Sunday, December 22, 2019

Cleaning Up My TBR Pile #36









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?

As of my last Cleaning Up post I had 1,899 books on my TBR pile. I currently have 1,917 which means I went up a bit but thankfully they're all from blog tours.

Warning: This is not a typical love story. This is an all-consuming, soul-crushing, tear-your-heart-into-pieces story. It’s intense, gritty and raw, dark and disturbing, and it doesn’t happen overnight. This is an epic love story that knows no boundaries and has no time limits. It grows and develops—with hurt, sacrifice, and heartache—over the span of a lifetime.

Eva Fox is the princess of the Silver Demons Motorcycle Club. Growing up with bikers in the club lifestyle is all that she knows. When she’s a young girl, Eva meets the reason for her existence. Deuce West is the sexy, biker bad-ass of the Hell’s Horsemen Motorcycle Club. Like Eva, he was born and raised in the club—but that’s where the similarities end. Their first meeting is innocent, but as Eva matures into a woman, their chance reunions evolve into a fit of lust and love. Fate continues to bring them together time and time again, but their twisted journey is filled with pain, betrayal, and bloodshed that could tear them apart. Eva sees in Deuce what he cannot see in himself—a man worthy of love—and Eva spends her lifetime proving to him that her undeniable love is the one thing he can’t live without.

This is Eva and Deuce’s story.

It wasn’t easy.
Nothing worth doing ever is.
And love is worth everything.

Thoughts: I like MC books but I feel like I'm not quite in the mode I was when I added this one, which was to like read every MC book there is.

Decision: Toss

When Maude Pichon runs away from provincial Brittany to Paris, her romantic dreams vanish as quickly as her savings. Desperate for work, she answers an unusual ad. The Durandeau Agency provides its clients with a unique service—the beauty foil. Hire a plain friend and become instantly more attractive.

Monsieur Durandeau has made a fortune from wealthy socialites, and when the Countess Dubern needs a companion for her headstrong daughter, Isabelle, Maude is deemed the perfect foil.

But Isabelle has no idea her new "friend" is the hired help, and Maude's very existence among the aristocracy hinges on her keeping the truth a secret. Yet the more she learns about Isabelle, the more her loyalty is tested. And the longer her deception continues, the more she has to lose.

Thoughts: I have no idea why I added this outside of mad cover love.

Decision Toss

Bailey Gray is tired of her perfectly planned life. Everything about her life has been organized and lived out to the expectations set by her parents. She is the class valedictorian, has perfect grades, the perfect friends, a perfect boyfriend, basically perfect life...or so everyone thought. That's when she realizes the path planned isn't always the path chosen.

On graduation day she makes a decision. One that changes everything she thought she knew about her intended future.

On a whim, she runs away with the town rebel, Dylan Wade, in search of the unknown.

Dylan Wade isn't looking to run away from anything.

He knows what he wants as he's been waiting on it for years.

On a journey to find the unknown, they discover a friendship they once knew along the open highway and have not a care in the world. Between the yellow and white lines of the heated summer asphalt, a spark draws them together as Dylan's past and Bailey's future try to rip them apart.

Could it be that Dylan and his GTO are exactly what her perfectly planned life needs?

Thoughts: This is one I feel like I've read before.

Decision: Toss

Drew Evans is a winner. Handsome and arrogant, he makes multimillion-dollar business deals and seduces New York’s most beautiful women with just a smile. He has loyal friends and an indulgent family. So why has he been shuttered in his apartment for seven days, miserable and depressed?

He’ll tell you he has the flu.

But we all know that’s not really true.

Katherine Brooks is brilliant, beautiful and ambitious. She refuses to let anything - or anyone - derail her path to success. When Kate is hired as the new associate at Drew’s father’s investment banking firm, every aspect of the dashing playboy’s life is thrown into a tailspin. The professional competition she brings is unnerving, his attraction to her is distracting, his failure to entice her into his bed is exasperating.

Then, just when Drew is on the cusp of having everything he wants, his overblown confidence threatens to ruin it all. Will he be able to untangle his feelings of lust and tenderness, frustration and fulfillment? Will he rise to the most important challenge of his life?

Can Drew Evans win at love?

Tangled is not your mother’s romance novel. It is an outrageous, passionate, witty narrative about a man who knows a lot about women…just not as much as he thinks he knows. As he tells his story, Drew learns the one thing he never wanted in life, is the only thing he can’t live without.

Thoughts: I feel like I added this one cuz I have FOMO and not because I wanted to read it.

Decision: Toss

"I have a proposition for you." Kacey should have run the minute those words left Seattle millionaire Jake Titus's mouth. It's been years since Kacey's seen her childhood friend Jake, but the minute Jake mentions his ill grandmother, Kacey is ready to do anything for the sweet old woman. And if that means pretending they're engaged for her sake-so be it.

