Saturday, April 11, 2020

Cleaning Up My TBR Pile #45

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?

I'm still working through my ebooks this week. I had 956 last time before cleaning and am now at 938. 

Ellie Brooks has spent the past two years of her life building barriers around herself that are guaranteed to keep people out and her demons in. She doesn't want to get close to anyone for fear of being hurt again. When she meets Latin superstar Victor Garza, she is shocked at how quickly he is able to penetrate her armor. She doesn't want to let him in but can't deny the chemistry they have. He has the potential to heal her wounds and open her heart but she isn't sure she can let him.

Will love be enough to keep them together or will Ellie's past prove to be too much for the pair to overcome?

Decision: Toss, this is one I feel like I've read before.

Sherry has always known there was something out there. She's eighteen, works for a tabloid newspaper in Chicago and has a brother, Danny who is a lazy mooch. They live a pretty normal dull life with hippie parents and a normal existence. Then the moon disappears and people start to go missing only to reappear later, but different. Sherry has an abusive ex-boyfriend who shows up and claims to be one of these beings that have been showing up around the world. He's no longer the same person in that body. He tells her he has come to protect her and her brother and takes her underground, against her will to save her, where they meet others like them. She begins to unravel the truth about Merrick, about what he's really doing here, about the way he looks at her, about the crazy dangerous world they live in. Can he convince her that he's here to help? Will she like what she finds when she opens up to the truth? Will he be the one to love her when everyone else has failed her? Will he be able to protect her?

Decision: Toss, I can't find myself finding time to read this.


Policing relations between Heaven, Hell, and Earth is messy and violent, but Elise Kavanagh and James Faulkner excelled at it-- until coming across a job so brutal that even they couldn't stand to see one more dead body.

Now they've been pretending to be normal for five years, leaving their horrific history a dark secret. Elise works in an office. James owns a business. None of their friends realize they used to be one of the world's best killing teams.

After years of hiding, something stirs. Bodies are vanishing. Demons scurry in the shadows of the night. A child has been possessed.

Some enemies aren't willing to let the secrets of the past stay dead...

Decision: Toss, this one sounds like one I've read before.

Rule #1 Do NOT ignore the signs.
Rule #2 Pay attention.
Rule #3 The less they know about you, the harder it is for them to hurt you.
Rule #4 Comfort is dangerous. It can be taken away.
Rule #5 Need is a handicap. It can cripple you.
Rule #6 He isn’t what he seems. Don’t trust him.

Simple rules made for a simple purpose. Nina Ryan learned early on in life that if you want to avoid being hurt, you need to be proactive. If you pay attention the Universe will always steer you in the right direction. It will help keep you safe. So, she follows the rules, and she is safe. Until Connor Wright barges his way through all her carefully laid defenses and threatens to destroy the comfortable life she has created. Faithfully following her #1 rule, Nina tries to accept that the Universe has pushed Connor and her lives together for a purpose. Determined to make Nina his, Connor chips away at the walls Nina has placed around her heart and her secrets. Is Nina following the signs that will lead her down the right path, or does Connor hold secrets of his own that will ruin Nina for good? Only the Universe knows.

Decision: Toss, no thank you. I think I'm okay.

Sora Fallcrest always dreamed of adventure, but as a member of the nobility, she learned the ways of a Lady instead. Now seventeen, she is expected to choose a husband and marry. She plots to run away, but just as she is stepping out the door, she runs into a mysterious man--and is kidnapped.

Abducted from her manor, Sora is plunged into a world of magical races, arcane jewelry, and forgotten lore. She finds herself at the mercy of a dangerous assassin, haunted by an even darker past. She yearns for freedom, but he won't let her go--not when her Cat's Eye necklace is the only thing that can save his life.

But the necklace itself presents a problem. It is an ancient device from the long-forgotten War of the Races, and its magic has the ability to steal souls. Can Sora learn to wield its power -- or will the power wield her?

