I have had a shockingly bad year in the review stakes. And I haven’t posted a single time for SuperWendy’s TBR challenge for 2018. And I think the only way I will be able to get back in her TBR good books so as to take part in TBR 2019 is to do one big TBR post to cover the whole of 2018. So here goes!
January 17 – We Love Short Shorts! (shorter reads)
This is not necessarily a romance, however it is about the love and broken hearts and breakups and wonderful couples separated due to someone dying. The Museum of Broken Relationships: Modern Love in 203 Everyday Objects by Olinka Vistica and Drazen Grubisic. Using one of my favourite writing styles, the epistolary nature of this book with a few pages and photographs of objects held now at two permanent museums – on in Zagreb, Croatia and one in Los Angeles, California. There is also a touring collection. I adored this book. And I really hope that there is a sequel for unbroken relationships.
February 21 – Backlist Glom (author with multiple books in your TBR)
Molly O’Keefe’ You Can’t Hurry Love and You Can’t Buy Me Love
I adore Molly O’Keefe but I rarely stumble upon her books so when I do find them, I read them straightaway. Though I don’t consider 2 books a glom, I am sneaking O’Keefe in here.
It’s Wendy the SuperLibrarian’s Reading TBR Challenge time again and this month the theme is a book that has been recommended to you. Now most of my library loans tend to be the books I have sought out due to someone’s recommendation. I am loathe to spend money on a recommendation unless I have tried it first as I read way too much to purchase books without a thought. I am soooo far away from a One-Click reader but I do end up chasing library copies down constantly and this leaves me with reader anxiety.
A fortnight ago I stood at my shelves looking at my library loans trying to decide what I was going to read next when I was overwhelmed by the number of books I had amassed. With 28 library books to choose from, I knew I had reached that moment of terror that so many avid readers experience – I was about to declare reading bankruptcy and return every single book to the library just to rid myself of the pressure of reading and reviewing each one. And then I realised – I am a shallowreader and I don’t need to engage with my books in a critical manner. I just need to read them. So I embarked on a book-a-day reading bonanza! As of today, my library loan TBR now stands at 18 items! Yay! Of the 10 books that I read recommendations came from that wonderful (and at times scary) space Twitter where I have met so many like-minded readers who have recommended these authors to me such as: Miss Bates and Roz and Anna Campbell and Rachel Bailey and SuperWendy herself as well as probably many other people. And I thank them all! And yes – I will quickly run through all 10 books that I read:
His Wife for One Night
So this one had a mashup of my favourite tropes: friends-to-lovers, marriage-of-convenience, cowboys (well…cowgirls?). Jack had married his BFF Mia 5 years earlier but he is a bit thick and doesn’t pick up on her “I lurve you” vibes until she asks for a divorce and suddenly they are having hot sex. Mia walks out on him and there is a big bomb blast and lots of damaged characters and lots of healing to be had. It was an angsty read and despite some loose ends that I would have liked to have seen resolved, I enjoyed this book and I particularly liked its ending.
I have had many people tell me that Molly O’Keefe is a MUST read author that I would love. Though I Indecent Proposal over 18 months ago, I left it languishing in my TBR as I read other books. I finally managed to read it in February and it is so wonderful that I have proceeded to order in as many Molly O’Keefe books as I could find. But first, the blurb:
With his chiseled jaw and thick blond hair, Harrison Montgomery was born to lead. Four generations of Montgomery men have served the state of Georgia, and now he’s next in line. Harrison, though, is driven to right wrongs: namely to clean up the political mess left by his father’s greed and corruption. But Harrison must first win his congressional bid, and nothing can get in his way—not even an angel who served him whiskey and gave him a shoulder to lean on and a body to love for a night. Problem is, she’s pregnant. Scandal is brewing, and there is only one solution: marriage.
Damage control? Ryan Kaminski can’t believe that a cold, calculating political animal now inhabits the body of the emotionally vulnerable stranger who gave her the most unforgettable night of her life. Really, she doesn’t want anything from Harrison, except to be left alone to have her baby in peace. But Ryan is broke, jobless, and essentially blackmailed by Harrison’s desperate family to accept this crazy marriage deal. For two years, she will have to act the role of caring, supportive wife. But what is Ryan supposed to do when she realizes that, deep in her heart, she’s falling in love?
This novel was ultra intense. Just like in category romances, the novel applies a microscopic focus on the events leading to two unlikely people coming together. Each pivotal scene changes their relationship trajectory is studied deeply and heavily. O’Keefe writes with such a depth of understanding her characters motivations that as the reader I felt engrossed in these two characters whose lives were led by lies that they had to perform either for themselves of for those around them.
Congratulations to the ShallowreaderBingo! February winner – Sandra Antonelli. Read about Sandra’s winning reads here: ShallowreaderBINGO–It’s Better Than Winning a Meat Tray!
As for my own Bingo card – here is how I fared:
Jane the Virgin
Bingo Square: Netflix and Chill
I absolutely adore Jane the Virgin. It is currently my favourite show ever. It is like a mash up between Days of Our Lives, Harlequin Presents/Sexy Mills & Boon and Arrested Development. What has this got to do with reading, I hear you ask? Well, my sons are also obsessed with the show and my sons watch everything on TV with closed captions turned on. Everything! It drives me batty! But it does mean I read all my viewing. I have also become somewhat obsessed with every news article and interview I can find on Jane the Virgin’s writer Jennie Snyder Urman. I find it unbelievable that she did not grow up watching soaps and telenovelas as she has hit every single bell that as a watcher I enjoy. I am totally in love with Rafael in the show. He is the ultimate Harlequin Presents Lynne Graham gazillionaire. He’s hot, he’s suave and he wears faded salmon oh-so-well. Swoon with me people! Swoon!