Saturday, February 16, 2019

Cleaning Up My TBR with a Giveaway: Down the TBR Hole #9

This meme was started by Lost in a Story.  Here is how it works:
  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
Because I have so many to do, I'm going to try to do this weekly, and do 10 at a time.

1.  The Pact (Rachel Benjamin #1) by Jennifer Sturman:
A mystery for anyone who has ever hated a friend's boyfriend...

Rachel Benjamin and her friends aren't looking forward to Emma's wedding. The groom is a rat, and nobody can understand what Emma sees in him. So when he turns up dead on the morning of the ceremony, no one in the wedding party is all that upset. Not even Emma.

Rachel, who had the good fortune to find Richard floating facedown in the pool, is feeling as if she's woken up in an Agatha Christie novel. It doesn't help that everyone around her seems to have a motive for murder. So, while the cops detain Emma's family and friends at her isolated Adirondacks compound for the weekend, Rachel, an investment banker by trade, makes like Miss Marple (minus the gray hair and sensible shoes) and does some digging of her own.

Her investigation gets especially tricky when Peter Forrest, the too-good-to-be-true best man, turns out to be both her number-one love interest and her number-one suspect. And Rachel can't help remembering the solemn pact she and her friends made back in college -- a promise to rescue each other from bad relationships, using any means required. Has someone taken the pact too far? 

My thoughts:
This one came about probably because it is part of the Red Dress Ink publishing series that I was going crazy over for a while.  I honestly don't always get too much into mysteries, and while I think t his sounds like it could be a hilarious movie, I don't know that it's one I'd search out to read again.  Actually, I notice that the next book on my TBR list is the 3rd book in this series, so it seems as if I read the 2nd book.  As I only gave that one three stars, I'm going to drop the next one too.

Verdict: Toss 

2.  And Then Everything Unraveled (Delia Truesdale #1) by Jennifer Sturman:
First there was a disappearance. 
Then there was a clue.
Then there was a kiss. 
And then...

Delia Truesdale has no idea her life's about to change forever. She's too busy enjoying the California summer. Her Internet tycoon mother, T.K. Truesdale, is out of town, and that means Delia can spend all her time at the beach, surfing.

That is, until everything unravels.

Her mother suddenly goes missing, and everyone thinks she's dead—except Delia, who knows T.K.'s way too organized to simply disappear. But Delia's still sent to New York to live with her two aunts—a downtown bohemian and an uptown ice queen. And in case that's not bad enough, she also has to deal with a snooty new school and trying not to fall for the wrong guy. Oh, and finding her mother.

As she delves deeper into the tangle of conspiracies and lies surrounding T.K.'s disappearance, Delia begins to suspect that the wrong guy may be the right guy... and that some secrets—especially the dangerous ones—were never meant to be unraveled.

My thoughts:
Okay, another book by the same author as above. Since I have already read one by this author, I think I can go ahead and take these extras off and if I ever feel the need to try her again, she is listed.

Verdict:  Toss

3.  4 books by Jody Gehrman:
Geena can't wait to spend summer vacation with her two best girls: her friend Amber and her cousin Hero. All three are working at the Triple Shot Betty coffee shop together, but the moment Amber and Hero meet, the claws come out. They hate each other on sight. Geena's dream of a girl-bonding summer flies out of the window, and then threaten to disappear completely when a few cute (okay, drop-dead gorgeous) guys come along to woo the Bettys. But all is not what it seems, and in a story of mistaken identities, crazy summer high jinks, and enough romance to make Shakespeare proud, Geena and her friends learn that when Bettys unite, they can take on the most powerful force in their world: a hot guy.  

My thoughts:  Another author I read a book by and so decided to add all her other ones to my Goodreads TBR.  Since I only gave that one 3 stars, I'll probably just delete all the others I list below.

Geena is freaking out. She's been going out with Ben for five months, their relationship is comfortable and perfect, and then Bam! he's suddenly putting the pressure on to be way more physical. She's not sure she's ready. 
Enter Mr. Rex Sands, Geena's delectably hot and brilliant English substitute teacher (he speaks to her soul!), on whom her best friend Amber develops an immediate crush when he stops by the Triple Shot Betty coffee shack. Amber needs Geena's help talking to him because he is such an intellectual, so Geena finds herself writing love notes, MySpace messages, and texts to Mr. Sands under Amber's name. And he writes back! Geena is just doing it all for Amber (sort of), so it's not technically cheating on Ben . . . right? 
In this romantic and playful update of Cyrano de Bergerac, Jody Gehrman reintroduces readers to Geena, Amber, and the Sonoma gang as they walk the rocky and confusing path toward true love.

