoughts on each Psy-Changeling book I've read so far. I've only read two of the full-length novels, but I've also made it a point to read the bonus material as I go and those have been so good! So here are my super-quick thoughts on each.
Psy-Changeling #1

I was sucked right into this world that Singh created. She did a great job of setting up the dichotomy between the Psy and the Changelings (humans don't come into play much). Sascha, a Cardinal Psy, constantly had to hide the fact that she actually experienced emotions, something that had been basically conditioned out of the Psy race. Her interactions with Lucas, an Alpha Changeling, threw those emotions into turmoil. I loved the push and pull between Sascha and Lucas. There was mutual distrust but also incredible chemistry. I admit I was confused by some of the intricacies of the Psy world, but I just went with it. The tension really amped up at the end as I tried to see a way out for Sascha. The connection between she and Lucas hit me right in the heart and as soon as I turned the last page I was ready for more.  Final thoughts: I can't believe I slept on this series for so long. 4 STARS

Psy-Changeling #2

This second book paired another Psy, who had to hide her emotions (even when she didn't recognize that's what they were), with a member of the DarkRiver pack. Faith's mental state was fragile and the dark and violent visions she was having put her in peril. Having been isolated for much of her life, she found the outside world completely overwhelming. As a Sentinel, Vaughn held a position of authority within the pack, and he was perhaps the wildest of the Changelings, with his inner jaguar being very close to the surface at all times. I loved how tactile Vaughn was and, even though Faith was so sensitive to touch and would often ask not to be touched, he just couldn't help himself. I'm finding that I'm much more invested in the Changeling aspect of the stories than the Psy (especially when there's too much info given about the PsyNet - oy, my head!). Overall, I loved Vaughn and Faith's story - maybe even more than the first book. 4 STARS

After reading the first two books, I delved into some of the bonus content (short stories and novellas) and each one delivered in a big way!

Psy-Changeling #0.5
*Included in the anthology Wild Invitation

Oh my heart! This story of how Tamsyn, the DarkRiver healer, and Nathan, a DarkRiver Sentinel, came together about broke me. Tamsyn had known she was meant for Nathan for several years but he refused to complete their mating bond, convinced that because of her age she needed to be free and experience life before being mated. I felt Tamsyn's hurt and heartbreak on every page and at one point had tears running down my face. In just 78 pages, Singh managed to destroy me... and I loved it. 4.5 STARS

Psy-Changeling #0.6
*Short story on Singh's website

This short story gave a little peek at Tamsyn and Nathan years down the road when they finally had cubs of their own. Super quick and super sweet. 4 STARS

Psy-Changeling #0.75
*Included in the anthology Burning Up

Loved it! This novella featured Emmett, a lethal DarkRiver leopard soldier, and Ria, a Chinese-American young woman with an overprotective family. After Emmett saves her from an attack, she finds herself under his protection. And while Ria may have been small in stature, she had serious backbone and spirit. I could sit here and wax rhapsodic about Emmett for pages. I adored him! He was incredibly protective, eminently sweet, and I was a puddle of mush reading every page.           4.5 STARS

Psy-Changeling #1.1
*Short story on Singh's website

This was another quickie that featured Lucas and Sascha babysitting Julian and Roman (Tamsyn and Nathan's cubs). I love the interactions these two have with the cubs - so adorable! - and it made for a sweet snippet with the original couple. 4 STARS


Top Ten Tuesday: These Are My People | Bookish Book Characters


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

This Week's Top Ten Tuesday Topic:
These Are My People - Bookish Book Characters

As a bookworm, is there anything better than reading about a fellow book person?
Whether a character is a reader, a writer, a bookstore owner, or some other bookish thing, I get positively giddy when I read about someone who loves books and reading as much as I do. It's like, instant connection! And I want to yell: you are my people!

Here are my picks for some of my favorite bookish characters.

Presley opens a bookstore (next door to the guy who is pursuing her).

Holden becomes a respected author (while pining for River).

Julian owns a bookstore (sometimes frequented by non-humans).

Kat is a book blogger (with a sexy alien next door).

Breen becomes a published author (in between battles and riding a dragon).

Presley loves to read (and gets sexy cowboy Colton to pose in her Bookstagram pics).

Sophie is a mystery writer (who finds herself involved in a real life mystery).

Hazel loves books (so much that she travels to Amsterdam to meet her favorite author).

Winnie helped run her mother's bookstore (and then fell for a professional hockey player).

Cassandra becomes an author (and gets pregnant after one night with a former MC member).

Have you read any of these books?

The Sunday Post #287 | May 8, 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

Happy Mother's Day to those who celebrate it. For those of you who do not have a mom (or mom-figure) in your life right now, I'm sending you hugs. I know that Father's Day is a little sad for me since losing my dad. I should be seeing my mom for dinner tonight. I hope you have a great day no matter how you spend it.

Is it just me or was this the Longest. Week. Ever? Not a bad week, but looong. I worked from home on Thursday just to break up the week and have a change of pace. I was beyond happy when Friday finally rolled around. Sheesh!

The NHL playoffs started this week and it's been up and down. My team (the Tampa Lightning) have won one game and lost two. It's a best of seven series sooo... they really need to win tonight before they're in dire straits. 

In some "hey, that's pretty cool" news, the Broward County Public Library in Florida is allowing anyone to sign up for a library card, no matter where they live (although, I imagine it's limited to the U.S.). That means you would get access to their entire Hoopla catalog... so hooray for more free ebooks and audiobooks! Just go here and click on Apply Online for a Library Instant eCard.

Duran Duran was my band throughout the 80's. I was obsessed. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this week so for this week's 80's music fix we're going with The Reflex (1983). Enjoy!

O N   T H E   B L O G
Tuesday, May 3

Friday, May 6

W H A T   I   R E A D

Audio: Kiss and Don't Tell (Vancouver Agitators #1) by Meghan Quinn - ⭐⭐⭐⭐.25
Kindle: Visions of Heat (Psy-Changeling #2) by Nalini Singh - ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Kindle: A Night for Us (The Wilder Brother #0.5) by Carrie Ann Ryan - ⭐⭐⭐.5
Kindle: Roping the Cowboy (Circle B Ranch #0.5)by Kennedy Fox - ⭐⭐⭐.5

C U R R E N T L Y   R E A D I N G 


Audio: My Famous Frenemy (Greene Family #6) by Piper Rayne
Kindle: One Way Back to Me (The Wilder Brothers #1) by Carrie Ann Ryan

N E W   A D D I T I O N S

Not a thing.

T O T A L L Y   R A N D O M


Review: The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner

by Jennifer Weiner
Publication date: May 10, 2022
Format: eARC
Source: Atria Books and Netgalley
4 Stars

When her twenty-two-year-old stepdaughter announces her engagement to her pandemic boyfriend, Sarah Danhauser is shocked. But the wheels are in motion. Headstrong Ruby has already set a date (just three months away!) and spoken to her beloved safta, Sarah’s mother Veronica, about having the wedding at the family’s beach house on Cape Cod. Sarah might be worried, but Veronica is thrilled to be bringing the family together one last time before putting the big house on the market.

But the road to a wedding day usually comes with a few bumps. Ruby has always known exactly what she wants, but as the wedding date approaches, she finds herself grappling with the wounds left by the mother who walked out when she was a baby. Veronica ends up facing unexpected news, thanks to her meddling sister, and must revisit the choices she made long ago, when she was a bestselling novelist with a different life. Sarah’s twin brother, Sam, is recovering from a terrible loss, and confronting big questions about who he is—questions he hopes to resolve during his stay on the Cape. Sarah’s husband, Eli, who’s been inexplicably distant during the pandemic, confronts the consequences of a long ago lapse from his typical good-guy behavior. And Sarah, frustrated by her husband, concerned about her stepdaughter, and worn out by challenges of life during quarantine, faces the alluring reappearance of someone from her past and a life that could have been.

When the wedding day arrives, lovers are revealed as their true selves, misunderstandings take on a life of their own, and secrets come to light. There are confrontations and revelations that will touch each member of the extended family, ensuring that nothing will ever be the same.

On sale: May 10, 2022 | Atria Books 

Hardcover | 416 pages | ISBN: 9781501133572, $28.00

eBook ISBN: 9781501133596, $14.99


Every spring/summer I know to expect soaring temperatures (I’m in Florida so hot and humid is the norm), an influx of tourists (also the norm), and a juicy new release from Jennifer Weiner. This year’s release, The Summer Place, brings a multi-generational story of family secrets that all (well, almost all) come to light as everyone gathers at the matriarch’s Cape Cod beach house for a wedding.

The Summer Place is told from multiple points of view, each character with their own background, their own struggles, and bringing their own secrets to the family gathering. Among them are:

Sarah – An almost-forty mother and stepmother, whose husband has become increasingly distant. As she grapples with the what-if’s in her life, she’s also questioning the state of her marriage.

Eli – Sarah’s husband, who moved past his first wife walking out on him and their young daughter more than twenty years ago. Now a past indiscretion threatens to upset the life he has built with Sarah.

Ruby – Eli’s daughter who, at twenty-two has always known exactly what she wanted and worked toward it with single-minded determination. With her wedding date drawing nearer, she finds that for the first time in her life she’s not quite so certain of what she wants.

Veronica (Ronnie) – Happy to host the wedding of her step-granddaughter, Ronnie is thrilled for a large family gathering at her beloved Cape Cod home before putting the house on the market.

Sam – Sarah's twin brother has always felt something was missing. Now widowed and raising his young stepson on the West coast, Sam begins to question who he is and what he wants – and hopes for answers when he returns home to Cape Cod for his niece’s wedding.

Admittedly, this did start out a bit slow for me. Weiner delved into the background of each character, establishing their history and their motivations. This went a long way toward character development, but also felt as though there wasn’t a lot of forward momentum to the story. Thankfully, the second half picked up considerably and the more I read the less I wanted to put the book down. By the end I was turning the pages in a blur, desperate to see how it would all play out.

Weiner is a longtime favorite and she has a true gift at creating fully-rounded, complex, and flawed characters. In many ways, their lives and their situations are all too real and relatable. The Summer Place has clever twists and coincidences, but at its heart is a story about the bonds of family, in all its messy glory. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Disclosure: I received a complimentary advance copy of this book for review. This does not impact my opinion of the book or the content of this review. I received no compensation and my review is voluntary.

About Jennifer Weiner...

 Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eighteen books, including Big Summer, Mrs. Everything, Good in Bed, and an essay collection, Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing. A graduate of Princeton University and a frequent contributor to the New York Times Opinion section, Jennifer lives with her family in Philadelphia.

Twitter: @jenniferweiner 

Facebook: @jenniferweiner

Instagram: @jenniferweinerwrites

TikTok: @jenweinerwrites