Sunday, July 7, 2019

Cleaning Up My TBR Pile #18

I saw this on an amazing blog called Lisa Loves Literature and I immediately fell in love with the idea. It originally comes from a blog called Lost in a Story. It's all about cleaning up our generally overflowing TBR pile, and I for one need some real help with that.

Anyway, it works like this:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

This week I'm going to be pulling 20 to go through off of my Maybe pile. My goal is to completely get rid of my Maybe pile by the end of the summer.

Property tycoon Christo Mantazis wants the one thing his riches can't buy--the villa where his mother has lived and worked as a housekeeper for forty years. That it's the same house he was banished from after being caught making love to the owner's irresistible daughter stirs up old memories, and now he wants her more than ever.

Magazine editor Ruby Fleming's not about to give up her home to Christo, the man who broke her heart--until she discovers her mother left half of the estate to him, and she realizes she's trapped. When Christo offers a marriage of convenience, Ruby knows it's the only way for them to get what they want. Ruby needs a link to her past, and Christo needs his mother to retain her home.

But it's another need--to have Christo again--that Ruby must resist at all costs.

Thoughts: I've read ones similar to this before several times. I think I would be surer if I'd read more by this author.

Decision: Toss

And girl created boy…

In the beginning, there was an apple—

And then there was a car crash, a horrible injury, and a hospital. But before Evening Spiker’s head clears a strange boy named Solo is rushing her to her mother’s research facility. There, under the best care available, Eve is left alone to heal.

Just when Eve thinks she will die—not from her injuries, but from boredom—her mother gives her a special project: Create the perfect boy.

Using an amazingly detailed simulation, Eve starts building a boy from the ground up. Eve is creating Adam. And he will be just perfect... won’t he?

Thoughts: I'm not super interested in this story. Also, I'm not interested in a book that might have religious undertones.

Decision: Toss


Meena has a secret guarded closely by her family—a secret as dangerous as the sea and buried just as deep. When court-appointed community-service workers are assigned to Flukes, the family-owned animal sanctuary, everyone is on high alert. It doesn’t help that Meena finds herself attracted to sexy-as-sin Blake Weathering, one of the new workers. If he wasn’t so distracting, she might be able to land Flukes a much-needed cruise-line contract.

Blake Weathering, the first in his family to attend public school, has developed a tough image. Unfortunately, it lands him in trouble. Now banned from his high school graduation ceremony, getting his diploma is dependent upon a community-service gig cleaning up fish crap. No diploma, no trust fund fortune—and no way to escape his overbearing father. The last thing he needs is the distraction of a mysterious girl with teal eyes who pulls at his heartstrings.

When Blake discovers Meena’s secret, they are both thrown into a desperate search for information about her past. Two worlds pull them in opposite directions, and they will have to fight to hold on to all that really matters.

Thoughts: I'm unsure about this one, but it's on KindleUnlimited so I think I'm going to try and give it a whirl.

Decision: Keep for now.

Red-hot author Miranda Kenneally hits one out of the park in this return to Catching Jordan's Hundred Oaks High.

Parker Shelton pretty much has the perfect life. She’s on her way to becoming valedictorian at Hundred Oaks High, she’s made the all-star softball team, and she has plenty of friends. Then her mother’s scandal rocks their small town and suddenly no one will talk to her.

Now Parker wants a new life.

So she quits softball. Drops twenty pounds. And she figures why kiss one guy when she can kiss three? Or four. Why limit herself to high school boys when the majorly cute new baseball coach seems especially flirty?

But how far is too far before she loses herself completely?

Thoughts: Um... I don't know. This doesn't sound like anything I've ever read.

Decision: Toss

After spending her thirtieth birthday with her parents, straight-as-an-arrow Abby Simmons drowns her sorrows in a bottle of tequila and a splash of margarita mix. All she wants is a little excitement, one chance to go wild before she settles back into her regularly scheduled life. Fueled by liquid courage, Abby sets out to give herself the perfect gift—her bad-boy neighbor, firefighter Lukas Marlow.