My thoughts: Sequel to the book above.  Probably won't read unless I read that one.  Although, I LOVE this cover.

London aristocrat Mia Clementine does
gorgeous for a living. Her cousin's etiquette
firm, The Inner Gentleman, works small
miracles on rough-around-the-edges
superstars, and Mia is their most sought-after
stylist. But selfish, overpaid soccer player
Josh Watkins? He's in a league of his own.

And thanks to her rep, his team wants Mia to wave
her magic wand and turn their celebrated player—and we do
mean player—into a changed man before his next charity gig.

That means: * No more fighting. * No more swearing. * No more "allegedly" shagging a page-three girl at a casino restaurant. 

But just when Mia thinks Josh is kicking his old habits, he turns the
game around. Suddenly, Mia's looking for meaning in her society-page
existence. Sure, she's an expert in pushing the posh life, but maybe
it's time to not play by the rules.…

My thoughts:  A lot of this publisher seems to be set in England, and that is sometimes harder to read for me than the American settings, you know, relating to things and all that.

Twenty-five-year-old Anna–restless, famished and emotionally numb–is following the long-cold trail of her father, a celebrated luthier, whose death has always haunted her.
She's tracked his former business partner to a sailboat on Bellingham Bay, determined to pry from the old man the secrets of their guitarmaking trade, and maybe a few answers about her father.
Anna catches an echo of her musical father in Arlan, guitar player for a local band. Soon she's living on his sofa, hanging out with his girlfriend–having friends for the first time, even. And if Anna's new friends do drugs, read her journal and leave open a few too many bedroom doors, who's to say they aren't real friends? And if Anna has feelings for Arlan, who's to say where her loyalty lies?
During a single summer's worth of days, gin-soaked and colored with longing, Anna rediscovers her senses, shut down since her father's death, and finds that the only way to get free of her past is to embrace it.
My thoughts:  This one doesn't even sound that great to me.  So, probably a no-brainer for getting rid of.

Verdict: Toss all 4 above!

4.  3 books by Valerie Frankel:
"Val Frankel is a woman of amazing insight. . . . Read this, weep, and heal."

--Stacy London, cohost of "What Not to Wear"

You've heard the phrase "the mirror is not your friend." For Valerie Frankel, the mirror was so much more than "not a friend." It was the mean girl who stole her lunch money, bitch-slapped her in the ladies' room, and cut the hair off her Barbie.

"If you're like 99.9 percent of women, the war you wage with yourself over your body image begins at the ripe age of eight, and the skirmishes are fought for the next eight decades. Sometimes you don't even know when you've won. (How many of us have taken out a photo from high school and thought, "Hey! I looked great--why didn't I know it?") This book is for anyone who has spent most of her life on--or thinking about being on--a diet. It's for anyone who ever wished for candlelight in dressing rooms. It's for anyone who has ever owned a pair of "fat pants." In short, this book is for anyone who ever felt good or bad about themselves based on how they look. "

Valerie Frankel, like most women, has spent most of her conscious life on a diet, thinking about a diet, ignoring a diet, or failing on a diet. At age eleven, her mother put Val on her first weight-loss program. As a teen, she was enrolled in Weight Watchers (for which she invented creative ditching methods). As a young woman, her world felt right only when she was able to zip a certain pair of jeans. Not wanting to pass this legacy on to her own daughters, Valerie set out to cleanse herself of her obsession. "Thin Is the New Happy" is the true story of one woman's quest to exorcise her bad body-image demons, to uncover the truths behind what put them there, and to learn how to truly love herself. It's a poignant, hilarious, and all-out honest account of one woman's struggle with body image--the filter through which she's always seen the world--and the way she ultimately overcame it.  

My thoughts:  Now, honestly, I could swear I've already read this one!  But since it is not showing that way for  now, I will probably actually keep it. 

Adora's place in the pecking order of her posh high school is decidedly on the fringe: Pretty but not beautiful, comfortable but not rich, popular but not the ruling class. But for her latest social studies project (and to exact a little old-fashioned revenge), she decides to put what she's learned about political revolutions to good use.With the help of her friends, Adora stages her very own uprising. And guess what? Victory is hers! Before she knows it, the snotty cool kids have been overthrown-and suddenly Adora is the leader, reveling in her newfound power and popularity. 
But a few unexpected events are about to trip up the new order-and Adora's noticing that sometimes it can be lonely at the top. 

