Thursday, December 31, 2020

The Books I Read in 2020

I just finished my last book of 2020 - I REALLY NEEDED THIS TODAY: Words to Live By by Hoda Kotb, and I want to share the books I read this year. After my husband died at the beginning of the year, I honestly didn't know if I would be able to find joy in reading again. Sometimes it just felt like I was reading the words on a page, and rereading those same words because I didn't absorb anything. I turned to audiobooks to help keep my mind occupied when I wasn't able to focus. When everything felt wrong and I felt lost, I still turned to books to help me find myself, to make me feel like me, and to find some comfort and even some strength. 

I don't have a top 10 favorite list or a best of list, but I will remember the first book that I read that I was able to lose myself in: The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kaye Adams. I know one of the books that helped me understand my grief: Paradise Cove by Jenny Holiday. And I'll remember the book that made me smile through my tears: Snug by Catana Chetwynd.

Below are the books that helped get me through 2020 - the toughest year of my life.

(The date listed is when I finished the book.)

4: Super Late Bloomer by Julia Kaye
6: Unfollowing You by Komal Kapoor
31: Linger by Maggie Stiefvater (audiobook)

8: Guts by Raina Telgemeier
11: Forever by Maggie Stiefvater (audiobook)
11: Snug by Catana Chetwynd
28: Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe
29: Parental Guidance by Avery Flynn (audiobook)


4: Echoes Between Us by Katie McGarry
7: Dirty by Kylie Scott (audiobook)
8: The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer by Jennifer Lynch (audiobook)
15: The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kaye Adams
16: shotglass confessional by Cyrus Parker
20: Little Fires Everywhere by Celest Ng (audiobook)
23: The Liar's Daughter by Megan Cooley Peterson
26: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (audiobook)
29: The Oracle Code by Marieke Nijkamp
29: I'm Not OK with This by Charles Forman
31: Our Year in Love and Parties by Karen Hattrup 

1: The Opposite of Innocent by Sonya Sones
10: Drive Me Crazy by Samantha Chase (audiobook)
11: Break Your Glass Slippers by Amanda Lovelace
14: Walking Dead, Vol.2 by Robert Kirkman
21: Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey
23: Kent State by Deborah Wiles (audiobook)
25: Uncaged Wallflower by Jennae Cecilia
25: Walking Dead, Vol. 3 by Robert Kirkman
26: Happily Ever After by Debbie Tung
27: Drive Me Crazy by Samantha Chase (audiobook)

3: Maybe Not by Colleen Hoover (audiobook)
4: The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez
6: Dancing at My Pity Party by Tyler Feder
10: About Last Night by Ruthie Knox (audiobook)
18: Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
22: Be Straight With Me by Emily Dalton
27: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (audiobook)
30: The Perfect Escape by Suzanne Park

8: I Left the House Today by Cassandra Calin
13: Camp Spirit by Axelle Lenoir
14: Beach Read by Emily Henry
19: The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler (audiobook)
20: Check, Please: Sticks and Scones by Ngozi Ukazu
21: Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer
24: So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
26: Test Drive by Samantha Chase
28: You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
28: Where to Begin by Cleo Wade

3: Dirty Hands, Broken Ribs & Other Places My Heart Has Lived by Cynthia Rodriguez 
4: The Bright Side of Going Dark by Kelly Harms
15: Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
15: Everything Is Beautiful & I'm Not Afraid by Yao Xiao
22: Mermaid Inn by Jenny Holiday
27: Paradise Cove by Jenny Holiday
29: Saint by Colleen Hoover

2: Sadie by Courtney Summers (audiobook)
2: BSC: Boy Crazy Stacey by Ann M. Martin
17: A Pizza My Heart by Teagan Hunter (audiobook)
22: A Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (audiobook)
23: I Knead You Tonight by Teagan Hunter (audiobook)
28: Leo by Jay McLean


5: The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta
7: Love, Creekwood by Becky Albertalli
10: Unpregnant by Jenni Hendricks and Ted Caplan (audiobook)
17: I Fall Apart by Kenzie Hart
19: Crave by Tracy Wolff (audiobook)
20: Grace: Based on the Jeff Buckley Story by Tiffanie DeBartolo
21: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour (audiobook)
27: Furia by Yamile Saied Mendez
29: Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover

5: Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams
7: Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed (audiobook)
10: Burned by Ellen Hopkins (audiobook)
12: Sorrow by Tiffanie DeBartolo
16: Smoke by Ellen Hopkins (audiobook)