Sure, Lukas likes intoxicated girls looking to turn their fantasies into reality as much as the next guy, but this is sweet little Abby. Definitely on the do-not-touch list. Determined to save her from embarrassment, he sends her away with an order to sleep it off and a promise to fulfill her desires in the sober light of day. Confident he’s scared her away for good, nothing could have shocked him more than an email from Abby the next morning, outlining her sexual to-do list.

Turns out his quiet neighbor isn’t such a good girl after all, and Lukas has no other choice but to make her burn.

Publisher’s Note: Previously published elsewhere, but has been revised and expanded for Ellora’s Cave.

Thoughts: Looks like this book is no longer available.

Decision: Toss


Ten-year-old Jamie Matthews has just moved to the Lake District with his Dad and his teenage sister, Jasmine for a 'Fresh New Start'. Five years ago his sister's twin, Rose, was blown up by a terrorist bomb. His parents are wrecked by their grief, Jasmine turns to piercing, pink hair and stops eating. The family falls apart. But Jamie hasn't cried in all that time. To him Rose is just a distant memory. Jamie is far more interested in his cat, Roger, his birthday Spiderman T-shirt, and in keeping his new friend Sunya a secret from his dad. And in his deep longing and unshakeable belief that his Mum will come back to the family she walked out on months ago. When he sees a TV advert for a talent show, he feels certain that this will change everything and bring them all back together once and for all.

Thoughts: This one seems too serious for me.

Decision: Toss

"Pain would bind us together tighter than any cord; death had made us equals, the harpies had made us partners, but pain, pain would make us friends forever."

I was born wrapped in death.

I was bathed in it.

It had always been a part of my life whether I liked it or not. I just didn't expect it to come for me so soon.

Or to be so disappointed to live through it.

I remember falling, like Alice down the rabbit hole, and then I met the boy with stitches in his face. The boy that would show me harpies, demons, souls. The boy that would help me fight my once dead sister. The boy who would restore my belief in friendship and give me the will to live.

Thoughts: Another one that looks to be no longer accessible.

Decision: Toss

Real estate tycoon Nathaniel Montgomery is one deal away from making his first billion and fulfilling a promise to his dying father. Nothing will stop him from tearing down the decrepit St. Agnes hospital and erecting posh condos in its place. Not even the crystal-wearing, health food store owner whose publicity stunt lands him in the hospital.

After her brush with death five years ago, child prodigy Addie Collins learned what’s truly important—health, happiness, and the two-hundred-year-old rose garden at St. Agnes. To make amends for the accident, she agrees to pose as Nathaniel’s girlfriend at his eccentric grandmother’s birthday party.

But Addie has an ulterior motive. To repay her debt to the universe, she must show him there's more to life than making money. Nathaniel hates to lose, but as she breaks through his defenses, losing himself in Addie's arms might be exactly what this tycoon needs...

Thoughts: I like the sound of this story but considering I think I've read several like this before I'm going to pass on this one for now.

Decision: Toss

When Nadia’s family moves to Captive’s Sound, she instantly realizes there’s more to it than meets the eye. Descended from witches, Nadia senses a dark and powerful magic at work in her new town. Mateo has lived in Captive’s Sound his entire life, trying to dodge the local legend that his family is cursed - and that curse will cause him to believe he’s seeing the future … until it drives him mad. When the strange dreams Mateo has been having of rescuing a beautiful girl—Nadia—from a car accident come true, he knows he’s doomed.

Despite the forces pulling them apart, Nadia and Mateo must work together to break the chains of his family’s terrible curse, and to prevent a disaster that threatens the lives of everyone around them. Shimmering with magic and mystery, New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray’s new novel is sure to draw fans of the Hex Hall and Caster Chronicles series, and fans of the hit CW TV show The Secret Circle.

Thoughts: I go back and forth on Claudia Gray's books. I think for now I'm going to pass on this one.

Decision: Toss

They've been coming here for thousands of years, using Earth as a sanctuary to escape threats from their own kind. Mankind knows them as angels, and one of them left a child upon her death to be raised as a human.

