folklore + romance novels: part two

Welcome back! And welcome to a new month. August is here, which is wild. My nephew should arrive this month though so I am incredibly excited and EMERALD BLAZE will be in front of my eyeballs in 26 days!! I can’t wait. In the meantime, I’m still listening to the greatest surprise of my life on repeat every day and am so excited to share with you the last eight songs on the album. So let’s get started!

background is a picture of the forest with folklore + romance novels on it
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folklore + romance novels: part one

Y’all, I haven’t had this much serotonin hanging out in my brain in MONTHS. When Taylor dropped this news last week I found out as I was walking into work so I literally walked in with my hand in front of my mouth (masked), shaking, and basically screamed at everyone once I got into the office that it was THE BEST DAY EVER. And now for one of my favorite rituals of pairing these new songs with romance novels. You might be wondering how given the intense sad vibes of this album and the answer is you’re basically going to hear about every second chance romance I’ve ever loved and see a lot of stretching. It’s a fun time. So let’s do this!

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July ARCs: Hairpin Curves, Paradise Cove, & Sweetest in the Gale

I real quick want to plug two other reviews in case you missed them for releases that also come out today: Sunday’s post included Deal with the Devil by Kit Rocha, which I would highly recommend, and then late last month/early this month (time is fake), I posted my review of The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows by Olivia Waite. You can officially get that one as well! And now let’s talk about the other books releasing today/Thursday! Hairpin Curves by Elia Winters is my first from this author and I was so excited to receive an advanced copy from Carina Adores via Netgalley! It’s a sapphic romance about a road trip with an ex. Paradise Cove by Jenny Holiday is the follow up to Mermaid Inn, which I read earlier this month and really enjoyed. I was so excited to receive an advanced copy of it from Forever via Netgalley as well! And finally, Olivia Dade is the greatest and gave me an advanced copy of Sweetest in the Gale and not only did I fall in love with the titular short story, I re-read “Cover Me” and cried again. It’s so good. The ultimate friends to lovers. (In a different way than Scoring Off the Field.) So let’s talk about these books!

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July ARCs: More than Maybe, A Touch of Stone and Snow, & Deal with the Devil

Y’all, there are a lot of books that have come out this month! I hope my reviews can help you figure out where to prioritize your money/library requests based on your tastes, but I’ll be honest, these three were all pretty good depending on what you want! More than Maybe by Erin Hahn was my first young adult read of the year, which is wild. It came out last week so you can get your hands on it already. I received an advanced e-copy from Wednesday Books via Netgalley. A Touch of Stone and Snow by Milla Vane also came out this past Tuesday and it was INCREDIBLE. I received an advanced e-copy from Berkley (a miracle) via Netgalley. Finally, Deal with the Devil by Kit Rocha comes out Tuesday and it’s absolutely phenomenal. If you like Ilona Andrews at all, I think you’ll really like this series starter. I am already so eagerly anticipating book two! I received an advanced e-copy from Tor via Netgalley (THANK YOU).

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2020 Celebrity Memoirs: Open Book, More Myself, The Rural Diaries

I’ve been doing surprisingly well reading (audibly) nonfiction this year, but this is still not a post I could have predicted wanting to write. However, when I impulse picked up Open Book by Jessica Simpson on audio and fell madly in love with it, I knew I needed to write an actual review. And then I discovered Alicia Keys was releasing her own memoir called More Myself and by this point, I really knew that I love books about music. And the final piece of the puzzle came when I accidentally requested and was approved for The Rural Diaries by Hilarie Burton Morgan, aka Peyton from One Tree Hill. So here we are. I’m really excited to talk to you about all three of these memoirs!

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2020 Reading Goals: Mid-Year Check In

I’m really good at setting reading goals and then equally as good as pretending that I never did such a thing. So I try to do these check in posts quarterly so that I do check in and see where I’m at and how I’m doing. Now that we’re halfway through the year, we’ll see where things are and what adjustments I may need to make.

Decorative image reading 2020 Reading Goals
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July ARCs, Part Two: Boyfriend Material, One to Watch, and A Sweet Mess

I’m a little behind as per usual lately with my ARC reviews, but the review for A Sweet Mess by Jayci Lee is exactly on time! So you can officially pick up any or all of these books if they sound like something you may like. One, possibly two, of these books are new favorites of mine so I’m pretty excited to talk about them. Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall came out on July 7th from Sourcebooks Casablanca, who graced me with a review copy on Netgalley. I made it two chapters in before driving to Barnes & Noble, which is 30ish minutes away, to pick up a physical copy so… I loved it. One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London is out from Dial Press as of July 7th, which they were kind enough to grant me access to on Netgalley, but I picked it up from Book of the Month Club in June (and put off reading it for a month or so). (Also, re: Book of the Month Club, they treated Traci from The Stacks Podcast pretty terribly so I’m very on the fence about supporting them.) And finally, as I mentioned, A Sweet Mess by Jayci Lee is out today from St. Martin’s and I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced copy on Netgalley. So let’s dive in to the reviews!

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Favorite Books of April, May, and June

I read 65 books in the last three months, which is a little less than in the first quarter of the year. Given the way 2020 is going, I don’t think that should come as much of a surprise. Speaking of the way that 2020 is going, just a quick reminder that Black Lives Matter and also, this pandemic sucks so please, please wear a mask when you’re in public. Things are scary, but we do have control over this one tiny thing and I just would really implore you to wear a mask if you go out. But now, let us turn our attention to the books I’ve loved these past few months!

background image is of purple and pink flowers, foreground has a diamond that is light purple accented by a smaller diamond in darker purple and text in white that reads 2nd Quarter Favorites
2nd Quarter Favorites
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When Old Meets New: The Secret and Wanna Bet?

If you’ve been following along with this project on mine and Dani’s respective blogs, you may recall that we tried to read To All the Roses last time and both of us DNF’d the book. So, as you can imagine, my expectations weren’t super high going into The Secret and I was really nervous I would DNF it too. Instead, I was so in love with it, I read it in one sitting. And after raving about it with one of my coworkers, I’m now in possession (borrowed) of the sequel, which has me super pumped. And still shocked. Anyway, we paired The Secret with one of my favorites from Talia Hibbert, Wanna Bet? I’m going to be honest and admit that I didn’t reread it for this post because I’m swamped trying to catch up on ARC reviews (someone smack my hand the next time I try to click request, for real), but I still know that it’s one of my top three of Talia’s books. Her traditionally published books keep slaying me and knocking Wanna Bet? down, but that’s okay. She’s just so talented. And fortunately, Dani really liked it too, though unrequited love is never going to be her favorite thing. Anyway, let’s dive in.

When Old Meets New A Reading Project Dani's Bookshelf & Firewhiskey Reader reads the text in the center of four pictures two in black and white, one of an old timey scene and one of NYC probably and then two pictures of a drink and a book
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July ARCs, Part One: Insatiable Hunger, A Reunion of Rivals, and The Heir Affair

The first week of July contained way too many releases so here are the first three ARC reviews I’m providing for y’all, and you’ve got two more to look forward to. For now though, let’s focus on Insatiable Hunger by Yahrah St. John, A Reunion of Rivals by Reese Ryan, and The Heir Affair by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. Thank you to Netgalley, Harlequin, and Grand Central Publishing for the opportunity to read and review these books!

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