Decision: Toss, this feels like one I've read several times.

Her heart is broken and bleeding. But her blood is going to get her into trouble.

Tegan wonders if it is possible to die of a broken heart. For over two months she has grieved and not left the confines of her apartment in Tribane city. Following her friend Nicky’s advice, she is now going to step outside and start her life over again.

On her very first night outdoors, Tegan joins her friends at the Crimson club where she draws the attention of the mysterious owner, Ethan Cristescu. She is not entirely sure why this beautiful man is so interested in her, but she has a feeling there is something not quite right about him.

As she falls deeper into Ethan’s world, Tegan makes some shocking discoveries about who she really is, and finally uncovers the true face of her home city. Tribane is inhabited by vampires, dhampirs, slayers, witches, and warlocks. The problem is, they all want Tegan for her very special blood.

She doesn’t want to hide again, but she also doesn’t want these creatures to capture her. Tegan has a difficult decision to make. Should she run away or stand and fight?

Decision: Toss, no more vampires.


There are some relationships that destroy your faith in people. They make you jaded and hard, irrevocably changing you forever. I wish I could say that I hate her, I wish I could walk away and never look back, but I can’t… I have to save her.

The woman who stole my heart and crushed it in her hand disappeared from my life 3 years ago. So when I see her at a bachelor party, half-naked, rolling around on the floor with another stripper, I’m shocked. I have to know what cracked Cassie Hale’s picture-perfect world that landed her in this hellhole, and I hope that I’m not so bitter that I can’t help her escape.

Decision: Toss, I'm over H.M. Ward and I already know what happens.
Fifty years ago The Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society.

To punish the guilty, he created the Hole, a place where sinners are branded according to their sins. Sinners are forced to live a less than human existence in deplorable conditions, under the watchful eye of guards who are ready to kill anyone who steps out of line.

Now, LUST wraps around my neck like thick, blue fingers, threatening to choke the life out of me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit, and the Hole is my new home.

Constant darkness.

Brutal and savage violence.

Excruciating pain.

Every day is a fight for survival.

But I won’t let them win. I will not die in the Hole.

I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter. My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.

Decision: Keep, this doesn't sound like anything I've ever read before.


In a world where parasites create new human races, Elei leads a peaceful life — until a mysterious attack on his boss sends him fleeing with a bullet in his side. Pursued for a secret he does not possess and with the fleet at his heels, he has but one thought: to stay alive.

His pursuers aren’t inclined to sit down and talk, although that’s not the end of Elei’s troubles. The two powerful parasites inhabiting his body, at a balance until now, choose this moment to bring him down, leaving Elei with no choice but to trust in people he hardly knows. It won’t be long before he realizes he must find out this deadly secret — a secret that might change the fate of his world and everything he has ever known — or die trying.

Decision: Keep, this is another one I don't feel like I've read before.

Millions have already died, and thousands more are perishing daily. As a last-ditch effort to preserve the human race, the government implements Project ELE. With the earth heating at rapid speeds, all remaining survivors are forced to turn to F.E.M.A. shelters to wait out ELE's wrath.

Fifteen-year-old Willow Mosby's life, as she knows it, ends the moment she walks through the shelter's door. Willow has to quickly adapt to the new challenges that shelter life demands, the least of which includes making new friends and working a full-time job.

Soon after making an interesting discovery, Willow and her friends start exhibiting strange abilities. Seeking answers, they embark on a mission to find out what these new abilities mean and whether they are a gift or a curse.

This new adventure can send her world crashing down around her. The question is: Can Willow survive the fall?

Decision: Toss, this one does nothing for me.

Let me tell you a secret…

They hide in plain sight. They look just like me, just like you.

But they can kill. They do kill. And I’ve fallen in love with one.

I wish I’d walked away. I wish I’d followed my gut.

I wish he’d been there when I became the victim.

You’ll love this fresh take on a tired genre, because vampires should be bad, and they should do it well. So hurry and start the series today. Don’t be the last to discover it.