7: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (audiobook)
12: The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon
12: Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
13: The Neurotic Notebook by Lena Friedrich
19: This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (audiobook)
22: My Last Summer with Cass by Mark Crilley
24: Between the World and Me by TaNehisi Coates (audiobook)
26: I Will Judge You by Your Bookshelf by Grant Snider
28: Again Again by E. Lockhart

8: Gingerbread by Rachel Cohn (audiobook)
10: Santa's Secret by Heidi McLaughlin
12: A Very Perry Christmas by Marie Landry
19: Season of Joy by Annie Rains
25: A Beaumont Family Christmas by Heidi McLaughlin
30: The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher
31: I Really Needed This Today by Hoda Kotb 

Monday, December 28, 2020

New Release: A BEAUMONT FAMILY CHRISTMAS by Heidi McLaughlin


A Beaumont Family Christmas
by Heidi McLaughlin
Genre: Holiday Romance
Release Date: December 22 ,2020

Purchase Links

Book Description:

It’s Christmas! And for the Beaumont gang that means a huge family get together. But this year, they’re doing things a little differently.

Catch up with all of your favorite characters from Heidi McLaughlin’s bestselling Beaumont series as they gather together in Vermont to partake in the festivities of the holiday season. Find out what they’ve all been up to, and what happens when they spend Christmas hanging out in a lodge, enjoying all that a snowy New England holiday has to offer.

Grab a hot cocoa and celebrate the season with the Beaumont family and their newest members.

About Heidi:

Heidi McLaughlin is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of The Beaumont Series, The Boys of Summer, and The Archers.

Originally, from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper Beagle/Jack Russell, Buttercup and a Highland West/Mini Schnauzer, JiLL and her brother, Racicot.

When she isn't writing one of the many stories planned for release, you'll find her sitting court-side during either daughter's basketball games.

Heidi's first novel, Forever My Girl, has been adapted into a motion picture with LD Entertainment and Roadside Attractions, starring Alex Roe and Jessica Roth, in theaters January 19, 2018. 

To stay connected with Heidi visit or

Social Media:

Text GETHEIDISBOOKS to (833) 926-1009

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Review: SNUG by Catana Chetwynd

SNUG: a collection of comics about dating your best friend
by Catana Chetwynd
Publication Date: February 4, 2020
Pages: 136
Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing
Source: Netgalley | Library


Why bother getting out of bed when you could stay bundled up with that special someone and a book of cozy, cute comics. From the author of the bestselling Little Moments of Love comes Snug, a collection of comics that perfectly captures the honest, playful, and relatable snapshots of romantic life.

Catana Chetwynd’s second book has the same charming and inviting style as her first and includes 50 percent new, never-before-shared comics. Snug is a celebration of the quirks and peculiarities of every one of us—and the magic that happens when we find our matching puzzle piece.

My Thoughts

I just adore the comics created by Catana Chetwynd. They've brought me such joy and this collection in SNUG makes me feel just warm and fuzzy just as the title implies. Her comics bring a smile to my face and can make me literally laugh out loud. She really captures those small moments of falling and living in love.

With her book, LITTLE MOMENTS OF LOVE, I would share my favorite comics with my husband because I thought they were "totally us". I would turn to him, show him a comic, and tell him, "Oh my gosh, THIS IS US!" It happened with comic after comic.

Even though he's no longer here for me to share SNUG with him, it made me feel good to read it because I still saw us in the comics. I could hear his laugh and him agreeing, "Yes, this is us."
And, if I'm being honest, there were times that it made me cry too.

SNUG came out in February of this year and I've read it a few times. Chetwynd's new book IN LOVE AND PAJAMAS will be available in February 2021.

If you don't have a chance to check out her books any time soon, you can follow her on Instagram:

Disclaimer:  I requested this e-ARC from Netgalley for review consideration.  I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Mini-Reviews: FIX HER UP, THE PROPOSAL, and 5,331 MILES

A collection of mini-reviews, quick thoughts, and books worth mentioning. Check them out!

FIX HER UP by Tessa Bailey
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
Pages: 400
Source: Library
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Synopsis (link to Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I enjoyed this book for all of the laughs. I'd read some heavy emotional reads prior to reading FIX HER UP and I was in the need for a good laugh and this book did it. 

