January 29 – February 4

New Releases and Publications

Hello, friends – and happy Tuesday! Welcome to another round of new releases that I was lucky enough to get an early copy of, and have either already read or are upcoming on my #TBR.

These books could be gifted from the publisher through sites like NetGalley or Edelweiss+, they could be electronic copies gifted directly to me from the publisher or the author, an early audiobook copy through the publisher or Libro.fm, or even a physical copy that has been sent to me from the author or publisher. I am so thankful for all of the reading opportunities that I am given through these various sources, and I am excited to share these new releases!

In these weekly posts I will include a 20% review if I am currently reading the book, as well as a link to my full review if I have already finished the book. And if I have not yet started the book by the time this is posted, I will leave those spots blank and edit the post to add them in later!

Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun

Author: Elle Cosimano

Publication Date: January 31, 2023

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary, Fiction, Adult

Page Count: 304 pages

Thanks so much to the author, Minotaur Books, and Netgalley for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

Author and single mom Finlay Donovan has been in messes before―after all, she’s a pro at removing bloodstains for various unexpected reasons―but none quite like this. When Finlay and her nanny/partner-in-crime Vero accidentally destroyed a luxury car that they had “borrowed” in the process of saving the life of Finlay’s ex-husband, the Russian mob did her a favor and bought the car for her. And now Finlay owes them.

Mob boss Feliks is still running the show from behind bars, and he has a task for Finlay: find and identify a contract killer before the cops do. The problem is, the killer might be an officer themself.

Luckily, hot cop Nick has just been tasked with starting up a citizen’s police academy, and combined pressure from Finlay’s looming book deadline and Feliks is enough to convince Finlay and Vero to get involved. Through firearm training and forensic classes (and some hands-on research with a tempting detective), Finlay and Vero use their time in police academy to sleuth out the real contract killer to free themselves from the mob’s clutches―all the while dodging spies, confronting Vero’s past, and juggling the daily trials of parenthood.

From USA Today bestseller and Edgar-Award nominee Elle Cosimano, comes Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun—the highly anticipated, hilarious, and heart-pounding next installment in the beloved Finlay Donovan series…

20% Review:

As usual for this series, this book jumps right into it! I couldn’t wait to dive into this book, since it feels like I’ve been waiting for this next chapter in the story for a very long time, so it’s been very hard every time I need to put it down. Darn work and grown up responsibilities, right? So far we’ve already gotten a bit of action in the story, and a bit of romance (I had definitely missed hot-cop-Nick), and I can’t wait to see where the rest of the book goes!

Check out my full review here!

Maame

Author: Jessica George

Narrated by: Heather Agyepong

Publication Date: January 31, 2023

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, Adult, Literary Fiction, Coming of Age

Page Count: 320 pages

Audiobook Length: 10 hours 10 minutes

Thanks so much to the author and St. Martin’s Press for the gifted advanced copy of this book, as well as Macmillan Audio and Libro.fm for the gifted audio copy!

Description from Goodreads:

Maame (ma-meh) has many meanings in Twi but in my case, it means woman.

It’s fair to say that Maddie’s life in London is far from rewarding. With a mother who spends most of her time in Ghana (yet still somehow manages to be overbearing), Maddie is the primary caretaker for her father, who suffers from advanced stage Parkinson’s. At work, her boss is a nightmare and Maddie is tired of always being the only Black person in every meeting.

When her mum returns from her latest trip to Ghana, Maddie leaps at the chance to get out of the family home and finally start living. A self-acknowledged late bloomer, she’s ready to experience some important “firsts”: She finds a flat share, says yes to after-work drinks, pushes for more recognition in her career, and throws herself into the bewildering world of internet dating. But it’s not long before tragedy strikes, forcing Maddie to face the true nature of her unconventional family, and the perils––and rewards––of putting her heart on the line.

Smart, funny, and deeply affecting, Maame deals with the themes of our time with humor and poignancy: from familial duty and racism, to female pleasure, the complexity of love, and the life-saving power of friendship. Most important, it explores what it feels like to be torn between two homes and cultures―and it celebrates finally being able to find where you belong.

20% Review:

I’ve just started listening to this book on audio, and so far I am really enjoying it! It isn’t all that fast paced or quick-moving, but I’m still finding that I’m feeling invested and wanting to keep listening to it to see what is happening next, so I’m not minding the slower pace. It just makes it feel more slice-of-life, which is a nice change of pace from some of my other recent reads. I’m really enjoying Maddie as a main character, and I’m looking forward to hearing more about the characters of her new flat mates, since they’ve just been introduced but seem like really fun characters. So far I’m not in love with the book, but I am definitely enjoying it, so the potential is still there!

Check out my full review here!

The Second You’re Single

Author: Cara Tanamachi

Publication Date: January 31, 2023

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction, Adult

Page Count: 288 pages

Thanks so much to the author, St. Martin’s Griffin, and Netgalley for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

Cheerfully irreverent, bitingly funny, and filled with romantic charm, The Second You’re Single is all about navigating the most romantic month of the year, and how love always seems to arrive when you least expect it.

Freelance writer Sora Reid believes in inertia. She’s the odd one out in a close-knit family of go-getters, including her Japanese-American mom, who hints about her need to lose weight, and her soon-to-be married, overachieving younger sister, who needs her to have a date for the wedding, since a wedding party couples’ dance with their Scottish great uncle Bob simply won’t do. For Sora, minimal input, minimal expectations is the way to go. She’d rather stay at home with her insufferable neighbor and her adorable pitbull.

The one thing that disrupts her inertia: an intense dislike for Valentine’s Day. What is it with the commercial love machine? Why do we pin our hopes on one romantic day, when staying home with a package of bacon and a bottle of tequila would be way better? Sora’s been betrayed and disappointed more than once and her heart is starting to feel like her Grandma Mitsuye’s antique Japanese ceramic bowl, with its many gold-filled cracks.

When her pledge to stay single in February inspires readers to #gosolo, Sora has a responsibility to empower her readers. But relationships aren’t built to last, so it shouldn’t be that hard. Right?

Enter Jack Mann. A muscle-bound baker who looks like he lifts logs on the weekends, Sora hasn’t thought of Jack since they were in elementary school together. When they see each other at the local grocery store and the attraction hits hard, Sora knows she has to shut it down, quick. She can’t #gosolo AND get the guy. She can’t let down her readers. And relationships always end, so why should Jack be any different–even though he’s confounding all her long-held expectations of love?

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

Cobalt Red

Author: Siddharth Kara

Publication Date: January 31, 2023

Genre: Nonfiction, Cultural – Africa, History

Page Count: 288 pages

Thanks so much to the author, St. Martin’s Press, and Netgalley for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

An unflinching investigation reveals the human rights abuses behind the Congo’s cobalt mining operation—and the moral implications that affect us all.

Cobalt Red is the searing, first-ever exposé of the immense toll taken on the people and environment of the Democratic Republic of the Congo by cobalt mining, as told through the testimonies of the Congolese people themselves. Activist and researcher Siddharth Kara has traveled deep into cobalt territory to document the testimonies of the people living, working, and dying for cobalt. To uncover the truth about brutal mining practices, Kara investigated militia-controlled mining areas, traced the supply chain of child-mined cobalt from toxic pit to consumer-facing tech giants, and gathered shocking testimonies of people who endure immense suffering and even die mining cobalt.

