Smutathon TBR

I know I say this every time, but I still don’t like that the name of this readathon is Smutathon. Now, setting that aside, I have a ton of books to read in January so I’m really excited to kickstart my reading with a readathon from January 4th-January 11th that will help me get through many of the books on my TBR. This readathon is hosted by Riley at Riley Marie and Lainey at gingerreadslainey. This year, the hosts created this really pretty 2020 themed Bingo board and there are nine prompts. I have books on my TBR for six of the nine. I don’t think I’m going to add any more books to the list, if anything, I’ll just hope some of the books allow me to double up. With that said, let’s get into the list!

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When Old Meets New: Gentle Rogue and Rock Hard

Since this whole project started because of a conversation about the Fated Mates Gentle Rogue episode, it seemed only fitting for Dani and me to start our project with Gentle Rogue by Johanna Lindsey, published in 1990. In case you missed our intro posts, this was a re-read for Dani and a first time read for me. When Dani started reading the book, before I had started, she texted me about loving falling back into the books, but worrying that I wasn’t going to like it as much since I wouldn’t have nostalgia coloring my view. It’s always interesting asking someone to read one of your favorite books with you, because her nervousness about my thoughts mirrored how I felt when it was time for her to start Rock Hard by Nalini Singh, published in 2015. Both James Malory and Gabriel Bishop are alpha men, but romance years move fast and 1990 to 2015 saw a lot of societal changes reflected in the books we’ve read. But looking at just the romance and not the extra cast of characters or the time period, it was fascinating to see that we’re still grappling with the same issues in our romances. In this case, what Dani and I both noticed was how for each of us, the power differential and how it was handled gave us pause in the new to us books.  

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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2020 Most Anticipated Books

This is one of my absolute favorite posts to make every year, and this year I’m participating in Top 10 of 2019 so that makes this even more special. (There are twelve here though because I can’t narrow it down to ten. I barely got it to twelve.) I love getting excited about books and having things to look forward to! There are always books that I expect to come at some point, but where I don’t have a release date or a title. Normally I just include those books anyway, BUT I have too many books I want to talk about, so I’m just going to include them at the end of the list as honorable mentions. Hope you don’t mind! And I limited myself to my top twelve most anticipated books (plus the cheating honorable mentions, but whatever). So… Let’s hop to it!

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My Best of 2019 List

So, yes, I am cheating at the whole only giving you one list of ten promise. But, honestly, I read 300 books this year and do you really want a list of ten amazing books when you could have more? Okay, great, thank you for understanding. Anyway, this list is exclusively comprised of 2019 releases. In early January, you’ll get another two lists (non-romance and romance) of ten each that are backlist titles. Now, I read 70 2019 releases, so this list was still tight and it wasn’t easy to whittle down. You may notice that when you get to the end, I may have cheated on this list too. But just barely. Sort of. Anyway, list time!

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My 2019 OTPs

2019 was a great year for romance and there were a lot of couples I fell head over heels for. So I’m really excited that today’s topic for Top 10 of 2019, hosted by Kimberly and Ginger, is about listing ten of our new OTPs. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, OTP stands for one true pairing. I am really excited to talk about these ten couples though so let’s hop to it!

Christmas background with free place for text,wooden snowflakes,lighting effect, Deer, blue background
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Cover Love

Continuing with the Top 10 of 2019, hosted by Kimberly and Ginger, today’s topic is your favorite covers. I limited myself to books that I’ve read, even though I think a few of the ones I haven’t read have incredible covers and while I tried to keep it to only 2019 books, I’m so in love with the cover of The Duke I Tempted that I just couldn’t resist. So let’s hop to it!

Christmas background with free place for text,wooden snowflakes,lighting effect, Deer, blue background
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Captivating Characters

I’m really excited to get to write about my favorite characters from this year and also overwhelmed that I am supposed to only list for you ten??? Is it cheating if I give you separate lists of favorite heroines, favorite heroes, and favorite non-binary characters? Okay, fine, I’ll be good and obey the rules of ten. In case you’re just joining me, I’m participating in the Top 10 of 2019 that Kimberly and Ginger put together and today’s topic is favorite characters.

Christmas background with free place for text,wooden snowflakes,lighting effect, Deer, blue background
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New to Me Authors I've Discovered and Loved in 2019

I’ve tried 81 new to me authors this year, which seems like a lot. I’m writing this on December 7th, so I’m not sure if that number will go up or not by the end of the year, but I really want to write this post regardless. This is one of the topics covered by Kimberly and Ginger’s Top 10 of 2019, which you can find more information about here. The majority of these authors are going to be ones I’ve read more than one book by, but I’ve also got a couple of debuts on here. To the best of my ability, I’m going in chronological order of my discovery, so let’s hop to it.

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Books I Wish I'd Gotten to in 2019

To those that celebrate: Merry Christmas!! I love Christmas and I love that this is the start of our Top 10 in 2019 prompts from Kimberly and Ginger. This is serving as my Most Anticipated Books of the Year Wrap Up as well because in truth, that’s what all of these books are from. There are 13 books from those lists that I did not actually get to this year as of the time I’m drafting this, so I have narrowed it down a bit.

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The Map from Here to There: A Spoiler Free Review

I usually sit down to write a review soon after having finished reading a book, but pretty much everything about my usual for The Map from Here to There was thrown off. I read the book in small sips, dipping in and out, thinking about it and trying not to when I wasn’t reading it. My love of The Start of Me and You is intense. I adore Max and Paige. I also adore Emery Lord and her magnificent ability to write anxiety onto the page. Unfortunately for this book, the anxiety representation made my own anxiety worse. Between that and my own expectations and desires for what I wanted this to be, my rating was definitely affected. What I will say is that The Map from Here to There is a really fantastic look at senior year of high school when you have a boyfriend you want to keep, but also you really want to explore your own life and identity.

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