Raea is now a high school senior, and her life as a human is about to end. The crystal shard she bears is not a pretty pendant; it's a collective of powerful entities who chose her as their Keeper, a protector of one of the four shards that power a machine capable of destroying whole worlds. Those who desire the Starfire's power have sent an agent to find her, but she's too busy evading a nosy reporter ready to exploit her secret and dating a hot new foreign student to notice. Nevermind learning what she really is.

Only one person on Earth can help her, the last person she ever expected. But he's not from Earth. Life as a human would be so much easier.

Thoughts: I think I've read several similar stories.

Decision: Toss

Is she his worst nightmare…

No relationships, that’s billionaire Garth Solen’s rule—especially not with a woman like his new employee Melissa Bencher, who thinks with her heart and not her head. But all bets are off when Melissa tries to make her jerk ex-boyfriend jealous by suggesting that she’s dating her gorgeous boss. How could she have imagined all the trouble one impulsive act could cause?

…or a dream come true?

To protect his ailing grandmother, Garth is forced to play the part of Melissa’s adoring fiancé. Now they’re trying on rings and posing for the paparazzi. The game is clear: for one month, they play the part of an engaged couple, and then they part ways. No emotions. No entanglements. But when it comes to matters of the heart, Melissa’s never been good at following the rules…

Thoughts: I have a huge soft spot for this trope.

Decision: Keep and move to the TBR pile

Not even the bride could deny a certain punch-line quality to her current situation: hard-nosed divorce attorney dumps her fiancé and her career to take a job selling wedding gowns.

Sydney Garfield has always approached relationships rationally--none of this emotional head-over-heels or opposites-attract business. Marrying Jack Kaiser is the smart thing to do--after all, he'll be the "perfect" husband. But after a life-changing shake-up at work, Sydney abandons logic--and her fiancé--to chase the fairy tale.

Real-estate mogul Jack can't believe the woman he's head-over-heels for is ditching her hard-won success--and him--to work as a small-town shop clerk. That's her idea of a fairy tale? Hoping she's merely in need of time, Jack follows Sydney to Smizer Mill, where he invests in the quaint coffee shop next door. Now, he's got a few new challenges: make a failing coffee shop a success and convince Sydney that theirs is a romance worthy of a true happily ever after.

Thoughts: Another one no longer available.

Decision: Toss

She inherited a magical destiny—and a mission to stop a powerful family of dark sorcerers. She never expected to fall in love with one of them.

There's still so much Daire Santos has to learn about being the last Soul Seeker….and about herself. As her magical training becomes more intense, so does her relationship with Dace. But when she learns that his connection to the evil Richter family goes far deeper than she ever imagined, she begins to question if love really can conquer all.

Dace is painfully aware that he wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the Richters' dark magic—and now his brother Cade is determined to use his love for Daire against him. Dace is willing to sacrifice anything to protect the girl he loves —including his own life. But will Daire allow it? And what if defeating Cade costs not only his life, but his soul too?

Thoughts: I liked Evermore and the sequel but I wasn't a fan of the ending or the first book in this series.

Decision: Toss

My tale has been told again and again, and I’ve heard each one. Except for my hair, I barely recognize the pitiful renditions. Muddled versions, crafted to entertain laughing children…but the children wouldn’t have laughed if they’d known the real story. It wasn't their fault. They didn't know the truth. Nobody did.

My name is Rapunzel. I will tell you my story. I will tell you the truth.

Thoughts: Eh, this sounds fine but the description is a bit vague for me.

Decision: Toss

The day Finn Maguire discovers his fathet bludgeoned to death in a pool of blood, his dreary life is turned upside down. Prime suspect in the murder, Finn must race against time to clear his name and find out who hated his dad enough to kill him.
Trawling the sordid, brutal London underworld for answers, Finn exposes dark family secrets and faces danger at every turn. But he's about to learn that it's the people you trust who can hit you the hardest...

Thoughts: I am 100% unsure of how this book ended up on my TBR pile.

Decision: Toss

Waitress and single mom Jessica “Jessie” Mann is practical to a fault. Even if she had time to date, which she doesn’t, she’d be determined to provide her son with a more secure upbringing than the one she had—and that would mean a husband with big bucks. When Jack Morrison—a sexy-as-sin, seemingly broke customer with a cowboy hat and a seductive grin—tries to flirt with her, she shoots him down. She doubts a carefree dreamer like Jack can provide the financial stability she needs. Yet with Christmas just weeks away, and Jessie not wanting to spend it alone, the charming Texan is proving hard to resist.