Cobalt is an essential component to every lithium-ion rechargeable battery made today, the batteries that power our smartphones, tablets, laptops, and electric vehicles. Roughly 75 percent of the world’s supply of cobalt is mined in the Congo, often by peasants and children in sub-human conditions. Billions of people in the world cannot conduct their daily lives without participating in a human rights and environmental catastrophe in the Congo. In this stark and crucial book, Kara argues that we must all care about what is happening in the Congo—because we are all implicated.

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

Hex You

Author: P. C. Cast; Kristin Cast

Publication Date: January 31, 2023

Genre: Fantasy, YA, Paranormal, Witches, Fiction, LGBTQIA+

Page Count: 304 pages

Thanks so much to the author, Wednesday Books, and Netgalley for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

Twin sisters, Mercy and Hunter are witches, direct descendants of the Goode family, the founders of their town. After the murder of their mother at the hands of a foul demon, they have become the protectors of the Gates to different underworlds–ancient portals between their world and realms where mythology rules and the darkest of creatures exist.

Mercy and Khenti are trapped in the Ancient Egyptian Underworld and need Hunter’s help to escape. But while Hunter searches for a way to save them, other evil threatens Goodeville. Amphitrite is still looming–and she wants vengeance against Hunter. With the gates rapidly weakening, Amphitrite lures out a deadly creature and sets it free on the residents of Goodeville. It will take everything in Mercy and Hunter’s power to stop the goddess and seal the gates once and for all.

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

Advertisement

Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun by Elle Cosimano

Minotaur Books – Review: 5 Stars

Thanks so much to the author, Minotaur Books, and Netgalley for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book, as well as Macmillan Audio for the gifted advanced audio copy, in exchange for my honest thoughts. All opinions are entirely my own. { partner } All of my reviews can also be found on Instagram @Tackling_TBR and on my blog at tacklingtbr.home.blog

Publication Date: January 31, 2023

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Contmporary, Adult, Humor, Suspense

Page Count: 304 pages

TW: murder/death, violence

The Finlay Donovan books have become one of my absolute favorite series, so it’s no surprise that I loved this book! It was a perfect way to start off my year of reading.

As always, Finlay and Vero have gotten themselves into a sticky situation. Nobody is shocked here. So what better place to hide out and do some snooping for a week than a live-in civilians police training camp, right? Right!

I already love this series, so of course I loved the characters. We get to see a bit more of Javi this time around, and we get some more background on him and other secondary characters from the previous books – including teen hacker Cam, and Nick’s grumpy partner, Joey. I always really enjoy more character driven stories, so one of my favorite things about reading a series is learning more and more about characters as you go along, so this book really delivered for me in that respect.

Of course some of the situations that Finlay and Vero find themselves in in this book are a bit silly and unbelievable, but that’s definitely nothing new to this series. Besides, if I wanted 100% believability I’d read true crime instead of romantic thrillers. I’m here because I want to see the characters outsmart the people around them, and see how they get out of the ridiculous corners they’ve been backed into, and hopefully seal it all up with a kiss.

Overall I would (and already have been) highly recommend this book to my friends and fellow readers. These books are a bit some high-stake, but at the same time they feel light and fun and like I can read them when I’m tired after a long day at work. Which is a perfect middle ground, if you ask me! I think that the perfect way to read this book would be buddy-reading it with one or two of your closest girl friends, sitting together and passing a bottle of wine (or whisky) between you, in true Fin and Vero style.

My Reviews for the rest of the Finlay Donovan series:

Finlay Donovan is Killing It

Finlay Donovan Knocks ’em Dead

Link to Purchase on Amazon:

January 15 – January 21

New Releases and Publications

Hello, friends – and happy Tuesday! Welcome to another round of new releases that I was lucky enough to get an early copy of, and have either already read or are upcoming on my #TBR.

These books could be gifted from the publisher through sites like NetGalley or Edelweiss+, they could be electronic copies gifted directly to me from the publisher or the author, an early audiobook copy through the publisher or Libro.fm, or even a physical copy that has been sent to me from the author or publisher. I am so thankful for all of the reading opportunities that I am given through these various sources, and I am excited to share these new releases!

In these weekly posts I will include a 20% review if I am currently reading the book, as well as a link to my full review if I have already finished the book. And if I have not yet started the book by the time this is posted, I will leave those spots blank and edit the post to add them in later!

Locust Lane

Author: Stephen Amidon

Publication Date: January 17, 2023

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Adult, Contemporary

Page Count: 320 pages

Thanks so much to the author, Celadon Books, and Netgalley for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

For fans of Mystic River by Dennis Lehane and Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste NgStephen Amidon’s Locust Lane is a taut and utterly propulsive story about the search for justice and the fault lines of power and influence in a seemingly idyllic town. Can anyone be trusted?

On the surface, Emerson, Massachusetts, is just like any other affluent New England suburb. But when a young woman is found dead in the nicest part of town, the powerful neighbors close ranks to keep their families safe. In this searing novel, Eden Perry’s death kicks off an investigation into the three teenagers who were partying with her that night, each a suspect. Hannah, a sweet girl with an unstable history. Jack, the popular kid with a mean streak. Christopher, an outsider desperate to fit in. Their parents, each with motivations of their own, only complicate the picture: they will do anything to protect their children, even at the others’ expense.

With a brilliantly woven, intricately crafted plot that gathers momentum on every page, this is superb storytelling told in terse prose—a dynamic read that is both intensely gripping and deeply affecting.

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

A Guide to Being Just Friends

Author: Sophie Sullivan

Narrated by: Stephanie Willing & Timothy Andrés Pabon

Publication Date: January 17, 2023

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction, Adult

Page Count: 336 pages

Audiobook Length: 9 hours 54 minutes

Thanks so much to the author, St. Martin’s Griffin, and Netgalley for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book, as well as Macmillan Audio for the gifted audio copy!

Description from Goodreads:

A playful and emotional romantic comedy from the author of Ten Rules for Faking It

Hailey Sharp has a one-track mind. Get By the Cup salad shop off the ground. Do literally everything possible to make it a success. Repeat. With a head full of entrepreneurial ideas and a bad ex in her rearview, her one and only focus is living life the way she wants to. No distractions.

Wes Jansen never did understand the fuss about relationships. With a string of lackluster first dates and the pain from his parents’ angry divorce following him around, he’d much rather find someone who he likes, but won’t love. Companionship, not passion, is the name of the game.

When Hailey and Wes find each other in a disastrous meet cute that wasn’t even intended for them, they embarrassingly go their separate ways. But when Wes finds Hailey to apologize for his behavior, they strike a friendship. Because that’s all this can be. Hailey doesn’t want any distractions. Wes doesn’t want to fall in love.

What could possibly go wrong?

20% Review:

I am loving this book! I am already a fan of quiet a few of the supporting characters, since I love the previous two books in this series, and the new characters that I’m meeting through this book are super fun and seem fit into the existing group so well. I see a lot of myself in Hailey as well, which I always love when I’m reading. It just makes it more fun when you can imagine yourself in all of the fun or romantic situations as you’re reading them, right? Overall I’m flying through this book so far, and I feel like it’s just going to be another thing for me to love about the Jansen Brothers Series.

Check out my full review here!

Superfan

Author: Jen Sookfong Lee

Narrated by: Jen Sookfong Lee

Publication Date: Janaury 17, 2023

Genre: Nonfiction, Pop Culture

Audiobook Length: 8 hours 16 minutes

Thanks so much to McClelland & Stewart and Libro.fm for the gifted advanced audio copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

A sharply observed memoir in pieces that uses one woman’s life-long love affair with pop culture as a lens to explore family, identity, grief, the power of female rage, and what it’s cost to resist the trap of being a good Chinese girl.

For most of Jen Sookfong Lee’s life, pop culture was an escape from family tragedy and a means of fitting in with the larger culture around her. Anne of Green Gables promised her that, despite losing her father at the age of twelve, one day she might still have the loving family of her dreams, and Princess Diana was proof that maybe there was more to being a good girl after all. And yet as Jen grew up, she began to recognize the ways in which pop culture was not made for someone like her–the child of Chinese immigrant parents who looked for safety in the invisibility afforded by embracing model minority myths.

Ranging from the unattainable perfection of Gwyneth Paltrow and the father-figure familiarity of Bob Ross, to the long shadow cast by The Joy Luck Club and the life lessons she has learned from Rihanna, Jen weaves together key moments in pop culture with stories of her own failings, longings, and struggles as she navigates the minefields that come with carving her own path as an Asian woman, single mother, and writer. And with great wit, bracing honesty, and a deep appreciation for the ways culture shapes us, she draws direct lines between the spectacle of the popular, the intimacy of our personal bonds, and the social foundations of our collective obsessions.

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

January 1 – January 7

New Releases and Publications

Hello, friends – and happy Tuesday! Welcome to another round of new releases that I was lucky enough to get an early copy of, and have either already read or are upcoming on my #TBR.

These books could be gifted from the publisher through sites like NetGalley or Edelweiss+, they could be electronic copies gifted directly to me from the publisher or the author, an early audiobook copy through the publisher or Libro.fm, or even a physical copy that has been sent to me from the author or publisher. I am so thankful for all of the reading opportunities that I am given through these various sources, and I am excited to share these new releases!

In these weekly posts I will include a 20% review if I am currently reading the book, as well as a link to my full review if I have already finished the book. And if I have not yet started the book by the time this is posted, I will leave those spots blank and edit the post to add them in later!

The Hustler Next Door

Author: K. A. Tucker

Publication Date: January 3, 2023

Genre: Romance, Contemporary Romance, Adult

Page Count:

Thanks so much to the author and Valentine PR for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

From the international bestselling author of The Simple Wild and Ten Tiny Breaths comes a new stand-alone enemies-to-lovers, small-town romance.

Justine MacDermott is in what she would call a transition period: squatting in her best friend’s house and working in an appliance store in Polson Falls while the man she was supposed to marry starts a new life with someone else.

She’s definitely not thinking about slashing his tires and wishing his vital extremities would fall off.

When newcomer Garrett Harrington strolls into Murphy’s looking to buy a refrigerator, Justine convinces herself she’s found her rebound. Or the next love of her life. Either works. But a chance encounter leads her to discover that Garrett isn’t who he made himself out to be, and he’s more interested in hustling her kindly old boss out of his family business—and using her to do it.

Furious at being fooled by yet another man and itching for retribution, Justine enlists the help of unlikely townsfolk to battle Harrington Group’s big-city development plans for Polson Falls.

It’s all going to plan … until Justine finds herself crossing enemy lines.

The Hustler Next Door is set in the Polson Falls world. Books in this series can be read in any order.

20% Review:

It’s been a while since I read The Player Next Door, and I had almost forgotten how much I loved Justine! She is such a fun character, and I’m having a lot of fun getting to know her again. So far it’s been a fairly quick read, but I’m not quite to the point where I can’t put it down yet. Also, so far the enemies-to-lovers aspect of this story has been so much fun! I may or may not be a tiny bit past 20% as I’m writing this, because I had such good reading momentum for a bit that I didn’t want to stop, and each scene that has both of our romantic leads in it so far has been so sassy and fun! I’m really excited to see how the rest of their story turns out!

Check out my full review and blog tour here!

The Villa

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Narrated by: Julia Whelan, Kimberly M. Wetherell & Shiromi Arserio

Publication Date: January 3, 2023

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction, Adult, Suspense, Contemporary, Gothic

Page Count: 288 pages

Audiobook Length: 7 hours 57 minutes

Thanks so much to the author, St. Martin’s Press, and Netgalley for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book! And thanks as well to Macmillan Audio and Libro.fm for the gifted advanced audio copy!

Description from Goodreads:

From New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins comes a deliciously wicked gothic suspense, set at an Italian villa with a dark history, for fans of Lucy Foley and Ruth Ware.

As kids, Emily and Chess were inseparable. But by their 30s, their bond has been strained by the demands of their adult lives. So when Chess suggests a girls trip to Italy, Emily jumps at the chance to reconnect with her best friend.

Villa Aestas in Orvieto is a high-end holiday home now, but in 1974, it was known as Villa Rosato, and rented for the summer by a notorious rock star, Noel Gordon. In an attempt to reignite his creative spark, Noel invites up-and-coming musician, Pierce Sheldon to join him, as well as Pierce’s girlfriend, Mari, and her stepsister, Lara. But he also sets in motion a chain of events that leads to Mari writing one of the greatest horror novels of all time, Lara composing a platinum album––and ends in Pierce’s brutal murder.

As Emily digs into the villa’s complicated history, she begins to think there might be more to the story of that fateful summer in 1974. That perhaps Pierce’s murder wasn’t just a tale of sex, drugs, and rock & roll gone wrong, but that something more sinister might have occurred––and that there might be clues hidden in the now-iconic works that Mari and Lara left behind.

Yet the closer that Emily gets to the truth, the more tension she feels developing between her and Chess. As secrets from the past come to light, equally dangerous betrayals from the present also emerge––and it begins to look like the villa will claim another victim before the summer ends.

Inspired by Fleetwood Mac, the Manson murders, and the infamous summer Percy and Mary Shelley spent with Lord Byron at a Lake Geneva castle––the birthplace of Frankenstein––The Villa welcomes you into its deadly legacy.

20% Review:

I just started this book on audio, and I am just flying through it! So far we’ve gotten a bit of both timelines, the present and the past; background on the relationship between our two female leads; and some articles, lyrics, and excerpts written about, and by, the characters in the past sections. It’s been really engaging so far with the different types of storytelling, and I feel like I was pulled in to the story and invested in the characters from the very beginning! Although, I’ve loved just about everything I’ve read from Rachel Hawkins, so maybe that had a little something to do with it as well. Either way, I think I’ll be getting through to the end of this audiobook very soon, since I could barely convince myself to put it down long enough to write this!

Check out my full review here!

Drinking Games

Author: Sarah Levy

Narrated by: Sarah Levy

Publication Date: January 3, 2023

Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir, Mental Health

Page Count: 288 pages

Audiobook Length: 6 hours 44 minutes

Thanks so much to the author, St. Martin’s Press, and Netgalley for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book! And thanks also to Macmillan Audio for the gifted advanced audio copy!

Description from Goodreads:

Part memoir and part social critique, Drinking Games is about how one woman drank and lived — until sobriety freed her.

Drinking Games explores the role alcohol has in our formative adult lives, and what it means to opt out of a culture completely enmeshed in drinking. Sarah explores what our short-term choices about alcohol do to our long-term selves and how it challenges our ability to be vulnerable enough to discover what we really want in life. While many millennial women will see themselves in Sarah’s words and story, Drinking Games is dedicated to anyone who feels like their private struggles are terminally unique. Whether it’s alcohol, food, exercise, or work, so many of us are grasping for control and struggling to keep our heads above water.

