Keep or Toss (06.20)

Welcome to the 6th episode of ‘Keep or Toss’! In case you missed why I’m going through my TBR listing and the first batch of titles, you can read it all right here: Keep or Toss Tuesday (01.20). You can also find my other TBR Cleanout posts under the TBR category page. If you just want to jump right in with me, here’s a short version of the process I’m using…

At least once a week I’m going to take a section of books on the list and see which ones I want to keep and which ones I’m going to delete. I first saw this idea on Confessions of YA Reader. According to her post, she saw it on Lost in a Story. Here’s how it works:

  1. Go to your goodreads to-read shelf. (As mentioned before, I combined my two shelves (Goodreads and Amazon))
  2. Order in ascending date added. (I’m working in alphabetical order)
  3. Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if you’re feeling adventurous). If you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time. (I’ll be reviewing around 15 each week)
  4. Read the synopsis of each book.
  5. Decide: keep it or should it go.

I should also add this PSA again – I went through a bit of an erotica and steamy romance phase so some of these titles reflect that. #NoJudgementPlease 🙂 All book cover photos were taken from Goodreads and the “Featured Image” is from Happy Color (an app I like playing on sometimes). So let’s gets started!

 


Dare to Love (Carly Phillips)

Dare to Love by Carly Phillips

Since finding out his father had another family on the side, Ian Dare swore to be the upstanding, responsible man his cheating parent had never been. When it comes to his relatives, he gives his all but in relationships he offers the bare minimum. But one glimpse of sensual Riley Taylor arouses his dominant and protective instincts and Ian is entranced. He will do anything to possess her … and does. But any future with Riley must include him extending an olive branch to the half-brother who is a constant reminder of the pain he’d rather forget.

Independent and always in control, Riley Taylor makes no apologies for choosing men carefully. Relationships have never been a priority and she believes herself hardened to domineering men – until she meets charismatic Ian Dare. He manages to turn a simple kiss into an all out assault on her senses and when he takes control in the bedroom, she’s stunned to discover she likes it. As their affair heats up, they soon realize they complete each other in ways neither imagined. But Riley’s past is closer than she cares to remember, and her struggles with Ian’s dominance might just cost her everything.

Toss. Not feeling it anymore.


Creatus (Carmen DeSousa)

Creatus (Creatus Series, Book 1) by Carmen DeSousa

After years of searching for the mysterious stranger who saved her life, twenty-two-year-old Kristina is alone and desperate. Seeing no future in her worthless existence, she attempts to force her protector out of the shadows the only way she knows–killing herself.

Ignoring his family’s disapproval, Derrick continues to safeguard the girl he rescued from a vicious attack years earlier. The one thing he can’t protect her from, however, is herself. When Kristina jumps off a bridge, he must reveal himself, even if saving her means she will now be in danger from his kind.

To make things worse, a video revealing Derrick’s supernatural ability when he saved Kristina is now in the possession of a government agency, and someone in his family will do anything to keep their existence a secret, even kill Kristina, the woman Derrick can no longer live without.

Dark and mysterious. I like. Keeping.


About Face (Carole Howard)

About Face by Carole Howard

From the outside, Ruth seems to have it all: a high-powered career, happy marriage and family. But her inner Peace-Corps-Volunteer is hollering to be let out.

When she bumps into Vivian, her long-lost friend and former hut-mate, she realizes how different she is from the person she used to be and wonders if she’s lost part of herself—the best part—in her quest for “the perfect life.” Her internal tug of war gathers steam and knocks her seemingly perfect urban life out of kilter.

As they struggle with their differences and try to resurrect their friendship, the two women realize—with humor and a growing respect—that they each have strengths to contribute to a venture neither would have discovered on her own, one that melds past and present to shape an exciting and surprising future.

Another one that doesn’t sound interesting anymore to me. Toss.


Beauty (Caroline Lee)

Beauty: An Everland Ever After Tale by Caroline Lee

Twice-widowed Arabella Mayor has made a place for herself and her son in Everland, selling and lending her beloved books to other bibliophiles in the sweet town. But she’s running out of money, and ten-year-old Eddie is giving her fits, and their future is uncertain. Re-marriage might have once been an option, but Arabella knows she’s past her prime, and isn’t the Beauty she used to be. And as her beauty faded, so did her worth. What does she have left?

World-renown violinist Vincenzo Bellini is at ease with his carefully cultivated reputation of a beastly recluse. After all, the fewer people looking at his hideous scars, the better. Ready to retire, he’s trying to hide in Everland, but doesn’t count on the townsfolk being so curious… especially a particular bookseller who reminds him of the life he abandoned long ago. Can he teach her that worth isn’t tied to their appearances, or will he have to abandon his plans for a future here in Everland?

I smell a cheesy, so-so romance. I’ll pass.