My thoughts:  This one was probably added because I'd read several books by this author and enjoyed them for the most part.  However this one doesn't sound like it is one I'd necessarily go back and look for later.

Here comes the bride . . . there goes the groom.

Penny Bracket waited two years to marry dream man Bram Shiraz. Then on the morning of the Big Day, while she's trying on her veil, Penny receives the worst two-line letter of her life: "Penny, I can't go through with it. Sorry, Bram."

Penny's hurt and upset. But Esther, Penny's divorced mom, wants Bram's head on a platter. So Mom ambushes the cold-footed coward before he hot-foots it out of town, bonks him on the head with a champagne bottle, and spirits him away to a hidden room in her gargantuan mansion in Short Hares, New Jersey. Esther doesn't want much. All Bram has to do is write personal, heartfelt apologies to each of the two hundred disappointed wedding guests . . . and eat every mouthful of the very expensive gourmet wedding feast that has gone to waste. Then he'll be free to leave.

Penny doesn't want Bram tortured. She just wants answers to "why" . . . and maybe a little revenge. Will she discover her runaway groom is locked away in the attic? Will Bram's widowed father—handsome tough-guy Keith Shiraz—be able to locate his missing son . . . and maybe seduce Esther Bracket in the bargain? Will Bram be able to maintain his athletic figure after consuming two hundred entrées and thousands of baby quiches? Read on! 

My thoughts:  Sounds original, maybe could be a fun movie, but probably not one I'll read.

Verdict:  Keep the first one, toss the other two.

5.  Miss Match by Leslie Carroll:
For drama teacher Kathryn Lamb, being thirty-five and single means an endless run on the dating wheel. Everyone from her happily married sister to her meddling neighbor thinks it’s time for Kitty to take drastic action to find herself a wonderful man. So she enrolls in New York’s premier matchmaking service, which guarantees five potential mates or her money back. And if Walker Hart, the gorgeous entrepreneur of the company, is any example of the men who will be parading to her apartment, then Kitty will definitely be a satisfied customer. 

But as each promising encounter turns into a disaster, Kitty realizes that the only guy who has captured her romantic heart is the one who doesn’t believe in happily ever after. Sexy and sassy, Miss Match is a hilarious first novel that delves into the anxieties of the mating game, where every now and then one has to bend the rules. . . .

My thoughts:  Well, this one sounds perfect for me. While the main character is about 10 years younger than I am, she seems to be in the same situation as someone of my age. It sounds like one I might want to read some day.

Verdict:  Keep

6.  Monkey Star by Brenda Scott Royce:
When Holly Heckerling heads to Hollywood to work as an animal trainer on a big-budget movie, she finds herself fantasizing about leaving New York behind for good. But she's reluctant to say goodbye to her boyfriend, Tom, or Tallullah, the monkey who stole her heart during a pet-sitting assignment. 

And while she's in her element wrangling chimpanzees, ferrets, and snakes, she isn't sure how to handle the A-list actor who's following her around like a lovesick puppy. Soon she realizes her real decision isn't where to live, but to whom she should give her heart.  

My thoughts:  Okay, I remember really liking the other book I read by this author, which this is kind of a sequel to. So I think I probably want to keep this in mind for some day reading.

Verdict:  Keep

7.  2 books by Scott Sigler:
Deep below a desolate Utah mountain lies the largest platinum deposit ever discovered. A billion-dollar find, it waits for any company that can drill a world's record, three-mile-deep mine shaft. EarthCore is the company with the technology, the resources and the guts to go after the mother lode. Young executive Connell Kirkland is the company's driving force, pushing himself and those around him to uncover the massive treasure.
But at three miles below the surface, where the rocks are so hot they burn bare skin, something has been waiting for centuries. Waiting ...and guarding. Kirkland and EarthCore are about to find out first-hand why this treasure has never been unearthed.
My thoughts: This is another instance where I found an author that I enjoyed a book by and decided to add all their books on Goodreads.  Not sure this one is actually one I'll want to read.

On a remote island in Lake Superior, scientists struggle to solve the problem of xenotransplantation -- using animal tissue to replace failing human organs. Funded by the biotech firm Genada, Dr. Claus Rhumkorrf seeks to recreate the ancestor of all mammals.

By getting back to the root of our creation, Rhumkorrf hopes to create an animal with human internal organs. Rhumkorrf discovers the ancestor, but it is not the small, harmless creature he envisions. His genius gives birth to a fast-growing evil that nature eradicated 250 million years ago — an evil now on the loose, and very, very hungry.
My thoughts:  Again, same situation as above.  This one however, sounds like something I might enjoy at some future point.
 Verdict:  Toss first one, keep second one. 