Candid, dynamic, Drinking Games speaks to the millennial experience of working hard, playing harder, and wanting everything to look perfect on social media. Dedicated to those who might be questioning their relationship with alcohol but scared that quitting drinking is an ending, Drinking Games illustrates how, for one woman, sobriety was just the beginning of the story. Sarah’s words strike the perfect chord of relatability and biting honesty. Instead of claiming to have the answers, she takes readers by the hand throughout her journey, and shows us that life’s messiest moments are the ones that can end up being the most profound.

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

Breakup from Hell

Author: Ann Davila Cardinal

Publication Date: January 3, 2023

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Horror, Paranormal, Contemporary

Page Count: 304 pages

Thanks so much to the author, HarperTeen, and Netgalley for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

Miguela Angeles is tired. Tired of her abuela keeping secrets, especially about her heritage. Tired of her small Vermont town and hanging out at the same places with the same friends she’s known forever. So when another boring Sunday trip to church turns into a run-in with Sam, a mysterious hottie in town on vacation, Mica seizes the opportunity to get closer to him.

It’s not long before she is under Sam’s spell and doing things she’s never done before, like winning all her martial arts sparring matches—and lying to her favorite people. The more time Mica spends with Sam, the more weird things start to happen, too. Like terrifying-visions-of-the-world-ending weird.

Mica’s gut instincts keep telling her something is off, yet Sam is the most exciting guy she’s ever met. But when Mica discovers his family’s roots, she realizes that instead of being in the typical high school relationship, she’s living in a horror novel.

She has to leave Sam, but will ending their relationship also bring an end to everything she knows and everyone she loves?

Clever, hilarious, and steeped in supernatural suspense, Breakup From Hell will keep you hooked until the last page.

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

The Wrong Kind of Weird

Author: James Ramos

Publication Date: January 3, 2023

Genre: YA, Romance, Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, Fiction

Page Count: 320 pages

Thanks so much to the author, Inkyard Press, and Netgalley for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

“Sweet, snarky, and delightfully dorky.” —Elise Bryant, author of Happily Ever Afters

Cameron Carson has a secret. A secret with the power to break apart his friend group.

Cameron Carson, member of the Geeks and Nerds United (GANU) club, has been secretly hooking up with student council president, cheerleader, theater enthusiast, and all-around queen bee Karla Ortega since the summer. The one problem—what was meant to be a summer fling between coffee shop coworkers has now evolved into a clandestine senior-year entanglement, where Karla isn’t intending on blending their friend groups anytime soon, or at all.

Enter Mackenzie Briggs, who isn’t afraid to be herself or wear her heart on her sleeve. When Cameron finds himself unexpectedly bonding with Mackenzie and repeatedly snubbed in public by Karla, he starts to wonder who he can truly consider a friend and who might have the potential to become more…

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

December 25 – December 31

New Releases and Publications

Hello, friends – and happy Tuesday! Welcome to another round of new releases that I was lucky enough to get an early copy of, and have either already read or are upcoming on my #TBR.

These books could be gifted from the publisher through sites like NetGalley or Edelweiss+, they could be electronic copies gifted directly to me from the publisher or the author, an early audiobook copy through the publisher or Libro.fm, or even a physical copy that has been sent to me from the author or publisher. I am so thankful for all of the reading opportunities that I am given through these various sources, and I am excited to share these new releases!

In these weekly posts I will include a 20% review if I am currently reading the book, as well as a link to my full review if I have already finished the book. And if I have not yet started the book by the time this is posted, I will leave those spots blank and edit the post to add them in later!

Vinyl Resting Place

Author: Olivia Blacke

Publication Date: December 27, 2022

Genre: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Music, Contemporary Fiction

Page Count: 304 pages

Thanks so much to the author, St. Martin’s Press, and Netgalley for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

First in a new series by Olivia Blacke, Vinyl Resting Place follows three sisters who discover that opening a family business can be murder.

When Juni Jessup and her sisters Tansy and Maggie put all their beans in one basket to open Sip & Spin Records, a record-slash-coffee shop in Cedar River, Texas, they knew there could be some scratches on the track, but no one was expecting to find a body deader than disco in the supply closet.

Family is everything to the Jessups, so when their uncle is arrested by Juni’s heartbreaking ex on suspicion of murder, the sisters don’t skip a beat putting Sip & Spin up for bail collateral. But their tune changes abruptly when Uncle Calvin disappears, leaving them in a grind. With their uncle’s freedom and the future of their small business on the line, it’s up to Juni and her sisters to get in the groove and figure out whodunit before the killer’s trail—and the coffee—goes cold.

Music and mocha seem like a blend that should be “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” but caught up in a murder investigation with her family and their life savings on the line, Juni wonders if she might be on the “Highway to Hell” instead.

20% Review:

This is such a fun, cozy read! I am loving all of the little musical references – and I seriously need to steal a few things from Juni’s collection of vintage band tees! So far I’m really enjoying the characters, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens with the mystery, and what happens between the characters! (Give me a cute little love triangle with Juni, Beau, and Teddy!)

Check out my full review here!

A Wicked Game

Author: Kate Bateman

Publication Date: December 27, 2022

Genre: Historical Romance, Adult, Regency, Fiction

Page Count: 304 pages

Thanks so much to the author, St. Martin’s Press, and Netgalley for the gifted advanced copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

If there’s one thing impossible for a Davies to resist, it’s a challenge from a Montgomery. . .

A teasing bet.

Shipwrecked and imprisoned thanks to an incorrect map, Captain Morgan Davies has returned to London to exact sweet revenge on the cartographer responsible for his suffering. He’s also vowed to claim the winner’s prize―three kisses―in the bet he made with his long-time nemesis, the prickly, smart-mouthed Harriet Montgomery. His incarceration has clarified his feelings for her, but convincing the infuriating woman he wants to marry her is going to be his greatest challenge yet. When Harriet’s revealed to be the very mapmaker he seeks, Morgan decides to combine revenge and seduction into one delightful package. . .

A dangerous enemy.

Harriet’s always wanted witty scoundrel Morgan, and now he’s back; as handsome and as taunting as ever. She has enough on her plate dealing with her father’s failing eyesight and a rival mapmaker copying her work to play wicked games with a dastardly Davies―however tempting he might be. But when a threat from Morgan’s past puts them both in danger, Harry discovers that she and Morgan might not be enemies at all . . .

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

Muffin But the Truth

Author: Ellie Alexander

Publication Date: December 27, 2022

Genre: Mystery, Cozy Mystery

Page Count: 320 pages

Thanks so much to the author, St. Martin’s Press, and Netgalley for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

In Muffin But the Truth, Torte’s pastry chef and amateur sleuth Juliet Capshaw finds herself in deep water… in another delicious installment in the Bakeshop Series from author Ellie Alexander, set in Ashland, Oregon!

