Top Ten Tuesday

Books with Strong Romance Elements


Joining up with ThatArtsyReadergirl

I’ve chosen to list some books I read in 2022 with strong romance elements. I usually now leave the outright romance books but I love a good story with a strong romance element.

Looking at these books and you think you could recommend me something equally as good – go for it.

Flirting with the Beast: Jane Porter. Is pretty much outright romance but for older characters. Four stars.

State of Shock Marie Force: An ongoing series with two of the most romantic married characters in a book. Romantic suspense.  4 stars

Snowed in For Christmas. Sarah Morgan. Another pretty much outright romance but has the best grandma and family characters that would make me want to reread this one at some point. And…. set in Scotland. Five stars

Thank You For Listening.   Julia Whelan.  Audiobook narrators who eventually meet! It’s a Rom Com that I really recommend, but its more than that. It has wisdom and growth of character and things to think about. Five stars

The Choice: Nora Roberts. This is a paranormal fantasy set “beside” Ireland. Keegan and Breen are a pair who over three books ( this is the last in the trilogy) defeat evil and celebrate love.  4.5 stars.

Nora Goes Off Script. Annabel Monaghan. Thoroughly enjoyed this romance, loved the characters and especially the down to earth family and friends. Nora and Leo – what a pair. Bernadette and Arthur not far behind. It was cute and made me laugh out loud at times. I never saw what caused the trouble and kept wondering what on earth is going on. Well now I know! Very satisfying. Would definitely read another by this author.  4.5 stars.

Storm Echo.  Nalini Singh. Another very enjoyable addition to the series. Pay/changeling/human unite in a way that brings about a welcome result. Ivan believes he is fated to have to live in a cage, but since Silence has fallen and what was once believed has altered is that actually going to happen? Soliel is a changeling delight and I really loved her story and her strength and love. I love the values of family and hope and the right use of power that underlines this book and all the series.  4.5 stars.

The Bodyguard.  Katherine Center. Read in a day. Just couldn’t put it down. Feel good, warm hearted book with entertainment and sprinkles of life giving wisdom.  4.5 stars

Hana Khan Carries On. Uzma Jalaluddin. Very much enjoyed this book. A rom com, but…. The kind I like, great characters, comedic bits, interspersed with serious issues. Full of family, immigrant issues and most of all love. Highly recommend.

Dance Away With Me Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Five big fat stars. I loved this book, worth every big fat dollar I paid to get a hardback copy. I loved the characters, the serious issues covered and that Wren, she was just baby delicious. And sprinkled through was Susan Elizabeth Phillips smart, funny voice. It’s there, don’t say it’s not. I savoured every morsel of this book,  This was a reread in 2022 via audiobook, every bit as good second time round.  5 stars.

Top Ten Tuesday

New to me Authors Found in 2022

Top Ten Tuesday

Today I am taking part in The Artsy Reader Girl’s  link up.

Today’s topic looks at the new to me authors I found in 2022.

It’s always great to discover new authors and love them and hope you can find more from them.

Louise Penny. Jamie Brenner. Bonnie Garmus. Amor Towles. Julia Whelan

Annabel Monaghan.  Kate Albus. Susan M. Boyer. Vicki Delany.  Lyn Cahoon

I look forward to reading more books by these authors in 2023

Book Connections

Library Loot

At about this time of the year all the books start to pile in from my library reserves. At the moment they are speeding in. Two more waiting! It’s going to put me off getting my five read from my own shelf this month but so be it!

book coverWhen I am finding my way into a new author generally I want to borrow the first book I read by that author. As it turns out this is a debut novel. And… Thoroughly enjoyed this romance, loved the characters and especially the down to earth family and friends. Nora and Leo – what a pair. Bernadette and Arthur not far behind. It was cute and made me laugh out loud at times. I never saw what caused the trouble between Nora and Leo and kept wondering what on earth is going on. Well now I know! Very satisfying. Would definitely read another by this author.

