In February 2014, I started book blogging and reviewing. I’ll spare the four-and-a-half-year journey and just say that if you look at my blog, it’s been lacking for a while. Fast forward to today. I still love reading and sharing books (obviously), but reviewing on a regular basis is hard when you have no time outside of working to build three businesses (well, four, but more on the fourth soon). And Amazon makes it difficult to post reviews with their crazy bots (just got my first “you can’t post a review for this book” message this week…booooo!). There are definitely other places to leave reviews (BookBub, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads are a few) but I really want to keep my blog active too. So I’m starting a weekly post here with what I’ve read in the past week and what’s still on my TBR list. I’m not sure where this will go as I have no plans other than “weekly update” (for once in my life), but I’m excited to see what happens. This week’s inaugural post will share my most recent reads and a handful of books on my brand new TBR list with a little bit about each one and why I’ve read it or want to read it soon. Each following week will share my thoughts and progress and add another book or two. The goal is to not overwhelm myself with IMUSTREADALLTHEBOOKSYESTERDAY and get back to enjoying reading for pleasure as well as work. Without further delay…

 

Checking them off…

 

Relatively Normal will make your family seem normal!

Buy on Amazon/Kindle Unlimited  ||  Add on Goodreads

I loved Whitney’s Mimi Finnegan series so I snapped this one up as soon as it released and read it in one sitting. Cat’s family totally cracked me up. Everyone had their own little quirks, and I think Nan was my favorite character. She had me snorting several times! If you’re looking for a quick, humorous read, this would be it!

Catriona Masterton’s fiancé, Ethan, is Normal. 

He plans trips six months in advance and arrives at the airport a minimum of three hours early. He purchases life insurance, luggage insurance, and always opts for the extended warranty. He’s responsible, reliable, and would make any woman a wonderful life partner. 

In other words, he’s the exact opposite of the Masterton clan. 

Cat’s mother has a kitchen gadget fetish, a father whose best friends are taxidermied field mice, and a super stoner man-child brother who lives–where else?–in the basement. Then there’s Nan, her proud Scottish grandmother with a proclivity for profanity and mischief. 

What on earth will Catriona’s Normal fiancé think when he comes home with her to meet her parents? What will he think when he discovers his soon-to-be in-laws invited Cat’s ex to join them for Thanksgiving dinner? 

Find out in a laugh-out-loud journey of self-discovery, familial pandemonium, and love. A must read for fans of a true romantic comedy!


Go On, Girl is a spot-on story for any adult to devour.

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Last week, I read Go On, Girl by Hilary Grossman. Hilary is definitely not a new name on the blog, and she’s very much on the “go-to one-click list.” Not being a parent and unable to relate to the PTA/parent drama, I really wasn’t sure what to think of this one when I started reading. Fortunately, Hilary added more than just the PTA clique so there was something for me to grasp onto and keep me hooked — the house! I worked in real estate and have owned a few houses myself so that part was definitely up my alley. Hilary did an amazing job bringing in the sport-parent craziness (my brother played hockey, so I did see a bit of that) and mommy cliques and mixing it in with normal adulting issues that a single, kidless (I wish I was an) adult could still relate to and enjoy. Can’t wait to see what she gives us next!

Big Little Lies meets Class Mom!

Executive, wife, and mother of an outgoing first-grader, Sydney Clayton crushes her day-to-day obligations at work but flounders in the cutthroat world of parental politics.

She manages to avoid the local drama until she’s faced with an ultimatum: join the Forest River PTA or risk her daughter becoming a social outcast. Sydney reluctantly becomes treasurer, and takes the recently vacated position of the president’s sidekick. If protecting the children’s freedom of speech, one best friend ban at a time, isn’t complicated enough, Sydney and her husband receive an unexpected offer for their house they don’t think they can refuse.

Embroiled in the deception and manipulation rife among the elementary school moms, Sydney struggles. Should she sell the home she worked so hard to build in a town where betrayal runs rampant? Or should she stay put to avoid the fallout from uprooting her child? As Sydney focuses on what is best for her daughter, and lets go of her judgments, she finds friendship can develop in very unexpected ways.

