Books Read in 2019

Happy New Year, reading friends!

I started keeping a book log (in a notebook) back in 2006. I highly recommend doing this!! Now I do it electronically on my blog, as well. It’s a way for me to keep track of what I read (in case I forget and try to reread something) and also to remember which great books to recommend! Those with reviews are hyperlinked to the review. Enjoy!


  1. Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis
  2. The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves
  3. Black Berry & Wild Rose by Sonia Velton
  4. The Library Book by Susan Orlean
  5. Escape Room by Megan Goldin
  6. Someone Knows by Lisa Scottoline
  7. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  8. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang


  1. The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine
  2. One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  3. The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory
  4. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  5. The Winter Sister by Megan Collins
  6. The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo
  7. I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella
  8. More Than Words by Jill Santopolo
  9. Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
  10. Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer
  11. Purple Hearts by Michael Grant
  12. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
  13.  No Exit by Taylor Adams


  1. The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
  2. Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey
  3. When the Lights go Out by Mary Kubica
  4. Cursed by Karol Ruth Silverstein
  5. The Voice in my Head by Dana L. Davis
  6. The Last Letter by Rebecca Yarros
  7. The Perfect Date by Evelyn Lozada
  8. The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez
  9. Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren
  10. Roomies by Christina Lauren
  11. Dating You, Hating You by Christina Lauren
  12. Intercepted by Alexa Martin


  1. 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
  2. Stealing Home by Becky Wallace
  3. Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren
  4. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
  5. Run Away by Harlan Coben
  6. Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker
  7. I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
  8. Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella
  9. The Winemaker’s Wife by Kristin Harmel
  10. Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren


  1. The House of One Thousand Eyes by Michelle Barker
  2. The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory
  3. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
  4. Far from the Tree by Robin Benway
  5. A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi
  6. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertelli
  7. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
  8. Home Girl by Alex Wheatle
  9. Not if I Save You First by Ally Carter
  10. My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren
  11. Summer of 69 by Elin Hilderbrand
  12. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
  13. The Charm Bracelet by Viola Shipman


  1. No Judgments by Meg Cabot
  2. The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman
  3. After by Anna Todd
  4. Meet Cute by Helena Hunting
  5. From Scratch by Tembi Locke
  6. Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
  7. Hey Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
  8. The Summer Cottage by Viola Shipman
  9. Speak (the graphic novel) by Laurie Halse Anderson
  10. Have a Little Faith in Me by Sonia Hartl
  11. The Cactus by Sarah Haywood
  12. Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke
  13. Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center
  14. Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey


  1. The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
  2.  I Found You by Lisa Jewell
  3.  American Road Trip by Patrick Flores-Scott
  4. The Friends We Keep by Jane Green
  5. How to Walk Away by Katherine Center
  6. Meet the Sky by McCall Hoyle
  7. Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dustin Bowling
  8. Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
  9. The Islanders by Meg Mitchell Moore
  10. Opiate Jane by Jessica K. Baker
  11. WaterColor Wishes by Melissa Chambers
  12. Internment by Samir Ahmed


  1. Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
  2. Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey
  3. Tyler Johnson was Here by Jay Coles
  4. The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
  5. Choose Me by RC Boldt
  6. Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham
  7. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
  8. Surface Tension by Mike Mullin
  9. Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now by Dana L. Davis
  10. Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris
  11. Odd One Out by Nic Stone
  12. Educated by Tara Westover
  13. What Made Maddy Run by Kate Fagan


  1. On the Rocks by Kandi Steiner
  2. 44 Chapters About 4 Men by BB Easton
  3. Faker by Sarah Smith
  4. Fumbled by Alexa Martin
  5. Blitzed by Alexa Martin
  6. Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory
  7. What Happens in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand
  8. Neat by Kandi Steiner
  9. Frankly in Love by David Yoon
  10. The German House by Annette Hess
  11. The First Girl Child by Amy Harmon
  12. What Kind of Girl by Alyssa Sheinmel
  13. The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai


  1. Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
  2. On Dublin Street by Samantha Young
  3. Grayton Beach Dreams by Melissa Chambers
  4. White Bird by R. J. Palacio
  5. A Lie for a Lie by Helena Hunting
  6. The Wives by Tarryn Fisher
  7. Beyond the Pale by Jennifer Millikin
  8. Us, Again by Elle Maxwell
  9. The Guardians by John Grisham
  10. Regretting You by Colleen Hoover
  11. American Queen by Sierra Simone
  12. The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
  13. An Everyday Hero by Laura Trentham


  1. Truth or Beard by Penny Reid
  2. Berserker by Emmy Laybourne
  3. Ransacker by Emmy Laybourne
  4. The Light in Hidden Places  by Sharon Cameron
  5. Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber
  6. The Christmas Wedding Ring by Susan Mallery
  7. Candlelight Christmas by Susan Wiggs
  8. Let it Snow by Nancy Thayer
  9. Grin & Beard It by Penny Reid
  10. Beard Science by Penny Reid
  11. The Light After the War by Anita Abriel
  12. Beard in Mind by Penny Reid
  13. The Boyfriend Blog by KL Grayson