But Kacey wasn't counting on Jake's older brother Travis still being there. She calls him "Satan" for a reason: she's never forgotten the way he teased and taunted her. Yet when they meet again, Travis's gorgeous smile is a direct hit to her heart . . . and Kacey's more confused than ever. As the days pass, only one thing starts to become alarmingly clear-she never should have accepted Jake's deal . . .

Thoughts: This one seems like a cute read.

Decision: Keep

His body was sin, his cock was sin, and I was a sinner.
To keep myself safe I hide in the world and let life move around me.
My new partner, Nathan, isn’t safe. Far from it.
The darkness coils around him, hidden by a shield created by a blinding smile. But those who live in darkness see past the fa├žade we create.
Even in darkness, there is light. A spark that ignites then explodes.
Every filthy word from his mouth, every possessive touch—I crave them, need them. Violent and passionate and everything I need to fill the void inside me, but one thing is missing.
He can never love me.
More than my heart is on the line, and I don’t know if I’ll survive our breach.

Thoughts: This is another one I feel like I've read before and I don't like the vagueness around the story.

Decision: Toss

Annie Fleet, master scuba diver, and history buff knows she can’t fight her nerd status as a freshman at her Los Angeles private school. And she doesn’t care—except for the fact that her crush, Josh, thinks she’s more adorable than desirable. Annie is determined to set him straight on their school trip to Mexico. But her teacher has other plans: he needs Annie to help him find Cortez’s lost-long treasure.

Suddenly, Annie finds herself scuba diving in pitch-black waters, jetting to Hawaii with Josh, and hunting for the priceless Golden Jaguar. But Annie and Josh aren’t the only ones lured by the possibility of finding the greatest treasure ever lost at sea. Someone else wants the gold—and needs Annie dead. In deeper danger than she ever imagined, can Annie get the boy and find the Jaguar, or is she in over her head?

Thoughts: I have had many a chance to buy this one for a dollar and haven't so I think I'm going to pass.

Decision: Toss

The best writers of our generation retell classic tales. From Sir Edmund Spenser's "The Faerie Queene" to E. M. Forster's "The Machine Stops", literature is filled with sexy, deadly, and downright twisted tales. In this collection, today's most acclaimed award-winning and bestselling authors reimagine their favorite classic stories and use their own unique styles to rebuild these timeless stories, the ones that have inspired, awed, and enraged them, the ones that have become ingrained in modern culture, and the ones that have been too long overlooked. They take these twelve stories and boil them down to their bones, and reassemble them for a new generation of readers. Written from a twenty-first-century perspective and set within the realms of science fiction, dystopian fiction, fantasy, and realistic fiction, these short stories are as moving and thought-provoking as their originators. They pay homage to groundbreaking literary achievements of the past while celebrating each author's unique perception and innovative style.

Thoughts: No more anthologies for me.

Decision: Toss

With Cayne's fate in the hands of his enemies and Julia spirited away to the covert Stained compound, the two are separated by impenetrable walls and a gulf of unanswered questions. Soon Julia learns the truth about the Stained and the plans they have for her, the compound is attacked, and a new group is running from an unwanted destiny, searching the globe in pursuit of the knowledge that just might save them all.

Thoughts: I feel like I liked book one but I barely remember it. I'll need to go back and read that one first before I read this one.

Decision: Toss

A sexy category romance from Entangled's Brazen imprint...

It was only supposed to last one night…

Roxanne Stokes doesn’t believe in love. She does, however, believe in the sexy-as-sin stranger who literally knocks her off her feet in front of a nightclub. The chemistry sparking between them takes her breath away, and she’ll do anything to ease the pain in his eyes…until she realizes the handsome stranger is her best friend’s older brother who’s just come home from war.

Ian Walser had no idea the gorgeous woman he slept with the night of his homecoming party was his little sister’s best friend—or that she’d be gone before morning. Roxanne’s touch soothes him in a way nothing else can, and he’s not ready to walk away from that yet. Not when spending time with her gave Ian a glimpse of everything he’s ever wanted.

When his sister unwittingly pushes them together, he sees his chance. But convincing a woman who doesn’t believe in love that she’s his Mrs. Right might be harder than any mission Ian’s undertaken. Good thing this soldier likes a challenge…

Thoughts: I have a soft spot for this series and all things Katee Roberts'

Decision: Keep

A sexy category romance from Entangled's Brazen imprint...

Revenge is a dish best served with him on top.

Eight years ago, former Army sergeant Nathan Schultz let the love of his life disappear without a fight. After watching everyone around him find happiness while he slipped further away, he’s finally ready to fight for Chelsea Callaghan—and he’s not afraid to play dirty.

