Top Ten Tuesday/ Novels I Wanted More From

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by thatartsyreadergirl with a new topic every week.

April 5: Freebie (come up with your own topic!)

The most shelf I use on Goodreads is the three stars shelf where I put the books that have missed the mark for me for some reason or another. They are still good, but they don’t have that wow feeling that a reader I look for in books.

Goodreads Blurb:

Angela Gillespie’s annual Christmas letter has always been full of her family’s triumphs.

But this year she surprises everyone, including herself – because she tells the truth . . .

Angela’s husband is in the throes of a mid-life crisis. Her daughters are more out of control than ever. And her youngest child spends all of his time talking to an imaginary friend.

And as the repercussions of her ruthlessly honest letter begin to pile up, a shocking event takes Angela from her family, and she realises that perhaps she should have been more careful of what she wished for . . 

Goodreads Blurb:

Layla Harrison has finally found herself in the middle of a celebrity story worth reporting. Aster Amirpour’s name is in every tabloid—even if it isn’t the good kind of publicity she hoped for. Tommy Phillips is inches away from getting the girl of his dreams, which may be harder than scoring a VIP ticket to an Unrivaled nightclub.

But Layla, Aster and Tommy never imagined it would be because they’re entangled in the disappearance of Madison Brooks—a story that’s blinded the world like a starlet blinded by the flash of a paparazzi camera.

Now, Layla is receiving mysterious messages from an anonymous source, Aster’s looming murder trial is so huge even her parents’ lawyer can’t save her, Tommy is retracing his steps as the last person Madison saw alive, and Layla’s ex Mateo finds himself lured into the fold.

You can dig up dirt about celebrities that the tabloids miss if you search long enough. But when Layla, Aster, and Tommy team up with an unsuspecting insider to unearth the truth, they’ll find that some secrets are best kept in the grave.

Goodreads Blurb:

Compared to life on tour with her wannabe rock star mother, finishing high school in Rye is a snooze. At least Roxy has her best friend, Zo�, her dad, and her music. When her standoffish Civics class partner, Jag Monroe, breaks ranks and randomly friends her on Instagram, Roxy swiftly declines.

Jag is Roxy’s total opposite: stinking rich, conceited, and hot in that obvious kind of way. Roxy’s sure that his repeated friend requests must be a joke. Then Zo� does the unthinkable: snatches Roxy’s phone, accepts Jag’s latest friend request, and follows him back.

As the posts (and sparks) fly, Roxy begins to suspect that Jag may not be as shallow as everyone thinks, and that he may be into more than just her music.

Goodreads Blurb:

Being “shook” is more than a rap lyric for Charlamagne, it’s his mission to overcome. While it may seem like he’s ahead of the game, he is actually plagued by anxieties, such as the fear of losing his roots, the fear of being a bad dad, and the fear of being a terrible husband. Shook One chronicles his journey to beat those fears and shows a path that you too can take to overcome the anxieties that may be holding you back.

Ironically, Charlamagne’s fear of failure—of falling into the life of stagnation or crime that caught up so many of his friends and family in his hometown of Moncks Corner—has been the fuel that has propelled him to success. However, even after achieving national prominence as a radio personality, Charlamagne still found himself paralyzed by anxiety and distrust. Now, in Shook One, he is working through these problems—many of which he traces back to cultural PTSD—with help from mentors, friends, and therapy. Being anxious doesn’t serve the same purpose anymore. Through therapy, he’s figuring out how to get over the irrational fears that won’t take him anywhere positive.

Charlamange hopes Shook One can be a call to action: Getting help is your right. Therapy and showing weakness are not always easy subjects, but if you go to the gym three or four times a week, why can’t you put that same effort and energy into getting mentally strong?

“I know bad things are still going to happen to me. Struggles that I can’t even conceive of today are still going to trip me up from time to time down the road. Cops are still going to pull me over for no reason. I’m still going to worry about my kids. The anxieties are never fully going to go away. In the past, my focus was always on the things that cause stress. Moving forward, its’ going to be on the things that bless.” 

Goodreads Blurb:

Porter Wren is a Manhattan tabloid writer with an appetite for scandal. On the beat, he sells murder, tragedy, and anything that passes for truth. At home, he is a dedicated husband and father. But when a seductive stranger asks him to dig into the unsolved murder of her husband, he is drawn into a very nasty case of sexual obsession and blackmail—one that threatens his job, his marriage, and his life.

Colin Harrison’s Manhattan Night is a brilliantly drawn tableau of the gritty, gaudy city and a thrilling literary noir.

Goodreads Blurb:

Benjamin Benjamin has lost virtually everything-his wife, his family, his home, his livelihood. With few options, Ben enrolls in a night class called The Fundamentals of Caregiving in the basement of a local church. There Ben is instructed in the art of inserting catheters and avoiding liability, about professionalism, and how to keep physical and emotional distance between client and provider.

But when Ben is assigned to tyrannical nineteen-year-old Trev, in the advanced stages of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, he soon discovers that the endless mnemonics and service plan checklists have done little to prepare him for the reality of caring for a fiercely stubborn, sexually frustrated adolescent with an ax to grind with the world at large.

Though begun with mutual misgivings, the relationship between Trev and Ben evolves into a close camaraderie and the traditional boundaries between patient and caregiver begin to blur as they embark on a road trip across the American West to visit Trev’s ailing father. A series of must-see roadside attractions sidetrack them into an adventure highlighted by one birth, two arrests, a freakish dust storm, and a six-hundred-mile cat-and-mouse pursuit by a mysterious brown Buick Skylark.

5

Goodreads Blurb:

Working as a wench ― i.e. waitress ― at a cheesy medieval-themed restaurant in the Chicago suburbs, Kit Sweetly dreams of being a knight like her brother. She has the moves, is capable on a horse, and desperately needs the raise that comes with knighthood, so she can help her mom pay the mortgage and hold a spot at her dream college.

Company policy allows only guys to be knights. So when Kit takes her brother’s place and reveals her identity at the end of the show, she rockets into internet fame and a whole lot of trouble with the management. But the Girl Knight won’t go down without a fight. As other wenches join her quest, a protest forms. In a joust before Castle executives, they’ll prove that gender restrictions should stay medieval―if they don’t get fired first.

Goodreads Blurb:

t’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

Goodreads Blurb:

Alisha Rai returns with the first book in her sizzling new Modern Love series, in which two rival dating app creators find themselves at odds in the boardroom but in sync in the bedroom.

Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules:

– Nude pics are by invitation only

– If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice

– Protect your heart

Only there aren’t any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night… and disappears.

Rhi thought she’d buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful—and in league with a business rival. He says he won’t fumble their second chance, but she’s wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that’s too high a risk…

Goodreads Blurb:

Susie opens a tea shop next to Jack’s coffee shop and the war begins.

Jack Robbins has a booming coffee business, an eighty-year old customer who can’t keep his clothes on, and a rescue Chihuahua named Chimichanga that likes to kiss on the mouth. Life is good until the new business next door takes a bite out of his sales.

Susie McKenna has the new tea shop everyone is talking about, an over-protective brother, and a stubborn, good-looking neighbor who is trying to steal her customers.

Things really start to percolate when Jack and Susie both volunteer to help plan the downtown festival. They have to work together and soon Jack won’t be able to get by without his daily fix of Susie. But can a coffee lover and a tea devotee put their competition aside to get their happily ever after? 

Alex

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