Prior to starting my full-time job, I was reading multiple books at a time. My usual equation was 1 print book, plus 1 book, plus 1 audiobook. When I became a full-time librarian, I was reading a little less and mostly focused on books I was assigned to review by my editor (I review young adult literature for a professional book review magazine). But I’d make sure to save a steamy romance for bedtime!
Quarantine life has resurrected the super-reader in me and I’m back to my multi-book reading style. I watch a lot of Book Buzz webinars for collection development at work and I may have went just a little crazy with my Netgalley requests…but what better time than now?!
Below are all the books I’m currently working on.
Beard in Mind by Penny Reid
(Winston Brothers #4)
Release Date: October 25, 2017
Run time: 13 hours, 19 minutes
Narrator: Chris Brinkley, Angela Dawe
Goodreads | Authors Direct
My progress: 10 hours completed
I’ve been working on Penny Reid’s Winston Brothers series since the beginning of quarantine. I was excited when I realized that we had all the eAudiobooks, not including any interstitial “half” installments, in my library’s hoopla collection. I save audiobooks specifically for when I go on walks, work on a puzzle, or do chores like washing the dishes and doing laundry.
The entire series takes place in Green Valley, Tennessee and each installment focuses on a sexy, bearded member of the Winston clan (all brothers except for one sister who is beard-less) as they find their true loves, avoid the town’s notorious biker gang, and learn more about their family history.
Beard in Mind centers on Beau Winston who is, at first, completely irritated with the new female mechanic in his family’s autoshop. Over time, he discovers she has OCD and instead of being pushed away by her anxiety disorder, he finds himself completely drawn in. I was a little taken aback by what seemed to be Beau’s lack of general knowledge about OCD, but became instantly appreciative of the opportunity to watch him grow in understanding and compassion.
Content warnings: OCD, self-harm, anxiety attacks.
I have been absolutely loving this series–the narrators, especially Chris Brinkley, are so good! I love Brinkley’s southern accents and female narrators are perfectly suited for their characters (some of which are not from Green Valley). Beau and Shelly’s story can be pretty tough to take in emotionally, but their growing affection for one another is truly heartwarming.
First Kiss with a Cowboy by Sara Richardson
Expected Publication: May 19, 2020
Paperback, 432 pages (Bonus story by A.J. Pine included)
Genres: Fiction, Cowboy, Chick Lit, Romance, Contemporary
Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Hachette Book Group
My progress: 100 pages completed
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Jane Harding, a romance writer (who writes under a pen name), returns home to be the maid of honor in her best friend’s wedding. Unfortunately for her, the best man (and also her mother’s new ranch hand) is Toby Garrett, her high school adversary whom she shared one hot kiss with…only for him to ask another girl to prom right in front of her face.
I’m a big fan of many of Forever’s romance writers and I request galleys from them on a monthly basis. I’m also a big fan of cowboy romances which is so interesting since I’ve legitimately never met a cowboy in my entire life!
I always love a little bit (or a lot) of enemies-to-lovers infused into my stories. I’m not usually into stories based on misunderstandings–in this case, Toby believed Jane didn’t like him back after their kiss and Jane believed he asked another girl to prom after their kiss to embarrass her. But so far, it’s still a sweet, light-hearted cowboy romance to alleviate my stress during this tough time.
Return to Magnolia Harbor by Hope Ramsay
(Moonlight Bay #3)
Expected Publication: June 23, 2020
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Genres: Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance, Contemporary
Goodreads |Amazon|Read Forever
My progress: 40% completed
I received a digital ARC of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Architect Jessica Blackwood is recommended by her mentor to design a home for a very wealthy bachelor. That wealthy bachelor turns out to be Christopher Martin, a former classmate who used to torment her in high school. After an accident which has left him with noticeable injuries, he has become a recluse and longs for a home to hide away in.
Surprise! Another enemies-to-lovers, small-town romance from Forever!
This is very much a Beauty and the Beast inspired love story. I hurt for Jessica who was nearly assaulted in high school, believed by others to be a “slut”, and accused of being sent away to boarding school because she was pregnant. Topher, former high school quarterback, was friends with the classmate who attempted to force himself on Jessica (unbeknownst to him) and unknowingly perpetuated rumors about Jessica’s reputation. I get satisfaction from stories in which characters learn from past mistakes and try to make amends for them and if you do too, check this one out!
Let me know what you’re currently reading (especially if they’re romances)! I’m off to host a virtual library program for work!