Chelsea has always followed her conservative family’s rules—with one heartbreaking exception. When she receives an invitation to an old high school friend’s wedding, she knows who’s to blame. Though she goes solely to give Nathan a piece of her mind, he blackmails her into staying the entire week. With him.

There’s no way she’ll bow to Nathan’s will without making him pay. Unfortunately, revenge is a dish best served fully clothed, and they can’t be in the same room without losing theirs. As insatiable, anger-fueled lust shifts into something more, they begin to lose sight of why they can’t be together. But with so many unforgivable wrongs between them, can Nathan and Chelsea ever make things right?

Thoughts: I want to find out about Nathan since he was in the first book and I need to know about his love lost.

Decision: Keep

Sometimes life takes things away from you.

In nineteen-year-old Maggie Carson’s case, it’s taken more than its fair share.

Determined to move forward, Maggie embarks on her first year of college, hoping to finally put her past behind her, exactly where it belongs.

But that’s hard to do when the present is just as difficult. And even harder when someone like Ran, the gorgeous paramedic that keeps crossing Maggie’s path, challenges her to face things head-on, rather than bury them like she always does.

Ran hasn’t had a perfect life either. But there’s something different about him, and something different about the way he makes Maggie feel. Maybe meeting Ran is life’s little gift for Maggie—a sort of consolation prize for enduring everything she's had to go through.

But things don’t come easy for Maggie. Why should love be the exception? And just when everything starts to settle, it’s all turned on its head once again.

If there is one thing Ran has taught Maggie, it’s that you can’t sit on the sidelines of your own existence. When life takes something that’s yours, you have every right to demand it back.

Only for Maggie, that is easier said than done.

Thoughts: This one is another that seems interesting enough, but I can't see myself picking it up anytime soon or even over 100's of other books.

Decision: Toss

A dark and sexy reimagining of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale from the author of THE DEMON TRAPPERS.

For Briar Rose, life is anything but a fairy tale. She's stuck in a small town in deepest Georgia with parents who won't let her out of their sight, a bunch of small-minded, gossiping neighbors and an evil ex who's spreading nasty rumors about what she may or may not have done in the back of his car. She's tired of it all, so when, on her sixteenth birthday, her parents tell her that she is cursed and will go to sleep for a hundred years when the clock strikes midnight, she's actually kind of glad to leave it all behind. She says her goodbyes, lies down and closes her eyes . . . And then she wakes up. Cold, alone and in the middle of the darkest, most twisted fairy tale she could ever have dreamed of. Now Briar must fight her way out of the story that has been created for her, but she can't do it alone. She never believed in handsome princes, but now she's met one her only chance is to put her life in his hands, or there will be no happy ever after and no waking up.

Thoughts: I'm not sure what I was thinking with this one.

Decision: Toss


Live young. Live hard. Love deep.

Charley Redford was just an ordinary girl until Jake Caplin moved to her small town in Indiana and convinced her she was extraordinary. Almost from day one Jake pulled Charley into the deep and promised he was right there with her. But when a tragic incident darkened Jake’s life he waded out into the shallows and left Charley behind.

Almost four years later Charley thinks she’s moved on. That is until she takes a study year abroad in Edinburgh and bumps into none other than Jake Caplin at a party with his new girlfriend. The bad-boy-turned-good attempts to convince Charley to forgive him, and as her best friend starts spending time with Jake’s friends, Charley calls a truce, only to find herself tumbling back into a friendship with him.

As they grow closer, the spark between them flares and begins playing havoc with their lives and relationships. When jealousy and longing rear their destructive heads, Charley and Jake struggle to come to grips with what they mean to one another.

And even if they work it out, there is no guarantee Charley will ever trust Jake to lead her back into the deep…

Thoughts: I like second-chance love stories and Samantha Young is awesome as well.

Decision: Keep

Cami Wimberley has a plan, and that plan includes no room for boys—especially the big time party animal, Hunter Wilder, no matter how handsome and charismatic he is. She’s beautiful, a senior, extremely talented, gets good grades, and is working her way toward her dream college to be a musical theater major. Everything is perfect.

Hunter Wilder does not want a girlfriend—that would complicate his life way too much right now. He especially doesn’t want this girl, Miss-Goody-Two-Shoes, so how come he can’t keep his eyes off her? He tries to keep her at arm's length, but fate seems to keep pushing them together. Before long, it’s obvious to everyone they’re crushing on each other.

As sparks begin to fly, Hunter finds himself sinking deeper and deeper into hot water. Soon he’s scrambling to keep Cami from discovering his dark secret—one that can destroy their entire relationship.

Thoughts: I love these types of YA stories.