Ashland is known for its Elizabethan charm and touches of Shakespeare around every corner, but the surrounding Rogue Valley draws adventure enthusiasts to its outdoor wonderland of high alpine lakes, mountain ranges, and pristine rivers. Jules Capshaw and the team at Torte have been hired to cater a weekend getaway on the mighty Rogue River. Jules is going to have to put her culinary skills to the test while baking gooey chocolate chip skillet cookies over an open flame and preparing extravagant feasts under a canopy of stars. The executive team at a big city firm will be rafting the Rogue’s rapids and gathering around the campfire for spooky stories, but their dysfunction quickly begins to show. Between constant bickering and heavy drinking, Jules wonders how the team can accomplish anything. She’s happy for a brief reprieve when they zip up their lifejackets and head out in their boats, but the serenity of the scene quickly vanishes when Jules discovers one of the execs floating face down in the water. She’s going to have to uncover the truth before she gets pulled under.

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

Financial Feminist

Author: Tori Dunlap

Narrated by: Tori Dunlap, Samantha Tan, Shayna Small, Jaime Lamchick & Graham Halstead

Audio Publication Date: December 27, 2022

Genre: Nonfiction, Finance, Self-Help, Feminism

Audiobook Length: 8 hours 3 minutes

Thanks so much to the author, HarperAudio, and Libro.fm for the gifted advanced audio copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

From the globally-recognized personal finance educator and social media star behind Her First $100K, an inclusive guide to all things money–from managing debt to investing and voting with your dollars

Tori Dunlap was always good with money. As a kid, she watched her prudent parents balance their checkbook every month and learned to save for musical tickets by gathering pennies in an Altoids tin. But she quickly discovered that her experience with money was pretty unusual, especially among her female friends.

It wasn’t our fault. Investigating this financial literacy and wealth gap, Tori found that girls are significantly less likely to receive a holistic financial education; we’re taught to restrain our spending, while boys are taught about investing and rewarded for pursuing wealth. In adulthood, women are hounded by the unfounded stereotype of the frivolous spenders whose lattes are to blame for the wealth gap. And when something like, say, a global pandemic happens, we’re the first to have jobs cut and the last to re-enter the workforce. It’s no wonder money is a source of anxiety and a barrier to equality for so many of us.

But what if money didn’t mean restriction, and instead, choice? The ability to luxuriously travel, quit toxic jobs, donate to important organizations, retire early? The freedom to live the life you want, and change the world while you do it?

Tori founded Her First $100K to teach women to overcome the unique obstacles standing in the way of their financial freedom. In Financial Feminist, she distills the principles of her shame- and judgment-free approach to paying off debt, figuring out your value categories to spend mindfully, saving money without monk-like deprivation, and investing in order to spend your retirement tanning in Tulum.

Featuring journaling prompts, deep-dives into the invisible aspects of the financial landscape, and interviews with experts on everything money–from predatory credit card companies to the racial wealth gap and voting with your dollars–Financial Feminist is the ultimate guide to making your money work harder for you (rather than the other way around.)

20% Review:

Something I very rarely say about nonfiction, and specifically about money-books, but so far this has been a really quick and easy read! I think listening to it in an audio format is helping it to feel really accessible and fairly easy to understand, like Tori is just sharing her knowledge with an old friend. There are obviously bits of this book, even so far being pretty early on, that are very intimidating. Any money-book will be, if you aren’t already a money-person. But this one is still feeling much more approachable than they usually do, at least in my opinion. It feels like I’ve been invited to the table to talk, rather than being talked at.

Check out my full review here!

December 11 – December 17

New Releases and Publications

Hello, friends – and happy Tuesday! Welcome to another round of new releases that I was lucky enough to get an early copy of, and have either already read or are upcoming on my #TBR.

These books could be gifted from the publisher through sites like NetGalley or Edelweiss+, they could be electronic copies gifted directly to me from the publisher or the author, an early audiobook copy through the publisher or Libro.fm, or even a physical copy that has been sent to me from the author or publisher. I am so thankful for all of the reading opportunities that I am given through these various sources, and I am excited to share these new releases!

In these weekly posts I will include a 20% review if I am currently reading the book, as well as a link to my full review if I have already finished the book. And if I have not yet started the book by the time this is posted, I will leave those spots blank and edit the post to add them in later!

The Tudors in Love

Author: Sarah Gristwood

Publication Date: December 13, 2022

Genre: History, Nonfiction

Page Count: 400 pages

Thanks so much to the author, St. Martin’s Press, and Netgalley for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

Sarah Gristwood’s The Tudors in Love offers a brilliant history of the Tudor dynasty, showing how the rules of romantic courtly love irrevocably shaped the politics and international diplomacy of the period.

Why did Henry VIII marry six times? Why did Anne Boleyn have to die? Why did Elizabeth I’s courtiers hail her as a goddess come to earth?

The dramas of courtly love have captivated centuries of readers and dreamers. Yet too often they’re dismissed as something existing only in books and song–those old legends of King Arthur and chivalric fantasy.

Not so. In this ground-breaking history, Sarah Gristwood reveals the way courtly love made and marred the Tudor dynasty. From Henry VIII declaring himself as the ‘loyal and most assured servant’ of Anne Boleyn to the poems lavished on Elizabeth I by her suitors, the Tudors re-enacted the roles of the devoted lovers and capricious mistresses first laid out in the romances of medieval literature. TheTudors in Love dissects the codes of love, desire and power, unveiling romantic obsessions that have shaped the history of the world.

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

December 4 – December 10

New Releases and Publications

Hello, friends – and happy Tuesday! Welcome to another round of new releases that I was lucky enough to get an early copy of, and have either already read or are upcoming on my #TBR.

These books could be gifted from the publisher through sites like NetGalley or Edelweiss+, they could be electronic copies gifted directly to me from the publisher or the author, an early audiobook copy through the publisher or Libro.fm, or even a physical copy that has been sent to me from the author or publisher. I am so thankful for all of the reading opportunities that I am given through these various sources, and I am excited to share these new releases!

In these weekly posts I will include a 20% review if I am currently reading the book, as well as a link to my full review if I have already finished the book. And if I have not yet started the book by the time this is posted, I will leave those spots blank and edit the post to add them in later!

Witcha Gonna Do?

Author: Avery Flynn

Publication Date: December 6, 2022

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal/Witches, Contemporary, Adult

Page Count: 336 pages

Thanks so much to the author, Berkley Publishing Group, Valentine PR, and Netgalley for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

An unlucky witch and her know-it-all nemesis must team up in the first of a new, hot romantic comedy series from USA Today bestselling author Avery Flynn.

Could it possibly get any worse than having absolutely no magical abilities when you’re a member of the most powerful family of witches ever? It used to be that I’d say no, but then I keep getting set up on dates with Gil Connolly whose hotness is only matched by his ego. Seriously. I can’t stand him. Even if I also can’t stop thinking about him (specifically kissing him) but we’re going to pretend I never told you that part.

So yeah, my life isn’t the greatest right now, but then it goes straight to the absolute worst hell when I accidentally make my sister’s spell glitch and curse my whole family. And the only person who can help non-magical me break the spell? You guessed it. Gil the super hot jerk.

Now we have to work together to save my family and outmaneuver some evil-minded nefarious forces bent on world domination. Oh yeah, and we have to do all that while fighting against the attraction building between us because I may not be magical, but what’s happening between Gil and I sure feels like it.

20% Review:

This book is such a good time! It is written in first person and the main character talks to the reader, which gives it a very narrator-in-a-sitcom vibe that I am finding really fun and different from all of my other recent reads. The world building so far is interesting and easy to understand, if a little silly – think things like WitchyGram instead of Instagram – but I don’t mind a little silliness in my romcoms. Overall I’m really excited to see what happens next and how the relationship between the two leads grows!

Check out my full review and blog tour here!

The Wedding Ranch

Author: Nancy Naigle

Publication Date: December 6, 2022

Genre: Romance, Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction

Page Count: 352 pages

Thanks so much to the author, St. Martin’s Griffin, and Netgalley for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

Two people get a second chance at love in this heartwarming story by author Nancy Naigle, The Wedding Ranch

When Lorri Walker’s husband gifted her with a mastiff puppy on Valentine’s Day, she believed he was recommitting himself to their marriage after going astray. Six months later, he left both her and their dog for someone else. Since her recent move to Dalton Mill to unbraid herself from the past, Lorri’s graphic design business is now flourishing, her growing mastiff, Mister, has plenty of space to romp, and her ex in Raleigh can fade to a distant memory.

Ryder Bolt is haunted by the tragic loss of his wife and young son seven years ago. Thankfully, ranching keeps Ryder busy, and spending time with his niece and nephew—whose venue, The Wedding Ranch, has become a popular tourist destination—keeps him from getting lonely.

When Lorri and Ryder met, love was the last thing they were looking for. When they’re together, smiles come easier and burdens feel lighter, and both are embracing the possibility of something deeper.

But when a long-buried revelation surfaces, the fate that brought them together threatens to tear them apart.

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

No One Left to Come Looking for You

Author: Sam Lipsyte

Publication Date: December 6, 2022

Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Adult

Page Count: 224 pages

Thanks so much to the author, Simon & Schuster, and Edelweiss+ for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

A darkly comic mystery by the author of Hark and The Ask set in the vibrant music scene of early 1990s New York City.

Manhattan’s East Village, 1993. Dive bars, DIY music venues, shady weirdos, and hard drugs are plentiful. Crime is high but rent is low, luring hopeful, creative kids from sleepy suburbs around the country.

One of these is Jack S., a young New Jersey rock musician. Just a few days before his band’s biggest gig, their lead singer goes missing with Jack’s prized bass, presumably to hock it to feed his junk habit. Jack’s search for his buddy uncovers a sinister entanglement of crimes tied to local real estate barons looking to remake New York City—and who might also be connected to the recent death of Jack’s punk rock mentor. Along the way, Jack encounters a cast of colorful characters, including a bewitching, quick-witted scenester who favors dressing in a nurse’s outfit, a monstrous hired killer with a devotion to both figure skating and edged weapons, a deranged if prophetic postwar novelist, and a tough-talking cop who fancies himself a retro-cool icon of the homicide squad but is harboring a surprising secret.

No One Left to Come Looking for You is a page-turning suspense novel that also serves as a love letter to a bygone era of New York City where young artists could still afford to chase their dreams.

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

Your Table is Ready

Author: Michael Cecchi-Azzolina

Publication Date: December 6, 2022

Genre: Nonfiction, Autobiography/Memoir, Food and Drink

Page Count: 304 pages

Thanks so much to the author, St. Martin’s Press, and Netgalley for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

A front-of-the-house Kitchen Confidential from a career maître d’hotel who manned the front of the room in New York City’s hottest and most in-demand restaurants.

From the glamorous to the entitled, from royalty to the financially ruined, everyone who wanted to be seen—or just to gawk—at the hottest restaurants in New York City came to places Michael Cecchi-Azzolina helped run. His phone number was passed around among those who wanted to curry favor, during the decades when restaurants replaced clubs and theater as, well, theater in the most visible, vibrant city in the world.

Besides dropping us back into a vanished time, Your Table Is Ready takes us places we’d never be able to get into on our own: Raoul’s in Soho with its louche club vibe; Buzzy O’Keefe’s casually elegant River Café (the only outer-borough establishment desirable enough to be included in this roster), from Keith McNally’s Minetta Tavern to Nolita’s Le Coucou, possibly the most beautiful room in New York City in 2018, with its French Country Auberge-meets-winery look and the most exquisite and enormous stands of flowers, changed every three days.

From his early career serving theater stars like Tennessee Williams and Dustin Hoffman at La Rousse right through to the last pre-pandemic-shutdown full houses at Le Coucou, Cecchi-Azzolina has seen it all. In Your Table Is Ready, he breaks down how restaurants really run (and don’t), and how the economics work for owners and overworked staff alike. The professionals who gravitate to the business are a special, tougher breed, practiced in dealing with the demanding patrons and with each other, in a very distinctive ecosystem that’s somewhere between a George Orwell “down and out in….” dungeon and a sleek showman’s smoke-and-mirrors palace.

Your Table Is Ready is a rollicking, raunchy, revelatory memoir.

20% Review:

So far this book has been a bit of a slow read for me. I only started it this morning, so not in the sense that I’m finding myself constantly putting it down and picking it back up, but in the sense that a few times I’ve realized I’ve read the same sentence or paragraph multiple times because I’m losing my place or spacing out and forgetting what I’ve already read. Now, I am reading it on my phone at the moment, so take that with a grain of salt, but still. However, I’m in a part of the book where he’s talking more about the theatre-side of his restaurant career, which is particularly interesting to me as a performer, and I hope there’s more of it.

Check out my full review here!

The Light Pirate

Author: Lily Brooks-Dalton

Narrated by: Rosemary Benson

Audio Publication Date: December 6, 2022

Genre: Fiction, Sci-Fi, Literary Fiction, Dystopia, Contemporary, Adult

Audiobook Length: 11 hours 18 minutes

Thanks so much to the author, Hachette Audio, and Libro.fm for the gifted advanced audio-copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

Florida is slipping away. As devastating weather patterns and rising sea levels gradually wreak havoc on the state’s infrastructure, a powerful hurricane approaches a small town on the southeastern coast. Kirby Lowe, an electrical line worker; his pregnant wife, Frida; and their two sons, Flip and Lucas, prepare for the worst. When the boys go missing just before the hurricane hits, Kirby heads out into the high winds to search for them. Left alone, Frida goes into premature labor and gives birth to an unusual child, Wanda, whom she names after the catastrophic storm that ushers her into a society closer to collapse than ever before.

As Florida continues to unravel, Wanda grows. Moving from childhood to adulthood, adapting not only to the changing landscape, but also to the people who stayed behind in a place abandoned by civilization, Wanda loses family, gains community, and ultimately, seeks adventure, love, and purpose in a place remade by nature.

Told in four parts—power, water, light, and time—The Light Pirate mirrors the rhythms of the elements and the sometimes quick, sometimes slow dissolution of the world as we know it. It is a meditation on the changes we would rather not see, the future we would rather not greet, and a call back to the beauty and violence of an untamable wilderness.

20% Review:

I just started this one on audio, and so far it has been a pretty quick listen! I’m not always a sci-fi/literary fiction type of person – it really has to be just the right one to fully draw me in. I’m not sure yet if this is going to be just the right story to make me fall in love with it, but it is fast paced and seems like it might be a pretty short listen for me, so I’m keeping an open mind!

Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

Witcha Gonna Do? by Avery Flynn

Review and Blog Tour Courtesy of Valentine PR

Thanks so much to the author, Berkley Publishing, Netgalley, and Valentine PR for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts and participation in this blog tour! { partner }

Publication Date: December 6, 2022

Published by: Berkley Publishing Group

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal/Witches, Contemporary, Adult

Romance Trope: Enemies to Lovers

Page Count: 336 pages

Book Description from Goodreads:

An unlucky witch and her know-it-all nemesis must team up in the first of a new, hot romantic comedy series from USA Today bestselling author Avery Flynn.