8.  2 books by Jill Winters:
Just as artist Belinda "Billy" Cabot settles into her new job--decorating cakes at a charming Boston bakery--her ex-boyfriend, Seth Lannigan, walks through the door...and events conspire to turn her life upside down. The last thing she needs is to fall for Seth again. And she really doesn't need a cantankerous fisherman named Ted--who has a mysterious connection to Billy's family--dropping dead at the annual dessert jubilee, catered by the bakery. With Seth's brief return home, Billy must battle the sizzling attraction that still exists between them. But, as danger closes in on her, she must also ask his help...   
My thoughts:  Not sure on this one, doesn't really grab me.  

Reese Brock—PhD student, part-time bookstore clerk, and soon-to-be bridesmaid in her sister’s wedding—has a full plate as it is without her mom’s maddening wedding preparations and her dad’s daily tributes to Ben Franklin. Not to mention, the absent-minded professor who calls her constantly and expects her to ghostwrite his next book. The last thing Reese needs is to rekindle a spark with the best man in the wedding...or is that the first thing during her strangely comical winter vacation that makes complete sense? 

Brimming with wit and charm, Winters' second novel spent weeks on multiple Barnes & Noble bestseller lists. BLUSHING PINK is a sexy romantic comedy with a protagonist who is as sardonic as she is sweet. 
  My thoughts:  Another situation of adding books based on reading an author, or probably with this one it was because I'd bought her book.  I only rated that book by this author as 3 stars, so I'm guessing this isn't one I'll need to read.

Verdict:  Toss both

9.  Catch of the Day by Whitney Lyles, Cathie Linz, Beverly Brandt, and Pamela Clare:
Four all-new stories that show there's no place like a wedding to catch the perfect man. 

To go down the aisle or not to go down the aisle. Is that even a question? Well, it depends on whether you're the bride or just a bridesmaid-for the fifth straight time. Or whether an old flame is determined to wreck the wedding weekend. It's enough to make a girl say "I don't." Now, these brand-new stories about four matrimonially-challenged women demonstrate how one of life's best days can go so wrong-and still be sexy, hilarious, and deliciously right.  

My thoughts:  Well, I was a fan of the Whitney Lyles books that I had read, so this one sounds like there is a story by her that I should give a try.

Verdict:  Keep

10.  She, Myself and I by Whitney Gaskell:
The Cassel sisters have little in common besides a pair of wacky parents and a maddening knack for eluding happily-ever-after endings. But when their lives require damage control, only a dose of sisterhood will do.

Paige, the oldest, is a go-getter divorce attorney who’s reeling from her own disastrously failed marriage–and the fact that her ex has suddenly come roaring out of the closet with a cute boyfriend in tow. Middle sister Sophie is having trouble adjusting to life as a wife and expectant mom. With her doubts on the rise along with her weight, she’s ogling every available baked good–and every available man–that crosses her path. And up-and-coming medical student Mickey has a racy new plan for her future that’s sure to shock her entire family. It includes a dangerously handsome, decidedly married chef…private cooking lessons…and spicy lingerie. 

To top it all off, the parents who dragged them through the Divorce from Hell years ago are acting like teenagers in love…with each other! One by one, Paige, Sophie, and Mickey are about to learn just how good it is to have a sisterly shoulder–or two–to lean on.

My thoughts:  As much as the idea of books about three sisters, since I have two sisters, might sound like they'd appeal to me, having characters that are married doesn't always help me relate to them, since none of us are married.  Even though I did like the books I read by this author.

Verdict: Toss

Final Thoughts:
 So, I tossed a lot of books this time!  Since I had several by the same authors that were similar types of books, it was easy to do more than 10 books total for this post.  I'm pretty proud of myself this week.  Have you read any of the books I've shown you above?  Any authors you'd seen before?  

Now on to getting rid of some of my physical books.  Just enter the giveaway below.

Once again this is a US only giveaway, unless you are International and see a book here you really want and would be willing to pay for the difference in the shipping through Paypal or some other way.  Just as with the past weeks, you get to pick any book from the pictures below, as long as they don't get traded away, or picked by last week's winner, and I will pick a surprise book from the piles to add to your choice.  Here are your choices:  

These are the 2018 ARCs you can pick from.

These are my 2017 ARCs for you to pick from.

These are my 2013-2016 ARCs for you to pick from.

Just enter in the Rafflecopter below!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway