Top Ten Tuesday: Just Say No | Things That Make Me *Not* Want to Read a Book


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

This Week's Top Ten Tuesday Topic:
Things That Make Me Not Want to Read a Book
Last week I shared several (well, ten) things that would instantly make me want to read a book. This week we're flipping the script and focusing on turn-offs. Ten Nine things things make me not want to read a book. No frowny faces if I mention all of your very favorite things. 😉

I've been let down too many times by books that were hyped throughout the book community. No more. Now, if I'm not truly interested in a book, all the hype in the world is not going to get me to read it.

My least favorite trope. Ever. If a synopsis even hints at miscommunication, I'm running the other way.

This seems to be the most popular of all romance tropes, but I'm not a fan. Give me friends to lovers every time.  

As with enemies to lovers, fake dating is another super popular romance trope. But it's not for me.

I'm not a fan of reality shows in real life, and neither do I want to read about them in books. Same goes for competition shows. If a plot is based on any kind of competition, it's probably not one that I'm going to pick up.

Yeah, yeah, I know all about not judging a book by its cover, but we all do it anyway. And for me, illustrated covers are major turn-off. My reading preference leans heavily toward angsty, emotional stories so an illustrated cover basically screams "this is not the book for you!" Plus, I just find it hard to take a book seriously when the cover features illustrated/cartoony characters. *cringe* 

I find it next to impossible to truly connect with characters when a story is written in third person. 

This goes hand in hand with the illustrated covers. Titles with puns (or overly cutesy titles) are such a turn-off and an immediate sign that it's not the book for me.

This is just a personal quirk, but I'm not a fan of book covers with stickers or imprints proclaiming it as some celebrity book club pick. I don't care and I really don't want it on my book cover.

What makes you not want to pick up a book?

Review: Say I'm Yours by Corinne Michaels

by Corinne Michaels
Publication date: 5/25/2017
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible
3.75 Stars

I spent 20 years waiting for Trent Hennington to open his eyes and see me. But it was all for nothing. He chose to keep himself guarded and let me walk away, proving that my time and efforts were wasted.

I'm done being invisible.

It's time to move on.

A single dance sets my new reality into motion, and I welcome it. After all, Cooper Townsend is perfect. He's kind, sexy, and attentive - everything a girl could want.

I thought I got it right this time.

That my heart could mend, and I would be happy.

Apparently, some things really are just too hard to walk away from.

Trent is the eldest of the Hennington brothers and sheriff of his small hometown of Bell Buckle. Grace has been the one for him since he was a teenager, and they’ve been together for years, but he has pulled away from her time and time again. They have broken up before over the years, so when Grace tells him it’s over, he knows she just needs a break before they’ll be back together once again.

Grace has been in love with Trent Hennington for as long as she can remember. But after almost twenty years, she’s done. Trent’s unwillingness to fully commit has left her feeling as though she’s not enough. She wants marriage and, hopefully, if she hasn’t waited too late, children – and Trent has proven over and over that he is never going to be the man to give that to her. It breaks her heart, but she ends things with Trent, and this time she knows it’s for good.

In walks Cooper, brother of Grace’s best friend and someone she’s known her whole life. After much persuasion, Cooper gets her to agree to one date. Just one date so he can show her how she should be treated. Because it seems as though Cooper has had feelings for Grace all these years and has been waiting for his chance.

I’m not sure how successful Corinne Michaels was with this third and final book in the Hennington Brothers series, because while it was obvious that Trent was the end-game, and he and Grace would find their forever, I was solidly Team Cooper. To put it bluntly, Trent acted like a real jerk – to Grace, to Cooper, to his brothers. He had almost twenty years to sort out his issues and fully commit to Grace. The fact that he did not come to his senses until he heard that Grace was going out with Cooper did not sit well with me. He behaved atrociously, as if he still had some claim on her, and that only highlighted Cooper’s kindness, patience, and heart of gold. Throughout it all, I admired Grace and how she handled herself. I empathized with her as she tried to move on, despite still loving Trent. I admired her honesty with Cooper, always conscious of his feelings and not wanting to lead him on. She was careful with his heart and I loved her for that.

Corinne did manage to inject a twist that I didn’t see coming which added another layer of emotion to the story. While my heart hurt for Trent and what he found himself dealing with, I can’t say that it was enough to really pull me from Team Cooper.

Over the span of three books, I cared so much for the people in Bell Buckle. The Hennington family, the Townsend family, the other residents in town that served as secondary characters… they all made for a close-knit community that had me ready to pack my bags and head for the small (fictional) town in Tennessee. Even though I wasn’t as connected to this couple as I was to those in the previous two books, there was still so much to enjoy. Fans of small town, second chance romance are sure to enjoy this one.


Tropes: small town, high school sweethearts, second chance, family saga, HEA
Content warning (highlight to view): death of a parent

Have you read Say I'm Yours?