4.5 stars

book coverWell all I can say is … delightful. It was fun meeting Poirot and Hastings and see how they related to each other. No one warned me of the humour in these books and that was what was delightful. And while I might say it was far fetched, it was also eerily possible given todays world. Hmm well done Agatha Christie.  The Big Four are about to take over the world – a Russian, an American, and Englishman and a Chinese. Enter Detective Poirot with his clever little plans to thwart them.   4 stars

book coverWell written and engaging. I didn’t expect to really like this book, but turned out it was not mere “rom com” but something deeper than and more than that. I loved Nora’s journey – the witty dialogue between herself and Charlie. Plus her relationship with her sister. Sure a little predictable, but good predictable. Just loved the wisdom of this book.  4.25 stars

book coverMultiple family members and much drama. There was a lot happening and how various characters linked up or fell out made for much happening. It is a step back though kind of writing. I wanted to like it more than I did. At times I felt for the characters and at other times I thought “Really!” 3.5 stars.

book coverAn extremely well written, thought provoking book about a family. Three sisters – well that’s frequent in a book, but somehow this one stands out. They gather around as their mother faces a big change in her life. Laine is the one who returns home to help out. It is she who makes so much growth and development but in a way so do they all.  4.25 stars



It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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Hope all the northern hemisphere readers are managing the heat. It seems very hot. I was just listening to a quilt podcast where I asked the podcasters what is the plus and minus of living in Nevada. It made me curious as to why people live in the desert. Well I learned no personal tax but also they seemed to prefer the heat to the snow conditions. I was also thinking this morning not many to no trees so I guess no forest fires? Well that would be a plus.

Anyway its winter here and we do have taxes! I prefer the cold to the heat, although it hasn’t been quite so cold this winter, but well enough for heating and a fire at night.

I had a rinse and repeat kind of week and enjoyed it very much, today is overcast and I have planned to drop books off for a book fair, drop clear out stuff to the Salvation Army shop and then to pick up groceries and then home to hibernate!

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

About to start both of these.  The Agatha Christie one helps me along in an informal reading challenge and this is the one I found at the library.

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Time to listen to another in this series.

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Up next:

This one because it came in at the library.


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Book Connections

Books I Didn’t Know I Wanted to Read

One of the good things or dangerous things about book blogging is finding out about books I didn’t know about and now think I wouldn’t mind reading. Here are five.

I never expect to love them like the reader who interested me in the book, I know we all have different tastes, but at times a book seems to say “try me”.

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A fascinating exploration of the intricacies of how we remember, why we forget, and what we can do to protect our memories, from the Harvard-trained neuroscientist and bestselling author of Still Alice.

Mary from Book Fan told me about this book. I should probably read Still Alice as well.

book coverI hadn’t heard of Maddie Please until Sandy shared about her book Old Friends Reunited.

Divorced and on a deadline, bestselling novelist Bea Pinkerton has a serious case of writer’s block. With her agent breathing down her neck, Bea will do ANYTHING to avoid writing another word.

book coverKatherine sometimes shares books by Barbara Michaels and it makes me want to try a book by her. Katherine’s review of The Wizard’s Daughter.

Upon the death of her grandfather, Meg Venturi unexpectedly inherits the eccentric millionaires antique jewelry business. There is one catch to her sudden windfall – she must share the wealth with a taciturn and oddly attractive young man who has an entire town stirring up rumors – about murderous secrets and a dark legacy.

book coverI forget where I heard about this book but I think it was a book podcast. Another place to tempt me to add books to the TBR.

Nora Hamilton knows the formula for love better than anyone. As a romance channel screenwriter, it’s her job. But when her too-good-to work husband leaves her and their two kids, Nora turns her marriage’s collapse into cash and writes the best script of her life. No one is more surprised than her when it’s picked up for the big screen and set to film on location at her 100-year-old-home. When former Sexiest Man Alive, Leo Vance, is cast as her ne’er do well husband Nora’s life will never be the same.

book coverI have read Elin Hilderbrand a couple of times but I don’t so far follow her books. However Laurel Rain persuaded me with her review of The Hotel Nantucket.

After a tragic fire in 1922 that killed 19-year-old chambermaid, Grace Hadley, The Hotel Nantucket descended from a gilded age gem to a mediocre budget-friendly lodge to inevitably an abandoned eyesore — until it’s purchased and renovated top to bottom by London billionaire, Xavier Darling.