Decision: Keep

The day Ella has waited for is just around the corner. It's the day she'll marry Micha, the love of her life, the light that guided her out of the darkness. It looks like it will be the perfect Christmas-until an unexpected package arrives with a harsh reminder of Ella's past. Suddenly Ella doesn't feel as confident about her future. Can she really have a "happily-ever-after" if she's never even seen one?

Micha will stand by Ella no matter what she's going through-though he worries that she might leave him standing at the altar again. When he's offered a once-in-a-lifetime chance to tour with his favorite bands for three months, Micha knows he can't leave Ella behind. But can he ask her to uproot her life to join him on the road?

Now Ella and Micha must find a way to balance their fears, their dreams, and their love . . . if they ever want to hear wedding bells.

Thoughts: I love Ella and Micha so I definitely want to know what happens to them.

Decision: Keep

The Arrivals is the second novel for adults by internationally bestselling author Melissa Marr.

Chloe walks into a bar and blows five years of sobriety. When she wakes, she finds herself in an unfamiliar world, The Wasteland. She discovers people from all times and places have also arrived there: Kitty and Jack, a brother and sister from the Wild West; Edgar, a prohibition bootlegger; Francis, a one-time hippie; Melody, a mentally unbalanced 1950s housewife; and Hector, a former carnival artist.

None know why they arrived there--or if there is way out of a world populated by monsters and filled with corruption.

Thoughts: This is another one I've had the chance to read and haven't.

Decision: Toss

Gabi Harkins likes to think she’s a pretty normal sixteen-year-old. She goes to school, suffers through an awful part-time job, and deals with a bratty younger sister. But when a potential shoplifter morphs into a monster right in front of her, Gabi realizes her life is far from normal—especially when that monster follows her home and ends up battling a boy wielding a sword in her backyard.

The boy, Rafe Fitzgerald, is a member of Silver Moon, an organization devoted to eradicating demons before they kill humans. If this little bit of news isn’t earth-shattering enough, Rafe reveals that he needs Gabi’s help. As strong as Rafe is, he does not possess the Sight—a rare ability that allows a hunter to See through a demon’s glamour, enabling them to strike before the demon does. But guess who does?

While Gabi is reluctant to face another demon, she knows she owes Rafe big time for saving her. Together, they’re thrown headfirst into heart-stopping situations as they battle newer and more frightening demons. When she starts to fall for Rafe, Gabi knows her normal life is gone forever.

Thoughts: This seems interesting but I don't think it's for me.

Decision: Toss

Sometimes life isn't pretty, but you have to close your eyes and let go...
Martin's first weekend at college is nothing like she's used to. It's wild, like the wilderness on which the University of Bellam Springs sits. Roped into going to a fraternity party, she literally runs into Kyle Hadley. The boy she's loved since she was nine. The boy she promised all of her firsts to. But that was before his father killed her parents.

Determined to stay away from him, she throws herself into her music. Practicing piano eases her heavy heart, calms the sadness, and pushes away images of Kyle's face.

Until it doesn't.

Her music professor asks her to play a duet for their annual Winter Gala. Doing so means she'll be assured another full-ride scholarship. It's an opportunity she can't pass up.

But Kyle is the other half of the duet. And that means hours and hours of practicing.

Weeks of seclusion - just the two of them. And it's more than just music. It's passion like Maddie never believed was possible.

The inevitable happens. She falls in love with him all over again.

But, will loving him be enough to erase all the hate in her heart for his father? Can she look at him, and not see the evil in his family tree?

And maybe it's all a setup. Maybe Kyle is only pretending to care so he can finish what his father started, and kill her too.

Thoughts: I've read a couple books by RaShelle since I added this one and haven't been a fan.

Decision: Toss

Sixteen-year-old, music- and sound design-obsessed Drea doesn't have friends. She has, as she's often reminded, issues. Drea's mom and a rotating band of psychiatrists have settled on "a touch of Asperger's."

Having just moved to the latest in a string of new towns, Drea meets two other outsiders. And Naomi and Justin seem to actually like Drea. The three of them form a band after an impromptu, Portishead-comparison-worthy jam after school. Justin swiftly challenges not only Drea's preference for Poe over Black Lab but also her perceived inability to connect with another person. Justin, against all odds, may even like like Drea.

It's obvious that Drea can't hide behind her sound equipment anymore. But just when she's found not one but two true friends, can she stand to lose one of them?

Thoughts: I think this is interesting, but I don't really like reading about musicians. 

Decision: Toss

Overall: Tossed 14 and kept 6. Not too bad. I'm at 1,903 books so far. I'd like to get it back under 1,900 so I'll try and keep my blog tour adding down and my reading high!

How'd I do? 
Did I toss too many? 
Did I toss too few?

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