Decision: Toss, no more vampires.




From recess buddies to high school sweethearts, Eli Stone and Bonnie Jinks were constants in each other's lives. Although young, their relationship had withstood the test of many teenage tribulations.

Marriage and a happy ever after were in their future plans. One alcohol-fueled mistake rips them apart. Bonnie ends up on the road with her new boyfriend, while Eli joins the military.

It seems as if their lives would never intersect again. A near-fatal accident brings them together, and their chemistry is undeniable. But will the pain of the past keep them apart? Can they make their love work again?

Decision: Toss, this is one I feel like I've read and I think this was one I grabbed while one clicking like a psycho.

Welcome to Mystic, Connecticut, where a Satyr owns the local pawn shop, a Minotaur serves the tastiest pizza in town, and the nearest gate to the Underworld resides in the alley outside a tattoo parlor.

Nix–Sea Nymph, talented artist and proprietor of Mystic Ink–just wants to run her tattoo shop in peace and quiet. Peace and quiet, however, are the least of her problems. Mortal corpses keep springing up in her alley like daisies. Hades is angry that the mortals’ souls are missing. And to top it all off, the human authorities suspect Nix of foul play.

Before long, the supernatural police force takes an interest. They dispatch Agent Calder Quinne to investigate. His assignment is simple: determine Nix’s guilt or innocence by observing her daily routine. Instead, he’s faced with an uncooperative Nymph who resents his presence and evades him at every opportunity.

Nix finds Cal far too attractive and a challenge to her self-imposed ban on relationships. She wants him out of her life as soon as possible. When Cal’s soul is stolen next and Nix wakes up missing memories of the evening’s events, even she starts to wonder if she’s guilty. Now, she has only two weeks to locate Cal’s missing soul, or he’ll be doomed to spend eternity as a Shade.

Decision: Toss, I've gone back and forth on this one, but I'm not feeling it.

Rose Wintersong will kill her first love--just as she's killed others. That is the dark prophecy that has guided her path for years. So she stays hidden with her coven of witches, raised a recluse by her despotic mother, hiding herself, and her powers, from the world.

Until she meets Derek, the sexy martial arts instructor who teaches her more than self-defense.

Derek O'Conner was born into wealth and power as a Druid Shifter whose family protects the wellspring of magic that has made them who they are. But he doesn't want that responsibility and is on the run from his own destiny when he meets Rose, a shy beauty who doesn't know her own inner strength.

Neither of them realizes they are from opposing families at war, or that their love could destroy everything.

Until it's too late.

Forbidden passions.

Deadly secrets.

A love that will stand against it all.

Decision: Keep, this seems interesting enough and if I like it the rest of the series is on KindleUnlimited.

Layla
After three years caring for her dying mother, Layla Callaway learns she was adopted under unusual circumstances. Following a cryptic message to seek her birth family in Oregon, Layla uproots her life to find out the truth about her past. And herself.

Quin
Quin's natural charisma is attractive to plenty of women, but he longs for the one he's been dreaming of his entire life. When that day arrives, not only is he breathless, he's confronted with the challenge of a lifetime - an innate need to keep her safe and forever by his side.

The Enemy
Through manipulation and dark magic, Agro uses the powers of others to elevate his supremacy and wealth. When he discovers Layla didn't die at birth, he sets out to find and possess her.

Stretching from coast to coast and teeming with loathed villains and beloved heroes, The Mystic Series is rich with emotion, magic, and intrigue. Whether the reader is laughing, crying or falling in love, they'll find themselves invested in Layla's fate through the rich dialogue and emotionally driven characters that weave the web of this fiery tale.

Decision: Toss, after reading a couple reviews, not all bad, but it's not the one for me.

Madison Hanson's past demons have given her a shadow of existence with little hope. With the sudden tragic death of a fellow student, Madison questions her own life choices and is now forced to evaluate everything she thought she believed in.