Could it possibly get any worse than having absolutely no magical abilities when you’re a member of the most powerful family of witches ever? It used to be that I’d say no, but then I keep getting set up on dates with Gil Connolly whose hotness is only matched by his ego. Seriously. I can’t stand him. Even if I also can’t stop thinking about him (specifically kissing him) but we’re going to pretend I never told you that part.

So yeah, my life isn’t the greatest right now, but then it goes straight to the absolute worst hell when I accidentally make my sister’s spell glitch and curse my whole family. And the only person who can help non-magical me break the spell? You guessed it. Gil the super hot jerk.

Now we have to work together to save my family and outmaneuver some evil-minded nefarious forces bent on world domination. Oh yeah, and we have to do all that while fighting against the attraction building between us because I may not be magical, but what’s happening between Gil and I sure feels like it.

Review (3.5 Stars):

Thanks so much to the author, Berkley Publishing Group, Valentine PR, and Netgalley for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts and participation in this blog tour. { partner } All opinions are entirely my own. All of my reviews can also be found on Instagram @Tackling_TBR and on Goodreads.

I was so excited to receive an early copy of this book to review! People who have seen my Instagram or my recent books on Goodreads know that I LOVE a cozy, witchy romcom. Honestly, if they could make up my entire reading list from September through November, I would probably be content. And while I haven’t read anything by Avery Flynn up until this point, I’ve heard really fun things about her books from my fellow romance readers.

All of that to say, that I had really high hopes when I started this book a few days ago. And I really did enjoy the book quite a bit, but there were just a couple of small things that kept it from being a 5-star read for me.

To get this bit out of the way, let’s talk about our characters. I thought that Tilda and Gil were really fun as our leads – they were interesting characters in their own right, and I enjoyed their chemistry together. What can I say – I’m a sucker for an enemies-to-lovers storyline. I also really think that the secondary characters shine in this story, obviously the group of The Misfits that we spend most of the book with, but also some of Tilda’s more colorful family members. (I’m looking at you, Griselda).

The one thing that I will say I didn’t love with this romance was that with enemies-to-lovers, a lot of what typically makes that work is the big conflict or misunderstanding in the two characters’ shared past that makes them both think that they were wronged, and it’s why they’ve hated each other for years, and blah blah blah. We didn’t really get any of that explanation or backstory in this case, and I do feel like I was missing it. It didn’t fully keep me from feeling invested in the relationship or anything that dramatic, but I want to know why you’re so opposed to being together. And we didn’t get that this time around.

Another quirk about this book is that with the dual POV, we also get both of the main characters breaking the fourth wall and talking directly to you as a reader. Think the style of a 90s sitcom, or the main character/narrator in a Disney Channel Original Movie. I think that this bit in particular will be a bit divisive with readers, and already is in some of the reviews that I’ve seen. While this doesn’t seem to have been a favorite for a lot of folks, I actually enjoyed it. I thought it was a fun way to get some of the characters’ (especially Tilda’s) sense of humor, but I can definitely see how this device wouldn’t be for everyone.

I will say though, while on the topic of the dual POVs, that I don’t know that the two characters had different enough voices. Every once in a while I had to flip back to the start of the chapter to remind myself whose head I was inside of, because I couldn’t really tell from the writing. This is something that could still change in the final edit, though, so take that with a grain of salt.

Oh okay, one last thing about the character voices and the writing. They say “fuck” a lot. Like, A LOT. And I am someone that swears pretty freely and frequently, so I definitely don’t mind some adult language in my books. But these characters used this one particular curse word about as frequently as a teenager trying to show how mature and grown up they are by swearing, you know? I don’t mind it being in there, but I think that it could maybe have been dialed back the tiniest bit. Even if only for one of the characters – another opportunity to make the POVs feel separate.

Okay, now on to the last point. The last thing that kept me from really fully loving this book. It felt a bit like the book was confused on what age it was being written for. Like I said earlier, at times it felt almost DCOM-like with the fourth wall breaking narration and some of the sillier shenanigans that the two characters get into together, so there was once or twice that I looked back at the listed genres to see if it was a YA book and I just didn’t remember. But then about halfway through the book the slow-burn romance turns to full on, spicy, sex on the page scenes, that definitely keep the book squarely in the adult column.
Again, I enjoyed the comedy that these narrations could provide, and it’s no secret that I’m not afraid of some spicy scenes in my books. But it just felt at times like these two aspects of it were meant for different books, and they just got unceremoniously combined in the editing phase.

Okay one more thing worth noting – this book is downright silly at times with the way the witchy world was built for the reader. We don’t get a ton of traditional world building that you would expect from a full blown fantasy novel, but we do get little glimpses into it. And from what I was able to gather, it is a witchy-version of our current world, where they still watch the Superbowl and Daniel Craig 007 movies, but they use Witchygram instead of Instagram.

All of that being said, I would still overall recommend this book to my friends and fellow readers, and I’m looking forward to the continuation of the series.
I don’t think that it’s perfect by any means, but not every book needs to be! It was still a fun, fairly light, quick read. But my words of wisdom would be that if you are going to read it, really lean in to the sillier sides! I think you’ve got to if you’re going to really enjoy it.

About the Author:

When Avery Flynn isn’t writing about alpha heroes and the women who tame them, she is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip. She has three slightly wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband, and has a slight shoe addiction. Find out more about Avery on her website, follow her on Twitter, like her on her Facebook page, or friend her on her Facebook profile. Also, if you figure out how to send Oreos through the internet, she’ll be your best friend for life.

Connect with Avery

Website: http://averyflynn.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4894804.Avery_Flynn

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Avery-Flynn/e/B00560LIP0

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AveryFlynnAuthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/averyflynn/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AveryFlynn

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/avery-flynn

Link to Purchase on Amazon:

November 27 – December 3

New Releases and Publications

Hello, friends – and happy Tuesday! Welcome to another round of new releases that I was lucky enough to get an early copy of, and have either already read or are upcoming on my #TBR.

These books could be gifted from the publisher through sites like NetGalley or Edelweiss+, they could be electronic copies gifted directly to me from the publisher or the author, an early audiobook copy through the publisher or Libro.fm, or even a physical copy that has been sent to me from the author or publisher. I am so thankful for all of the reading opportunities that I am given through these various sources, and I am excited to share these new releases!

In these weekly posts I will include a 20% review if I am currently reading the book, as well as a link to my full review if I have already finished the book. And if I have not yet started the book by the time this is posted, I will leave those spots blank and edit the post to add them in later!

Never Ever Getting Back Together

Author: Sophie Gonzales

Publication Date: November 29, 2022

Genre: Romance, LGBTQIA+, Contemporary, Young Adult

Page Count: 384 pages

Thanks so much to the author, St. Martin’s Press, Wednesday Books, and Netgalley for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

When their now famous ex-boyfriend asks them to participate in a teen reality show, two eighteen year old girls—one bent on revenge, the other open to rekindling romance—get tangled up in an unexpected twist when they fall for each other instead in Never Ever Getting Back Together by nationally and internationally-bestselling and Indie Next Pick author Sophie Gonzales.

It’s been two years since Maya’s ex-boyfriend cheated on her, and she still can’t escape him: his sister married the crown prince of a minor European country and he captured hearts as her charming younger brother. If the world only knew the real Jordy, the manipulative liar who broke Maya’s heart.