Warm, witty, and wise, Go On, Girl dramatizes the dilemmas of life in the suburbs and the bonds shared by women.


On the TBR…

 

Becky Monson – Just a Name

Buy on Amazon/Kindle Unlimited  ||  Add on Goodreads

I’ve been a fan of Becky’s since I started blogging and reviewing so her books are always at the top of my list! So excited to read this one! And that cover? LOVE it!

Holly has a plan for everything. But she never could have planned for this.

Holly Murphy’s perfectly planned life is not going so well. Her fiancé recently dumped her, the team she supervises at work secretly hates her, and now the promotion she’s worked so hard for is in jeopardy.

Thinking that maybe Holly is too tightly wound and needs a break from everything, Holly’s boss demands she take a vacation. Holly’s best friend Quinn comes up with a wild idea for Holly to do a nationwide search for a man with the same name as her ex-fiancé to go with her on her honeymoon trip. That idea is a no-go for play-it-safe Holly, until her boss finds out and loves the idea.

Resigned, Holly gives in and starts the nationwide search, and when handsome Nate Jones from Newport Beach gets picked to go with her, she wonders if this whole thing won’t be so bad after all.

Will Holly learn that sometimes even the best laid plans need to be thrown out the window once in a while? Or will it send her running and screaming back to her safety net?


Kelly Rimmer – A Mother’s Confession

Available from select retailers  ||  Add on Goodreads

Excuse me while I fangirl here, please and thank you. Kelly Rimmer is one of those authors who you remember, one whose books stick with you years after reading them (see my reviews for Me Without You and When I Lost You). She’s one of those authors who you think you’ll never get to meet because even though you’re engrained in the book world, you’ve never chatted. And then you go to Australia and attend the same signing and make a complete fool of yourself. Or maybe I didn’t. (If I did, sorry!) Foolish rambling to said author aside, I’ve got a signed copy of A Mother’s Confession sitting on my desk next to me, nudging me to keep working through my crazy todo list so it can be devoured. When I finally make it back to Australia, I need a pic this time, Kelly!!

Your husband took his own life. Tell the truth and destroy what’s left of your family. Or keep a secret that will tear you apart. What would you do? 

Olivia and David were the perfect couple with their whole lives in front of them. When beautiful baby daughter Zoe came along, their world seemed complete. 

But now David is dead and Olivia’s world is in pieces. While she is consumed with grief, her mother-in-law Ivy is also mourning the loss of her son. Both women are hiding secrets about the man they loved. Secrets that have put the family in danger. 

Something was very wrong in Olivia and David’s marriage. Can Olivia and Ivy break their silence and speak the truth? A mother should protect her child, whatever the cost… shouldn’t she?


Alicia Tuckerman – If I Tell You

Available from select retailers in Australia  ||  Add on Goodreads

Alicia is another one of the authors I was lucky enough to meet during my world travels earlier this month, and it was an absolute honor. The signing was insane (more on the Kindred Ink Press website about that soon) so I didn’t get to walk around and snag some books like I’d planned, but Alicia’s name had been on my list since she was added to the event. Once back home, I searched everywhere in the US for the ebook and found out that it’s only available in Australia right now (boo!). Somehow, I was able to get my hands on a print copy that’s being sent over now so I can check this one off soon! Someday, this copy will be signed too.

What if the secret is more damaging than the lie?

I never planned on falling in love in Two Creeks, but since when has life ever followed a plan? 

The day I fell for Phoenix Stone, there was no warning. She shattered the world I knew.

This is a story about being seventeen and growing up in rural Australia. Falling in love for the first time, following your dreams and disappointing your parents. Being brave enough to live your life, even when life is terrifying.

In fear there is bravery – you can either cling to the edge or have the courage to jump. But what do you do when you’re left spiralling through the freefall?

Be proud. Be seen. Live life fearlessly.

Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think? If not, which one(s) jumped out at you? Leave a comment and let me know.