Top Ten Tuesday: Reader Hall of Shame (aka The Books I Still Have Not Read)


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

This Week's Top Ten Tuesday Topic:
Books I (Still) Have Not Read
As a reader, my TBR is long and plentiful. Obviously. And I want to read All The Books.
But there are those that I am extra excited about - the ones I am certain that I will read
right away. But... yeah. We know how that goes. Despite my excitement, these keep 
getting pushed aside time and time again. These are the books that I was desperate to 
read, but still haven't. The ones that I very much want to read sooner rather than later.

Ravensong - TJ Klune
On my shelf since April 2023

No Tomorrow - Carian Cole
On my shelf since August 2021

The Great Alone - Kristin Hannah
On my shelf since October 2017

The Story of Us - Tara Sivec
On my shelf since May 2017

What the Wind Knows - Amy Harmon
On my shelf since August 2018

I Found You - Lisa Jewell
On my shelf since June 2016

On my shelf since March 2021

A Court of Silver Flames - Sarah J. Maas
On my shelf since October 2020

Mile High - Liz Tomforde
On my shelf since April 2023

Full Tilt - Emma Scott
On my shelf since October 2016

Have you read any of these books?

Short Take Reviews: Tempting Promises | Stay With Me | Last Call at the Local


by Corinne Michaels
Series: Whitlock Family #3
Pub: 2/22/2024
4 stars

Rowan and Charlotte were neighbors with adjacent farms. Rowan also happened to be Charlotte's sister's ex so Charlotte was duty-bound to loathe him. A series of events threw the two of them together and, naturally, the sparks flew. And when Charlotte was in danger of losing her farm, it was Rowan who stepped in to help. Charlotte was left to wonder if Rowan was the unfeeling player her sister claimed, or if there was more to Rowan that good looks and snarky comebacks.

I'll admit that enemies to lovers is not my favorite trope, but I do trust Corinne Michaels to deliver a good story - and that she did. Rowan's reputation in their small town took a hit when Charlotte's sister dragged his name through the mud. People like a juicy story better than the truth, so he gave up trying to set the record straight. In additional to rising above petty gossip, Rowan also had a huge heart and I loved the bond he had with his niece, and his love for his family. It took Charlotte longer to come around than I would have liked - Rowan came to her rescue both literally and figuratively more than once, proving he was a good guy - and I wanted to shake her for blindly believing her sister when all the evidence showed that her story was faulty. As always, Corinne Michaels excelled at creating a believable family dynamic with strong ties. I liked how Charlotte's issues at the farm were resolved and getting more time with the rest of the Whitlock family was a bonus.
by Brooke Montgomery
Series: Sugarland Creek #2
Pub: 2/7/2024
4.25 stars

Magnolia spent years in an on again-off again relationship with a total loser. She'd been crushing on her best friend's brother for years but he never showed any interest. Tripp pined for Magnolia but wouldn't interfere in her relationship and had long accepted his place in the friend zone. When Magnolia is finally single, she and Tripp can (finally!) act on their mutual feelings. When Magnolia learns she's pregnant from a drunken night with her ex (pre-Tripp), she worries that things might be over before they've even really began.

The prologue (which had me teary-eyed) really set up Tripp's background and explained the issues with guilt and anxiety that plagued him. He was an absolute sweetheart and I liked seeing him open up to Magnolia about his mental health, knowing that she provided a safe space for him. Magnolia was a wild one, and her decision-making skills (or lack thereof) sometimes made her seem immature for her age. But there was no denying their chemistry and their feelings for one another. I did feel this one lagged a bit and got bogged down in details that just weren't necessary (like lengthy descriptions of the 90's movies that they watched). At 400+ pages, it felt overly long, but even so I was invested in their story and loved the inclusion of the rest of the Hollis clan. The minor suspense plot was a nice touch but it was Tripp who was the shining star here. His devotion to Magnolia gave all the swoony feelings. 
by Sarah Grunder Ruiz
Series: Love, Lists & Fancy Ships #3
Pub: 1/2/2024
4.5 stars

Raine walked away from medical school and a life she did not want to become a traveling musician, busking her way across Europe. When stranded in a small town in Ireland, she accepts a temporary job from pub owner Jack. Free-spirited Raine makes friends, revitalizes the pub, and in Jack she finds someone who accepts and appreciates her just as she is. 