Skye Kaplan was always cautious with her heart until Jordy said all the right things and earned her trust. Now his face is all over the media and Skye is still wondering why he stopped calling.

When Maya and Skye are invited to star on the reality dating show Second-Chance Romance, they’re whisked away to a beautiful mansion—along with four more of Jordy’s exes— to compete for his affections while the whole world watches. Skye wonders if she and Jordy can recapture the spark she knows they had, but Maya has other plans: exposing Jordy and getting revenge. As they navigate the competition, Skye and Maya discover that their real happily ever after is nothing they could have scripted.

20% Review:

I read this book in only two sittings, so I didn’t want to put it down long enough to write a 20%! Therefore, we can just assume that I was loving it then, and throughout the rest of the book. But check out my full thoughts at the link below!

Check out my full review here!

November 13 – November 19

New Releases and Publications

Hello, friends – and happy Tuesday! Welcome to another round of new releases that I was lucky enough to get an early copy of, and have either already read or are upcoming on my #TBR.

These books could be gifted from the publisher through sites like NetGalley or Edelweiss+, they could be electronic copies gifted directly to me from the publisher or the author, an early audiobook copy through the publisher or Libro.fm, or even a physical copy that has been sent to me from the author or publisher. I am so thankful for all of the reading opportunities that I am given through these various sources, and I am excited to share these new releases!

In these weekly posts I will include a 20% review if I am currently reading the book, as well as a link to my full review if I have already finished the book. And if I have not yet started the book by the time this is posted, I will leave those spots blank and edit the post to add them in later!

What A Trip

Author: Susen Edwards

Publication Date: November 15, 2022

Genre: Fiction

Page Count: 424 pages

Thanks so much to the author, She Writes Press, and BookSparks for the gifted finished copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

In this dramatic coming-of-age novel we meet Fiona, an art student at a New Jersey college who is brilliant, beautiful, and struggling to find herself. Through her eyes we relive the turbulent culture of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll, the first draft lottery since World War II, the Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam, the Kent State University shootings, and the harsh realities of war for Americans in their early twenties.

Fiona’s best friend, Melissa, is in a dead-end relationship, pregnant, and going nowhere fast. After Melissa’s abortion, Fiona and Melissa spend a week in Florida, where they are introduced to tarot cards and the anti-war movement. Following this experience, Melissa becomes obsessed with the occult; Fiona, though intrigued, approaches the tarot cautiously, with the voice of her conservative Christian mother screaming in her head.

After Fiona’s return from Florida, she begins dating Reuben–a journalism major and political activist. Reuben decides to move to Canada to avoid the draft and encourages Fiona to accompany him. But is that really what she wants? Caught between her feelings for Reuben and her own aspirations, Fiona struggles to define herself, her artistic career, and her future.

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Check out my full review and blog tour here!

The Lindbergh Nanny

Author: Mariah Fredericks

Publication Date: November 15, 2022

Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, True Crime, Suspense, Thriller

Page Count: 320 pages

Thanks so much to the author, St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books, and Netgalley for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

Mariah Fredericks’s The Lindbergh Nanny is powerful, propulsive novel about America’s most notorious kidnapping through the eyes of the woman who found herself at the heart of this deadly crime.

“A masterful blending of fact and fiction that is as compelling as it is entertaining.”—Nelson DeMille

When the most famous toddler in America, Charles Lindbergh, Jr., is kidnapped from his family home in New Jersey in 1932, the case makes international headlines. Already celebrated for his flight across the Atlantic, his father, Charles, Sr., is the country’s golden boy, with his wealthy, lovely wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, by his side. But there’s someone else in their household—Betty Gow, a formerly obscure young woman, now known around the world by another name: the Lindbergh Nanny.

A Scottish immigrant deciphering the rules of her new homeland and its East Coast elite, Betty finds Colonel Lindbergh eccentric and often odd, Mrs. Lindbergh kind yet nervous, and Charlie simply a darling. Far from home and bruised from a love affair gone horribly wrong, Betty finds comfort in caring for the child, and warms to the attentions of handsome sailor Henrik, sometimes known as Red. Then, Charlie disappears.

Suddenly a suspect in the eyes of both the media and the public, Betty must find the truth about what really happened that night, in order to clear her own name—and to find justice for the child she loves.

“Gripping and elegant, The Lindbergh Nanny brings readers into the interior of the twentieth century’s most infamous crime.”—Nina de Gramont, New York Times bestselling author of The Christie Affair

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

Have I Told You This Already?

Author: Lauren Graham

Narrated by: Lauren Graham

Audio Publication Date: November 15, 2022

Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir, Humor, Adult

Audiobook Length: 4 hours 23 minutes

Thanks so much to the author, Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group, and Libro.fm for the gifted advanced audio-copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

Candid, insightful, and wildly entertaining essays about life, love, and lessons learned as an actress in Hollywood, from the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and New York Times bestselling author of Talking as Fast as I Can.

With her signature sense of humor and down-to-earth storytelling, Lauren Graham opens up about her years working in the entertainment business—from the sublime to the ridiculous—and shares personal stories about everything from family and friendship to the challenges of aging gracefully in Hollywood. In “RIP Barneys New York,” she writes about an early job as a salesperson at the legendary department store — and the time she inadvertently shoplifted; in “Ne Oublie” she warns us about the perils of coming from an extremely forgetful family; and in “Actor-y Factory” she recounts what a day in the life of an actor looks like (unless you’re Brad Pitt).

Filled with surprising anecdotes, sage advice, and laugh-out-loud observations, Graham’s latest collection of all-new, original essays showcases the winning charm and wit that she’s known for.

20% Review:

This is a fairly quick listen, so I was able to listen to it all in one go! Because of this I won’t be writing a 20% review, but check out my full thoughts at the link below.

Check out my full review here!

The Wind at My Back

Author: Misty Copeland

Narrated by: Misty Copeland

Audio Publication Date: November 15, 2022

Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir

Audiobook Length: 5 hours 13 minutes

Thanks so much to the author, Hachette Audio, and Libro.fm for the gifted advanced audio-copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

From celebrated ballerina and New York Times bestselling author Misty Copeland, a heartfelt memoir about her friendship with trailblazer Raven Wilkinson which captures the importance of mentorship, shared history, and honoring the past to ensure a stronger future.

Misty Copeland made history as the first African-American principal ballerina at the American Ballet Theatre. Her talent, passion, and perseverance enabled her to make strides no one had accomplished before. But as she will tell you, achievement never happens in a void. Behind her, supporting her rise was her mentor Raven Wilkinson. Raven had been virtually alone in her quest to breach the all-white ballet world when she fought to be taken seriously as a Black ballerina in the 1950s and 60s. A trailblazer in the world of ballet decades before Misty’s time, Raven faced overt and casual racism, hostile crowds, and death threats for having the audacity to dance ballet.

The Wind at My Back tells the story of two unapologetically Black ballerinas, their friendship, and how they changed each other—and the dance world—forever. Misty Copeland shares her own struggles with racism and exclusion in her pursuit of this dream career and honors the women like Raven who paved the way for her but whose contributions have gone unheralded. She celebrates the connection she made with her mentor, the only teacher who could truly understand the obstacles she faced, beyond the technical or artistic demands.

A beautiful and wise memoir of intergenerational friendship and the impressive journeys of two remarkable women, The Wind at My Back captures the importance of mentorship, of shared history, and of respecting the past to ensure a stronger future.

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)