When fate intervenes and partners her with Dean Jackson, a popular "all-around good guy" from school, Madison gets a glimpse of a life that is filled with sunshine that has the power to break through the darkness she has cloaked herself in.

With Dean's help, Madison discovers a desire to finally step out of the shadows, and embrace life and all its gifts.

Decision: Keep, this is rated very well and I want to check it out.

Madison Summers is an eighteen-year-old high school graduate who, due to her father’s recent departure, is charged with the task of taking care of her mother and little brother, Andy. However, working double shifts at the Wayside Restaurant can barely pay the bills, and having a manipulative boyfriend, Damian, leaves her little time for her to spend with her family.
When she meets Andy’s friend, Orion, at work one day, she can’t help but immediately picture this new friend as her knight in shining armor. She soon falls in love with him behind the back of her controlling and abusive boyfriend. Afraid to leave him for another man, Madison is faced with a very important choice that could change her life forever.
Can she turn her secret life with Orion into her new life?
Will she be able to meet the consequences of betraying Damian?
When Madison’s past collides with her present, everything is doomed to fall to pieces. However, with the help of her brother, can she make it out with everything she’s ever wanted…or will she be left with nothing?

Decision: Toss, I don't know how I added this to my shelves.

At Swan Valley High School in the suburbs of L.A., Kristina Williams is a newly single junior with a dark past. With her best friend, Lena, she must navigate the stormy waters of high school drama in order to find happiness amongst vicious ex-boyfriends, pestilent rumors, and, of course, school work.

Henry is the new kid at school. Fresh off the plane from England with a girlfriend in tow, Henry must adapt to American life and overcome obstacles, not unlike Kristina’s. When he, too, is betrayed by his significant other, he strives to find a way to move on and escape his past.

Thrown together against their will, Kristina and Henry vow to get back at their exes and date each other. However, they must deal with the consequences of a contrived relationship and the emotions that form from within it.

Will their plan backfire when emotions take control? Will the secrets of Kristina’s dark past surface once again?

One thing is for sure: they will be challenged to take control of their lives. So the real question is when the challenge is met and the dust settles, will they come out together, or alone?

Decision: Again, not sure how this ended up here. What in the world was I thinking?


After experiencing a humiliating breakup, twenty-two-year-old Cassandra Clarke is fresh out of college and living a simple solitary life without any intention of pursuing love anytime soon.

When the estate next door sells, the last thing Cassandra expects is the unnerving attraction she feels for her sinfully handsome neighbor, Logan West, the young and charming single father with a playboy reputation.

It’s through Oliver, Logan’s four-year-old son, who keeps popping up in her childhood tree house, that she slowly begins to catch glimpses of the compassionate and wounded man Logan has hidden beneath his strong exterior.

Cassandra knows it's wrong and that she's heading for another heartbreak. Logan will never be able to give her what she wants…love.

Decision: Keep, I'm a sucker for single dads.

What would you do if you had two hot men fight over you?

Sienna Richards decided to study and pursue her dreams in London. Life was starting to look up when out of nowhere, her boyfriend Kyle decided to end things. She vowed never to love again. But what she didn't see coming was the revelation of feelings her friend Blake had in store for her.

Blake a handsome British mogul-in-training and a good friend who’s been lusting after her since they met or Kyle—childhood best friend, high school sweetheart, and her first love—but broke her heart.

This is Sienna’s journey in finding herself and learning about forgiveness, heartaches and most of all, love.

Decision: Keep, I love friends to lovers stories.
They can heal each other’s love scars, if only they can see past them.

Traumatized by the violent loss of her family, Nora Deven has tried to keep everything "normal" for her niece Stacey, but now she's amassed so much student loan debt they might lose their home. When she's offered the chance to pay off her loans and pay for Stacey's college too, she jumps at it. Then Nora meets J.D. Reider, and she can't believe how safe he makes her feel. At last, a guy she can trust.