I find it impossible not to gush over this charming tale. Raine and Jack were such perfectly crafted characters, and while they each had their struggles (Raine had ADHD and Jack had OCD), they were so much more than those labels. Where others struggled to understand, Jack and Raine simply accepted each other's foibles and quirks. I adored their banter, their inside jokes, and their easy and honest way of communicating (so refreshing!). Beyond Raine and Jack, the entire cast of secondary characters were an absolute delight, right down to Sebastian the cat (aka Princess Ugly). I listened to this one on audio and the narrators were sheer perfection. Karissa Vacker and Gary Furlong brought the story to life in a way that had me seeing every scene, laughing out loud, and feeling every heartfelt moment.

Have you read any of these books?

WWW Wednesday #135 | April 10, 2024


WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.
Just share your answers to three questions:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you'll read next?

How's your week going?
Is it me or does it already feel like it should be Friday? 😎
I think it's because I'm a little run ragged. A lot of the things that
The Husband usually takes care of at home have fallen to me while 
he's on crutches. I certainly don't mind picking up the slack, but it does
makes for some long (tiring) days. 

What are you currently reading?


Kindle: Whiskey & Sin by Emily Rath
Audio: Goodbye Paradise by Sarina Bowen

Currently reading: Do you ever encounter those rare books that as soon as you read the
first couple pages you just know? You get that feeling that it's going to be one of those
special books that click with you and become an instant favorite. Well, that's me with 
Whiskey & Sin. I only just started it yesterday and didn't get a chance to read much, but 
I'm already predicting this is going to be amazing.
Current progress: 7%

Currently listening: After reading a super angsty/intense book (Older by Jennifer 
Hartmann), I needed something to soothe my soul. Enter Goodbye Paradise. This is such 
a comfort read for me. I adore these characters and their story. This has to be my fifth or 
sixth re-read and it never gets old.
Current progress: 30%

What did you recently finish reading?

Kindle (eARC): Older by Jennifer Hartmann

Recently read: Older - Super angsty but an incredible story of two people whose love
story overcomes all the odds4.5 stars

What do you think you'll read next?

never know what I'm going to read next but Mind Games is a strong possibility.

What are you reading today?

Review: Older by Jennifer Hartmann #NewRelease #ReleaseBlitz

by Jennifer Hartmann
Pub: April 9, 2024
Source: Valentine PR
4.5 stars

Before he discovered my age, he uncovered my heart.

Bruised and abused, and victim to a loveless household, I shimmered with new life the moment he found me drowning my sorrows in a lake beneath the stars.

A chance encounter. An unspoken connection.

I was smitten; he was curious.

But, as everyone knew, fate could be decidedly cruel.

He called me Halley, like the comet.

I called him Reed.

And my best friend?

Well…she called him Dad.


Older is a forbidden, slow-burn, age-gap romance standalone, ending in a HEA.


  Download today or read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited


Amazon Worldwide:    

Add to Goodreads:


After years of physical abuse at the hands of her father, Halley finds an escape and a chance to start again when she is taken in by her best friend's mother. Living in a stable and loving home is foreign to Halley, but even as she revels in her new environment, she struggles with the aftermath of years of abuse. She also can't forget the connection made with an older man at a house party the previous summer. Their interactions were impactful and meaningful and she hopes there can be more... until she learns that the man who has captured her heart is her best friend's father.

One of my favorite aspects of Jennifer Hartmann's writing is her ability to create characters who feel like living, breathing beings, whose every emotion feels like they are my own. Halley and Reed were perfect examples of this. A young woman who desperately needed to be seen - and wanted. And the man who saw her clearly - and wanted her desperately. While theirs was a forbidden love, it never once felt as if Hartmann was writing a trope. This was the story of two people who connected, who loved, and were in an impossible situation. Could a love be right when it was sure to leave so much collateral damage in its wake?
While Older was not as dark as some of Hartmann's previous books, the angst and heartbreak were in full effect. The pining and the longing were delicious torture. And while Hartmann always delivers an HEA, it's a long, heartbreaking road to get there. But for characters and stories as well written as Older, it's so worth the journey.
 4.5 stars


Meet Jennifer

Jennifer Hartmann resides in northern Illinois with her own personal romance hero and three children. When she is not writing angsty love stories, she is likely pondering all the ways she can break your heart and piece it back together again. She enjoys sunsets (because mornings are hard), bike riding, traveling, bingeing Buffy the Vampire Slayer reruns, and that time of day when coffee gets replaced by wine. She loves tacos. She also really, really wants to pet your dog.