Family dinners, inconvenient/convenient small towels, and heated kisses made for some memorable moments. I loved the women supporting each other in their Just Us League - we all need friends to depend on. This fake relationship turned real romance is oh so hot and oh so good. ❤❤

THE PROPOSAL by Jasmine Guillory
Publication Date: October 30, 2018
Pages: 325
Source: Netgalley | Purchased
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Synopsis (link to Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I love the “Friends to More” or “Friends with Benefits to More” trope. And when it’s served up with a huge dose of humor, it makes it even better. THE PROPOSAL is sexy and fun and great follow-up to Jasmine Guillory’s THE WEDDING DATE.

The entire time I read THE PROPOSAL, I kept thinking “Y’all are totally in a relationship.”  Just because Nik and Carlos say what they’re doing isn’t a relationship, doesn’t mean that it’s not a relationship. They didn’t want to claim to be in a relationship because of what that would mean, but their friendship developed into something more. They were intuitive of the other’s needs and didn’t recognize that what they were feeling for each other was love. Sometimes it happens just like that. 

And if the love story isn’t enough, this book had me craving all the yummy food - risotto, tacos, pancakes - I wanted it all. And cooking for comfort or as a way to relax is always a plus in my book. 

I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this series. Thank goodness I already have a copy on my shelf.

5,331 Miles by Willow Aster
Publication Date: March 1, 2019
Pages: 288
Source: Kindle Unlimited | Purchased
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Synopsis (link to Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I first heard of this book when someone chose to receive it from a giveaway I’d hosted. Willow Aster was an author who was on my radar to read, and after reading the description for 5,331 MILES, I thought this was the perfect book to start with. First love, second chances, young adult - YES, YES, YES! This is the book for me.

I loved the storytelling of the past and present, the then and the now, as a way of  learning about the characters history and everything that they’ve experienced together and apart.

A favorite quote:

     “This -- kissing you, finally saying how I feel and hearing you say it back -- it’s a thousand times better than any time I’ve played it out in my head,” he whispered, placing one more kiss on my nose.”

     I grinned, amazed that he’d been imagining the same things I had.

This was a great book to introduce me to Willow Aster’s writing. Since reading 5,331 MILES, I’ve read her follow-up MILES AHEAD and have added some of her other books to my collection. Now I just need to decide which one to read next.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Review: SEASON OF JOY by Annie Rains


Sweetwater Springs #6
by Annie Rains
Publication Date: October 13, 2020
Pages: 432
Published by Forever
Source: Publisher | Purchased


Fall in love with this heartfelt holiday romance between a down-on-his-luck Christmas tree farmer and a woman with plans to bring the merriment back to their town.

Tis the season for love

For single father Granger Fields, Christmas is his busiest and most profitable time of the year. But when a fire devastates the Merry Mountain Tree Farm, he fears the season won't be holly or jolly unless he can convince free spirit Joy Benson to care for his two rambunctious daughters. Yet while Granger wants to focus on saving his business, Joy seems determined to shake up his family's Christmas with her festive ideas and merry making.

Joy is counting down the days until she can open her own art gallery. Babysitting Abby and Willow will help her reach her goal, and when inspiration strikes, Joy convinces Granger that her craft classes can bring even more holiday cheer to the farm. As crowds return and Joy's creative side flourishes, life with Granger and his girls begins to feel like home. But with Christmas coming nearer, can Joy convince Granger to open his heart again? Or will their newfound happiness be as fleeting as the newly fallen snow?

My Thoughts

Reading books like SEASON OF JOY make it easy to get into the holiday spirit. I loved reading this small town romance while listening to Christmas music playing in the background. 

After reading just a few chapters, I embraced the characters - Joy, Granger, and his daughters - and cared about their happiness. Joy had a sweet and special relationship with Abby and Willow and took care with their emotions. And I loved how the sisters took ownership of their friendship with Joy, not wanting to share her with their dad. They are adorable and precocious and I looked forward to every scene with them.

Some favorite things about SEASON OF JOY:

  • Merry Mountain Farms - I want to go there! And experience the magic of the wonderland that Granger created
  • Granger and Joy giving in to their impulses to kiss each other  
  • Learning a new way to make a PB&J which was so YUMMY
  •  "Meeting" the other people of Sweetwater Springs - giving me a reason to read more books from this series

SEASON OF JOY is a cozy holiday romance and exactly what I needed right now. Granger and Joy's relationship made my heart feel full. It's a story about family, creating memories, following your dreams, and accepting the love you didn't know you were looking for. It was wonderful!

Disclaimer:  I received a promotional copy of this title from the publisher for review consideration. I've purchased a finished copy for my personal library. Thoughts and opinions are my own.


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