The Sunday Post #338 | May 28, 2023


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.


The A/C in my office at work was up and down all week - working one day, not working the next. It affects me (I'm in the executive suite with the Board of Directors) and the Accounting offices just above us. The only plus side is that since it's impacting the Board it gets immediate attention. Even so, it's frustrating and being hot makes me grouchy. One afternoon I went and just sat in HR for half an hour because it was downright chilly in there. 

The Husband has come down with a nasty head cold (at least I hope it's just a cold). I've been keeping him supplied with chicken noodle soup (all he wants is chicken noodle soup from Chick-fil-A) while trying to stay healthy myself and not catch whatever he has. I guess if he had to get sick, it's better now than next week, when we have a getaway planned.

With tomorrow being a holiday, that means only four more work days until our getaway. It can't come soon enough. Hopefully by this time next Sunday I will be poolside (well, under an umbrella, wearing a hat, and slathered in SPF 50... but still poolside) with a book in one hand and a fruity drink in the other. 

Just for a laugh, this week's throwback song is I'm Too Sexy (1992) by Right Said Fred. Enjoy the cheese-fest, friends! 😄


Tuesday, May 23

Thursday, May 25

Friday, May 26


Audio: Beautifully Broken Pieces by Catherine Cowles - 4.25★

Kindle: Say You Won't Let Go (Hennington Brothers #3.5) by Corinne Michaels - 4★

Kindle: Into the Tide by Laura Pavlov - DNF @ 17%

I may try Into the Tide another time, but I just wasn't feeling it.



Audio: Beautifully Broken Life by Catherine Cowles

Kindle: Fireball by Abbi Glines


Not a thing.


Memorial Day:
A day for remembrance of those who have died in service to this country.

"Our nation owes a debt to its fallen heroes that we can never fully repay."
-Barack Obama


Review: Say You Want Me by Corinne Michaels

by Corinne Michaels
Publication date: 10/29/2016
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible
4.5 Stars

There’s no way I’ll fall for Wyatt Hennington.

He can keep his Southern drawl, irresistible smile, and those pick-up lines all to himself. I made the mistake of sleeping with him not once, but twice. I’m not stupid enough to give him round three, especially after he left me in the middle of the night so I could see myself out. I vow to return to Philadelphia and forget him.

It proves easier said than done.

When the doctor informs me I’m the winner of door prize number two, I put my life on hold and head back to Bell Buckle. Three months and if we can’t make this work, I’m gone.

The problem is–when the cards are stacked against us, and I can’t bring myself to leave him, I’ll finally know if he truly loves me or if all my fears were real.

As much as I enjoyed Say You’ll Stay (the first book in the Hennington Brothers series), Corinne Michaels amped up every emotion in this one and all the feelings hit me hard. Angie’s sister-in-law/best friend, Presley, left Philadelphia with her two sons and returned to her hometown in Bell Buckle, Tennessee. Angie misses them terribly and visits when she can, but she also loves her city life, her bakery business, and her stylish downtown condo. On Angie’s first trip to Bell Buckle she meets Wyatt Hennington, a too-charming-for-his-own-good rancher, and they spend the night together. On her next trip, it happens again. Back home in Philadelphia, Angie gets news that shakes her unencumbered single life to its foundation. When she returns to Bell Buckle, she agrees to stay for three months, at Wyatt’s urging. Three months to figure out if there can be something real and lasting between them.

I seriously loved Angie and Wyatt. When they were all-in and learning to trust each other, and even when they weren’t. When it felt like Angie had one foot out of the door, and when Wyatt shut down just when Angie needed him most – even then I loved those two and pulled so hard for them to find their way. It often felt like they were never at the same place in their relationship at the same time, and that made for some growing pains as they found their way. But I was there for their journey – the good, the bittersweet, and the downright heartbreaking. I loved Wyatt’s persistence, his tenderness, and his willingness to do absolutely anything to make Angie happy. He was a man who, once he’d made up his mind, he was all in and he didn’t feel the need to hide his feelings.

With Corinne Michaels there is almost always heartbreak. I’ve been reading her books long enough to know to expect it. Yes, she’s going to crush my heart, but I also know she’ll always make it better. But in Say You’ll Stay, Corinne went where even I did not think she would go. She really twisted the knife in this one and listening to these characters become so broken had me full-on crying, wiping away tears, and hitting pause on the audiobook because my heart simply couldn’t take it.

Wyatt and Angie had plenty to work through and it took them both to fight for their happy ending. I was completely sold on these two characters and so deeply invested in their outcome. The Hennington family played a big role in their story and I loved the relationships that formed and strengthened over the course of the story. In particular, the love and acceptance Angie found with Wyatt’s mother, when the relationship with her own mother was so toxic, put such a smile on my face. The support she received from Presley was priceless, and the involvement of some of the women in town added some much needed lightness and humor.

After reading more than two dozen books by Michaels, I can easily say that this is one of my favorites. Angie and Wyatt’s story captured my heart and I felt like I experienced every high and low right along with them. Their journey had me feeling every emotion. If you love a romance with a hard-fought happily ever after, I highly recommend Say You Want Me... just have your tissues ready.

Tropes: small town, one night stand, friends to lovers, family saga
Content warning (highlight to view): loss of pregnancy

Have you read Say You Want Me?

Review: Say You'll Stay by Corinne Michaels

by Corinne Michaels
Publication date: 6/20/2016
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible
4.25 Stars

One word.

It was all he had to do. Instead, he got on that bus and took my heart with him.

That was seventeen years ago.

I moved on. Marriage. Kids. White picket fence. Everything I ever wanted, but my husband betrayed me and I was left once again.

Alone, penniless, and with two boys, I had no choice but to return to Tennessee. He wasn’t supposed to be there. I should’ve been safe. However, fate has a way of stepping in.

This time around, the tables are turned. It’s my decision. Second chances do exist, but I don’t know if we can repair what’s already been broken.

Seeing as how I tend to inhale everything Corinne Michaels releases, and I’m up with all her more current novels, I’ve been diving deep into her backlist. Which brings me to the Hennington Brothers series and Say You’ll Stay. Corinne managed to get me teary-eyed in the very first chapter, so I knew I was in for an emotional story.

Presley and Zach grew up in the same small town in Tennessee and were inseparable. They had a first love that was the real thing and they knew it was forever - until it wasn’t. Presley followed Zach to college but when he was drafted to play professional baseball she was wasn’t going to keep following him across the country. From there, their dreams and their choices took them in different directions. For Presley, that meant marriage, children, and a burgeoning small business. Without warning her life came tumbling down around her. Her only option? Return to Tennessee with her twin boys and live with her parents until she could regroup and get her life back on track. What she didn’t count on was Zach being there, too.

I was instantly sympathetic to Presley and the situation she found herself in. She lost so much and was doing everything she could to make the best of her circumstances. Back in her small hometown of Bell Buckle, she found that she had relationships to repair, and that Zach was not going to rest until they’d come to terms with their past. Presley was keeping secrets and while I understood her motivation (in both cases), there was a reckoning that made my heart hurt for her all over again.

There was so much to love here. Presley’s sister-in-law/best friend was truly her ride or die and I loved their tell-it-like-it-is relationship. Presley’s childhood friend Grace helped strengthen her connection to home. The older women in town (including Presley’s and Zach’s mothers) were priceless with their scheming and meddling, and at heart they were all truly loving, kind, and supportive. And then there was Zach who, despite his circumstances, had never stopped loving Presley. His love for her was truly the forever kind and I loved that he was tenacious yet so patient, pushing her to give them another chance, but also giving her the time she needed to heal. His relationship with Presley’s sons melted my heart and seeing the boys slowly form bonds with Zach, their grandparents and their uncle was so rewarding.

Say You’ll Stay was touching and emotional, sweet and sexy, heartbreaking but also heartwarming. It was a great example of second chances, love after loss, and a love that was truly meant to be.

Tropes: second chance, small town, single parent, grief, HEA

Have you read Say You'll Stay?

Top Ten Tuesday: Things That Make Me Want to Read a Book


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

This Week's Top Ten Tuesday Topic:
Things That Make Me Want to Read a Book
Whether it's a trope, a setting, or a character type, there are definitely certain aspects that will instantly draw me to a book. Do we share any of the same things that make us want to read a particular book? Let me know in the comments!

Give me a series where each book can stand alone but shares the same setting/cast of characters and I am there


I'm not saying that I won't read a book with a third person POV, but it's not my preference. I love first person POV, and when there's dual/multiple POV's - even better!

Maybe I'm a glutton for (emotional) punishment, but bring on the pining. When a synopsis hints at a pining hero or heroine (or better yet, mutual pining) or unrequited love, I'm instantly interested.


Give me a broody, tortured hero and I'm there. I will wallow in all the angst right along with him.


On the flipside, I also love the nice guys. The absolute sweethearts who openly adore their partner and go the extra mile.


When characters are forced together in close quarters due to circumstances beyond their control, and feelings are already simmering, that's a recipe for goodness.


This is probably my favorite trope (right up there with second chance romance) and if friends becoming more than friends is mentioned in the synopsis, it's going to grab my attention fast.


My other favorite trope. I love the idea that some loves are just meant to be. Sometimes timing or circumstances may end a relationship, but getting to see two characters reconnect does my heart good.


This seems to be a love it or hate it trope, but I've always been a fan. (Maybe because there's quite a gap between my husband and I.)


I've done a 180 on this one over the years. I used to seek out books set in big cities and large urban areas. For some reason, now I much prefer a small town setting.


What makes you want to pick up a book?