Ella (Caroline Lee)

Ella: An Everland Ever After Tale by Caroline Lee

Ella has grown used to the casual cruelty of her stepsisters, the complete control her wicked stepfather exerts, and the exasperating way the birds and the mice keep bothering her while she’s trying to do her (extensive) daily chores. But with the big July Fourth celebration coming up in Everland, she’s determined to make her sisters the prettiest dresses possible so that they’ll finally get married and move out of her life. But she doesn’t count on a chance meeting with a handsome shopkeeper…

Having lost a leg at Gettysburg, Ian Crowne knows that he’s no princely catch. He’s got his store and his dogs, so he’s satisfied…until the day when an enigmatic stranger captures his imagination and his heart. Now they’re both dreaming of each other and wishing on stars, and the celebration is only days away…

The same author so I’m still getting that fluffy love story vibe but this one sounds a bit more interesting than the previous one. I’ll keep it for now.


The Loose Ends List (Carrie Firestone)

The Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone

Maddie has big plans to spend the last months before college tying up high school “loose ends” alongside her best friends. Then her beloved grandmother drops two bombshells: (1) Gram is dying. (2) She’s taking her entire family on a round-the-world cruise of dreams come true—but at the end, Gram won’t be returning home.

With a promise to live in the now without regrets, Maddie boards the Wishwell determined to make every moment count. She finds new friends in her fellow Wishwellians, takes advantage of the trip’s many luxuries, gets even closer to her quirky family, and falls for painfully gorgeous Enzo. But despite the copious laughter, headiness of first love, and wonder of the glamorous destinations, Maddie knows she is on the brink of losing Gram, and she struggles to find the strength to let go in a whirlwind summer shaped by love, grief, and laughter.

Could be fun but I’m going to let this one cruise on by. Toss.


The Road Back from Broken (Carrie Morgan)

The Road Back from Broken by Carrie Morgan

For Fitz, having survived means being haunted by the very memories he wants to forget…

Four months after surviving an IED blast in Afghanistan, Army sergeant Jacob Fitzgerald has recovered from his physical injuries but his invisible wounds continue to fester.

Devastated by the loss of his friend Peterson, a gifted medic who was killed in the IED attack, Fitz turns to alcohol to dull his pain. But his solace proves short-lived when a DUI crash leaves Fitz one screw-up away from a court martial and he comes home to find his wife Jenn packing her bags.

Desperate to save his marriage and his Army career, Fitz is befriended by Remy, a young Army chaplain haunted by demons of his own. Fitz leans on Remy for support when sobriety proves a mixed blessing, bringing the clarity of mind needed to reconnect with his family while unleashing a flood of vivid, searing flashbacks.

As the haunting memories of the IED attack and his fallen comrade send Fitz into a spiral of anguish, he must choose between numbing the pain and losing both his family and his career, or coming to terms with his role in the death of his friend.

This one tugs on my heartstrings and I feel like I’ll be crying. A lot. So I’m gonna keep this one.


The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (Carson McCullers)

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

Set in a small town in the middle of the deep South, it is the story of John Singer, a lonely deaf-mute, and a disparate group of people who are drawn towards his kind, sympathetic nature. The owner of the café where Singer eats every day, a young girl desperate to grow up, an angry drunkard, a frustrated black doctor: each pours their heart out to Singer, their silent confidant, and he in turn changes their disenchanted lives in ways they could never imagine.

I think is a holdover from when I was into human interest fiction. I’m not in that mood currently and haven’t been for a while. I’m tossing this one.


Furious Hours (Casey Cep)

Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep

Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members for insurance money in the 1970s. With the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative shot him dead at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell’s murderer was acquitted–thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the Reverend.

Sitting in the audience during the vigilante’s trial was Harper Lee, who had traveled from New York City to her native Alabama with the idea of writing her own In Cold Blood, the true-crime classic she had helped her friend Truman Capote research seventeen years earlier. Lee spent a year in town reporting, and many more working on her own version of the case.

I love Harper Lee but I’m not much of a True Crime reader so I am not sure why this one got added to my TBR. Maybe because of the Lee connection? Well, I’m not keeping it on there. Toss.


The Red Scrolls of Magic (Cassandra Clare)

The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses #1) by Cassandra Clare

All Magnus Bane wanted was a vacation—a lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who against all odds is finally his boyfriend. But as soon as the pair settles in Paris, an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke.

Now Magnus and Alec must race across Europe to track down the Crimson Hand and its elusive new leader before the cult can cause any more damage. As if it wasn’t bad enough that their romantic getaway has been sidetracked, demons are now dogging their every step, and it is becoming harder to tell friend from foe. As their quest for answers becomes increasingly dire, Magnus and Alec will have to trust each other more than ever—even if it means revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping.

A book about Magnus and Alec? Umm, of course it’s staying!