Tech genius J.D. Reider's wealth hasn't shielded him from being scarred by love. These days he prefers friends with benefits instead of girlfriends. But when a fragile graduate student is used as a pawn to sabotage his company, she gets under his skin. Nora Deven may destroy the fortress around J.D.'s heart, but he's afraid he'll lose her when she discovers everything he's told her is a lie.

Decision: Toss, another one I feel like I've read and will never find time for.

WITCH FOUND DRAINED

Gwen Sparks just wants to live a peaceful life in the supernatural town of Flora, but from the moment she read about the first murdered witch, all hope of peace was abandoned. Possessing the rare ability to read the memories of the dead, she volunteers to help catch the culprit behind the string of drained witches. Gwen has to team up with the one man who broke her heart, deal with a ghost who pulls her into the deathly realm at will, and a fight off the advances of a sexy but frustrating vampire who not only craves what runs through her veins—he wants her heart.

Decision: Toss, no vampires may enter here.

… Not every Beast is a prince charming at heart and not every Beauty is a maiden just waiting for love…

Calia Thorn has lived her entire life in a small town sheltered by the Cold King’s mountain. Working day and night to care for her younger siblings, complete her unending chores and please her selfish, lazy mother has left her with few dreams for her own future.

But then even those meager hopes are taken from her when the Cold King comes down from his mountain to demand a new servant. Ungraceful, unladylike, undesired and unwanted by even her own family, Calia is chosen to be sent to the palace.

The Cold King has lived for three hundred years under a curse imposed by his own father. With no hope of ever breaking it, he settles for keeping his heart frozen against any pain— or hope.

When his new servant arrives, she challenges him in ways no one ever has and sparks fly. But not every Beast is a prince charming at heart and not every beauty is a maiden just waiting for love.

Decision: Keep, I have a soft spot for Beauty & the Beast retellings.

Sometimes happily ever after isn’t so easy…

When Aurora Stone awakens to find she's been buried underground, she frantically claws her way to the surface. But the nightmare has only just begun; she was buried in her own grave and has been resurrected on the one year anniversary of her death.

Aurora immediately seeks the help of her best friend, Henry, who is no longer the awkward sixteen-year-old she remembers from a year ago. Henry is tall, muscular, with piercing blue eyes.

But Henry isn't the only one who's captured Aurora's attention. Lucas, a sexy vampire, is watching her every move. He's been ordered to send her back to the grave, but he is immediately attracted to Aurora and can't bring himself to re-kill her.

As Aurora struggles with her new un-dead body, she must make a decision between the boy next door and the vampire who has nothing to lose. And time is running out - plagued by blackouts she can't control, Aurora knows her days may be numbered. She was brought back for something epic, but will she get the chance to find out what?

Decision: Toss, first off a love-triangle? What the heck was I thinking? Also, no vampires.

Angels and demons, God and Satan, heaven and hell ~ What do you do when you find out that these things are not some made-up fantasy but they are real? And not only are they real but you were created to fight in warfare against the demons?

Hannah’s life is turned upside down when she discovers that everything she thought was fictional is actually real. Everyone she loves is in danger and to top it off, she learns that she is a Devada. She was created to kill demons.

Will she be able to learn and master her Devada abilities before the demons find her?

Decision: Toss, I went back and forth on this one since it's reviewed so well, but I'm not really into love-triangles.

A chance meeting...
Life didn't turn out the way I'd ever hoped it would. I got pregnant at 14. That same year my mom got diagnosed with MS. Dad bailed on us and my life felt like it suddenly started to spiral out of control. I'm 21 now, I go to college, I work hard, trying to make something of myself. I wasn't supposed to be at that burlesque bar Valentine's Day. I wasn't supposed to meet Ryan Cosgrove, but I did. And now nothing will ever be the same.