As the heir to the Morrison luxury hotel empire, Jack is used to being fawned over. But Jack needs someone who will fall in love with him—not his wealth. He’s set his sights on Jessie, though her hardened heart just might get in the way…To be sure, he conceals his true identity and offers to help Jessie find the rich husband she seeks. But Jack’s daring charade may rob him of the holiday wish he wants most of all…

Thoughts: I'm unsure about this one, but it's on KindleUnlimited so I think I'm going to try and give it a whirl.

Decision: Keep for now.

Anna Winterson doesn't know she's a witch and would probably mock you for believing in magic, but after moving to the small town of Winter with her father, she learns more than she ever wanted to about power. When Anna meets Seth, she is smitten, but when she enchants him to love her, she unwittingly amplifies a deadly conflict between two witch clans and splits her own heart in two. She wants to love Seth, to let him love her - but if it is her magic that's controlling his passion, then she is as monstrous as the witch clan who are trying to use her amazing powers for their own gain.

Thoughts: This isn't my type of book and I don't like it when people control others in relationships.

Decision: Toss

Two Exes. One holiday adventure. Merry Ex-Mas?

Seventeen-year-old Lila Beckwith's parents just left for vacation, and Lila's all set to throw the holiday party of the season. But when her Christmas-obsessed little brother, Cooper, discovers that global warming is melting the North Pole, he and his best friend, Tyler, take off on a runaway mission to save Santa.
Lila has to get Cooper safely home before her parents get back on Christmas Eve. But the only person who can help her is Tyler's older brother, Beau — a.k.a. Lila's musician, anti-everything ex-boyfriend.

It'll take more than a Christmas miracle for Lila and Beau to overcome their differences and find their fugitive brothers. But could a journey destined for disaster help these polar opposites fall in love...all over again?

Thoughts: This book sounds super cute, but I don't think it's for me currently.

Decision: Toss

Armed with a sassy haircut, a sharp wit, and a personal list of rules for all life's exigencies, Grace Santiago is a fiercely loyal Senate staffer who has everything under control. At least until famous political pundit Ethan Castle walks back into her life. Grace hasn't forgotten their disastrous affair in law school, but she can't resist his bad boy charm.

When Grace learns that Ethan has been hired as a political gunslinger for the other side, her loyalties—and her heart—are torn in two. Though their sexual chemistry can't be denied, they find themselves locked in political combat. Ethan believes that all is fair in love and war, but he won't throw the election—not even to win Grace's heart. So what can a good girl like Grace do, but learn to play dirty?

Two candidates. One election. May the best man—or woman—win!

Thoughts: Wow, another no longer available one!

Decision: Toss

home sweet home...

Jade loves the house she's just moved into with her family. She doesn't even mind being the new girl at the high school: It's a fresh start, and there's that one guy with the dreamy blue eyes...

But then things begin happening. Strange, otherworldly things. Jade's little brother claims to see a glimmering girl in his room. Jade's jewelry gets moved around, as if by an invisible hand. Kids at school whisper behind her back like they know something she doesn't.

Soon, Jade must face an impossible fact: that her perfect house... is haunted.

Haunted by a ghost who's seeking not just vengeance, but the truth. The ghost of a girl who ruled Jade's school - until her untimely death last year. It's up to Jade to put the pieces together before her own life is at stake. As Jade investigates the mystery, she discovers that her new friends in town have more than a few deep, dark secrets.

But is one of them a murderer?

Thoughts: I'm not into ghosts or haunted houses.

Decision: Toss

Conclusion: Kept 3 and tossed 17.

I've been trying so hard to clean off my Maybe shelf completely and just get rid of it. I'm currently down to 60 on the shelf meaning I have about 3 weeks left if I keep doing 20. After I've cleaned off my Maybe pile I'll go back to 10 a week.

Thoughts on my choices this week? 
Did you see any I should have tossed that I kept? 
Any I kept that I tossed?

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