Connect with Jennifer





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The Sunday Post #361 | April 7, 2024


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.


My Sunday Posts seem to have turned into an every other week kind of thing. It's been
a combination of busy + lack of motivation. Not exactly a recipe for blogging success. 😉

Here's what's been going on in my world the last few weeks:

  • Went to another Emily Rath signing (this one for the Kensington release of Pucking Wild). Had to wear my Jacksonville Rays jersey, of course (fictional team from her book series). 📗
  • In real hockey news, the Tampa Lightning finally clinched their spot in the playoffs. Very exciting. 🏒
  • Went to a special showing of Pride and Prejudice at the theater (the 2005 version with Kiera Knightley). Loved seeing it on the big screen again. 🎥   
  • Went to the ER twice in two days with The Husband. Friday night when he sliced his finger open on a mandoline, and last night when there was concern of a possible blood clot in his leg. Ultrasound and X-rays showed no clot, so it is likely a severe muscle strain and he is now on crutches (no weight bearing) for two weeks to allow it to heal. Fingers crossed we can do without any more ER visits for a long while. 🩼

This week's throwback song is Don't Bring Me Down (1979) by Electric Light Orchestra just because I heard it last night and it's been in my head ever since. Enjoy! 


Tuesday, April 2

Wednesday, April 3

Thursday, April 4


Audio: Last Chance at the Local by Sarah Grunder Ruiz


eARC: Older by Jennifer Hartmann


Trade Paperback: Pucking Wild by Emily Rath
(special Kensington edition)



Reading Firsts Book Tag | 2024


I saw Alison at Ali's Books share this tag this week and it looked like
a fun one. So let's jump right in...

First Book Read in 2024

What a way to kick off the year!

First Review of 2024

A great addition to the series.

First Debut Read in 2024

I don't keep track of debut books/authors and seriously doubt
I've read any this year, so we're moving on.

First "New to Me" Author in 2024

Not my usual kind of read - a lot more sweet than angsty - but I wouldn't
hesitate to read more from Bastone in the future.

First Book of 2024 That Slayed Me

Oddly enough, it was a novella (#2.5 in the Jacksonville Rays series) that
did it for me. The seven bonus chapters were packed with All The Feelings.

First Book of 2024 That I Wish I Could
Get Back the Time I Spent Reading It

Oof. This one did not work for me. At all.

First Five Star Book of 2024

Starting and ending with the same book.
This will likely be my favorite of the year, and if not my favorite, 
at least among the best of the year.

Have you read any of these books?

WWW Wednesday #134 | April 3, 2024


WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.
Just share your answers to three questions:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you'll read next?

It's dark, gloomy, overcast, and rainy here today.
In other words, the PERFECT day to be at home, curled up in a comfy chair,
reading a good book. Unfortunately I am at the office all day so I'll just have 
to hope that the rainy weather lasts until I get home. :)

What are you currently reading?


Kindle: Older by Jennifer Hartmann
Audio: Last Call at the Local by Sarah Grunder Ruiz

Currently readingI just received the ARC for Older yesterday afternoon and started it
immediately. I didn't get much read last night but I'm already hooked. I just love
Hartmann's brand of angsty romance.
Current progress: 7%

Currently listening: I'm totally enjoying Last Call at the Local and the way Ruiz blends 
humor with more serious themes. And the narration is so perfect.
Current progress: 75%

What did you recently finish reading?


Kindle: Stay With Me by Brooke Montgomery
Kindle: The Season of Secrets by Q.B. Tyler

Recently read: Stay With Me - While I didn't connect to these main characters quite
as well as the couple from the previous book, I still enjoyed seeing Tripp and Magnolia
finally admit their feelings for one another4 stars

Recently read: The Season of Secrets - This novella was a fun age gap, boss-employee
romance but the spicy scenes seemed to outweigh the actual plot at times. 3.75 stars

What do you think you'll read next?

never know what I'm going to read next but This Could Be Us is a strong possibility.

What are you reading today?