Love born from pain...
I'm a retired Marine, an MMA fighter, and when I was younger something terrible happened to me. Life is hard and I'm so tired of pretending it's not. I'm in a burlesque bar, drowning my sorrows, trying to shut out the demons breathing down my neck always reminding me I'm not good enough. Then I see Liliana Delgado and something inside of me- something I'd thought long dead- stirs to life. I wonder... can she save me? I hope she can because I don't think I can save myself.

This is our moment...

Decision: Keep, this sounds good.

Psyche Middleton vows her dad will never see the risqué photos she took during a summer modeling stint abroad, but one of them ends up on a billboard in her Montana hometown, where everyone—especially her dad—can see it. That becomes the least of her worries when she meets Erik, a mysterious guy who rescues her from a mob and who she’s never actually seen because he can make himself invisible.

Erik takes her to his palace in an idyllic kingdom, and she is swept into the beauty and culture of his world, but his affection has one condition: she may not see him. Enchanted, intrigued, and not wholeheartedly believing he’s real, Psyche can’t bring herself to love him blindly. When she betrays his trust for a glimpse of his face, Psyche ends up at the mercy of Erik’s controlling mother, who demands that Psyche prove herself in order to be reunited with him. Psyche knows love is never easy, but this is ridiculous. She agrees to complete three impossible tasks to prove her devotion to Erik—or die trying.

Decision: Toss, I think at one point this sounded good, I feel like I've read this before.

Murder, romance, secrets and hidden pasts. Deception from every angle—who's telling the truth?

Cheyenne Wilson's life is thrown into turmoil after her adoptive parents are killed in an accident. With only her best friend Colt to comfort her, she scours through the family archives, hoping to quell her grief. Instead, she begins to unravel the mystery behind her birth parents and her secret heritage. She is a Timeless- a being that ages one year for every hundred human years when they reach their twenties- and of the royal line, destined to gain great power.

But Cheyenne has other problems. The ones who killed her parents want her too, and Colt is hiding something of his own. Surrounded by danger and with few she can trust, Cheyenne must face the dark truth of her past and choose between a forbidden love that will forever hold her heart or her destiny...

Decision: Toss, meh no thank you.

The crash was no accident. Fate carried Brady and his airplane to the isolated island where Karis was banished to live alone. She feared the worst as she sifted through the wreckage, sure that no one could survive. But there he was, barely breathing yet still alive.

The closer she got to him, the more her powers awakened. He was like a magnet she was drawn to. Maybe it was the years alone that left her yearning for companionship, or maybe it was the taut muscles in his arms that beckoned her to come closer, either way, she had a hard time controlling her thoughts. She knew things about him that he couldn’t remember, things that were blocked from his memory. He wasn’t from earth either, and she needed his help to save both of their worlds. But the closer she gets to Brady the more she knows her world is with him.

Even with a woman as beautiful as Karis, Brady was well trained, but he wasn’t prepared to care as much as he did. Being an underground fighter made him the wrong man for a future Queen of a different world, and he knew it. But that didn’t stop the yearning he felt deep inside. It didn’t stop his heart from racing when she was around. And it didn’t stop him from falling in love.

Decision: Toss, this one doesn't seem for me right now. Since I own it, I'll always have the option to read it at some point, but right now this is not for me.

I killed a girl last night. I did it with my bare hands and an old piece of pipe I found lying next to the dumpster. But that’s not the part that got me. The part that scared me, the part I can’t seem to wrap my head around and still has me reeling, was that when she charged me, her body shifted – and then she was a wolf. All snapping teeth and extended claws. But by the time I stood over her lifeless body, she was a girl again. That’s about the time I went into shock… And that was the moment he showed up.

Now, all I can do is accept the truths that are staring me in the face. One, Werewolves do exist. And Two, I was born to kill them.

Decision: Toss, I think I like werewolves too much for this one.

Overall: Out of 30 I kept 8 and tossed 22, leaving me with 917!


How'd I do this week?
Did I toss too many or too little?
Any I should have kept but didn't or vice versa?

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