Black Box (Cassia Leo)

Black Box by Cassia Leo

Over the course of five years, Mikki and Crush cross paths on three separate occasions. Their first encounter changes Mikki’s life forever, but their second meeting leaves them both buried beneath the emotional wreckage of a violent attack. Mikki is left with more questions and grief than she can handle, while Crush is forced to forget the girl who saved his life.

Now nineteen years old, Mikki Gladstone has decided she’s tired of the mind-numbing meds. She books a flight to Los Angeles to end her life far away from her loving, though often distant, family.

Twenty-one-year-old Crush has always channeled his blackest thoughts into his music, but he’s never had great aspirations. He decides to fly to Los Angeles to record a demo of the only song he’s never performed in public; a song he wrote for a girl he doesn’t even know: Black Box. He has no expectations of fame and he’s never felt like his life had any purpose… until he meets Mikki in Terminal B.

When Mikki and Crush cross paths for the third time in Terminal B, neither has any idea who the other person is; until they slowly piece together their history and realize that fate has more in store for them than just another love story.

This one could be good. Seems like there’s meat to the story and not just a fuzzy romance. I’m going to keep it.


Final Hours (Cate Dean)
Final Hours (Love in Time, Book 1) by Cate Dean

Elizabeth Barritt fought hard to put her childhood behind her. Now she has the chance to move forward, to reach out for a new, exciting future. All she has to do is take the first step.

And she does – straight into Jackson Kane’s path. He is a time traveler, on the hunt for a rogue agent.

When Kane is injured protecting Elizabeth from that agent, she makes a decision that will change her life, in ways she can’t even begin to grasp. She takes him home.

Once he is healed enough to travel, Kane goes after the agent, chasing him back to war-torn London. But his journey back takes a sideways turn, forcing Elizabeth to make another choice. She follows him into the past, to help him stop one man from changing their future.

Nah. Tossing.


Wife by Wednesday (Catherine Bybee)

Wife by Wednesday (The Weekday Brides #1) by Catherine Bybee

Blake Harrison:
Rich, titled, and charming…and in need of a wife by Wednesday. Blake turns to Sam Elliot, who isn’t the businessman he expected. Instead, Blake is faced with Samantha Elliot, beautiful and feisty with a voice men call 1-900 numbers to hear.

Samantha Elliot:
Owner of matchmaking firm Alliance and not on the marital menu…that is, until Blake offers her ten million dollars for a one-year contract. And there’s nothing indecent about this proposal. The money will really help with her family’s medical bills. All Samantha will need to do is keep her attraction to her new husband to herself and avoid his bed.

But Blake’s toe-curling kisses and sexy charm prove too difficult for Sam to resist. It was a marriage contract that planned for everything…except falling in love.

This sounds cute but honestly, it’s been on my TBR list since 2014 and I haven’t thought of it since. So that says something. Toss!


Say Goodbye for Now (Catherine Ryan Hyde)

Say Goodbye for Now by Catherine Ryan Hyde

On an isolated Texas ranch, Dr. Lucy cares for abandoned animals. The solitude allows her to avoid the people and places that remind her of the past. Not that any of the townsfolk care. In 1959, no one is interested in a woman doctor. Nor are they welcoming Calvin and Justin Bell, a newly arrived African American father and son.

When Pete Solomon, a neglected twelve-year-old boy, and Justin bring a wounded wolf-dog hybrid to Dr. Lucy, the outcasts soon find refuge in one another. Lucy never thought she’d make connections again, never mind fall in love. Pete never imagined he’d find friends as loyal as Justin and the dog. But these four people aren’t allowed to be friends, much less a family, when the whole town turns violently against them.

With heavy hearts, Dr. Lucy and Pete say goodbye to Calvin and Justin. But through the years they keep hope alive…waiting for the world to catch up with them.

This one sounds heartbreaking and beautiful. It’s staying on the TBR List. Besides, there’s a dog. ❤


UnEnchanted (Chanda Hahn)

UnEnchanted (An Unfortunate Fairy Tale, Book 1) by Chanda Hahn

Mina Grime is unlucky, unpopular and uncoordinated; until she saves her crush’s life on a field trip, changing her High School status from loser to hero overnight. But with her new found fame brings misfortune in the form of an old family curse come to light. For Mina is descended from the Brothers Grimm and has inherited all of their unfinished fairy tale business. Which includes trying to outwit a powerful Story from making her it’s next fairytale victim.

To break the fairy tale curse on her family and make these deadly occurrences stop, Mina must finish the tales until the very Grimm end.

I don’t know about this one. The description isn’t really grabbing my but my friends gave it really high marks. I think I’ll put it in the ‘Maybe’ column.

 


And there you have it! Another 15 sorted. 6 are being kept, 8 were give then boot, and 1 is being held in the limbo category.

How do you think I did? Would you have made any different choices? Let me hear from you in the comments?

 

TBR

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