  1. Dr. Strange Beard by Penny Reid
  2. We Didn’t Ask For This by Adi Alsaid
  3. Queen Anne’s Lace by Dawn Gardner
  4. In the Unlikely Event by L.J. Shen
  5. Kind of Cursed by Stephanie Fournet
  6. Manhattan by Kandi Steiner
  7. And They Called it Camelot by Stephanie Marie Thornton
  8. Dear Universe by Florence Gonsalves
  9. Baking Me Crazy by Karla Sorensen
  10. Stud Muffin by Jiffy Kate



















The Winemaker’s Wife by Kristin Harmel

9781982112295_7b330Review originally appeared in Library Journal, July 2019.

Alternating between the vineyards of war-torn 1940s France and present day, the lives of Ines and Michel, newlywed owners of the famed champagne house, Maison Chauveau, and the head winemaker’s Jewish wife, Celine Laurent, are forever altered. As Germans are pillaging homes and sending Jews to prison camps, a frightened Celine draws nearer to Michel for protection, thereby pushing Ines into the arms of another and setting off a chain of dangerous betrayal. The labyrinths of wine cellars beneath Chauveau conceal not only champagne from the Germans, but resistance weapons, Jewish refugees, and forbidden love affairs. Presently, Liv, 41, unemployed and newly divorced after 12 years and many unsuccessful attempts at pregnancy, abruptly departs for Paris with her 99-year old Grandmother Edith, a loving woman, both stylish and eccentric. Unsure of Edith’s motives, Liv questions Edith’s connection to Chauveau and Reims. Readers learn Edith’s painful secrets, and will appreciate the importance of family legacy and the passionate venture of champagne making. Unfolding in multiple viewpoints, the writing is atmospheric and rich, showcasing heavily researched topics of champagne making and French resistance efforts. VERDICT: Harmel’s touching story of love and loss in World War II France will appeal to fans of Pam Jenoff and Kate Quinn.

2019: A Year of Fabulous Books!


Books Read in 2019: 145

My Top Reads of 2019

Listed in no particular order, here are my top books read in 2019. I’ve included the intended audience and genre. Happy New Year!

  • Summer of 69 by Elin Hilderband (Contemporary Fiction, Beach Read)
  • Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center (Contemporary Fiction)
  • Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young (Young Adult, Historical Fiction)
  • Educated by Tara Westover (Memoir)
  • The First Girl Child by Amy Harmon (Adult Fantasy)
  • The Guardians by John Grisham (Adult Fiction, Legal Suspense)
  • Regretting You by Colleen Hoover (Contemporary Romance)
  • Truth or Beard by Penny Reid (Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy)
  • The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys (Young Adult, Historical Fiction)
  • The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren (Romantic Comedy)



Home Girl by Alex Wheatle

9781617757532_a1d94Originally published in School Library Journal, July 1, 2019.

Gr 7 & Up: Fourteen-year-old Naomi Brisset, who is white, has been passed around the UK foster care system with no real sense of home. Since her mother died four years ago, Naomi, took care of her alcoholic father, assuming many parenting roles. As such, she thinks of herself as an adult, refusing to ask for help when she needs it. That changes when she meets a black family, the Goldings, for a temporary placement by her overworked but patient social worker, Louise. Unlike with past foster parents, the Goldings are genuine, lessening Naomi’s instinct to run away, and she develops a soft spot for the Golding children, Sharyna and Pablo. The problem is that UK policy frowns upon placing Caucasians in black homes, and that Naomi’s friends from her previous group home, Kim and Nats, continue to be a poor influence on her decisions. Then a tragic accident forces Louise to find a new arrangement for Naomi’s future. Naomi’s tough exterior and brash attitude portray an authentic character in an unfortunate, yet accurate picture of modern-day foster care in the UK. The plot is a bit slow and the dialogue, though fitting to Naomi’s life situation, can be hard to understand at times. The ending is neither predictable nor sugar-coated, leaving readers rooting for the unique, spunky heroine. VERDICT Recommended for additional purchase to complement a young adult realistic fiction section.

Manhattan by Kandi Steiner

Manhattan - RB banner.jpg

copy-of-manhattan-cover-finalLibrarian Laura’s Review of Manhattan

Manhattan is #3 in the Becker Brother series by Kandi Steiner. If you like small-towns, Southern gentleman, friends-to-lovers romance, whiskey, and angst, this is definitely the series for you!

Mikey Becker and Kylie Nelson have been best friends since they were eight. Mikey lost his father in a mysterious fire at Scooter Whiskey Distillery and Kylie lost her mother after a very quick illness the same year. Sharing a painful, but unshakeable bond, Mikey and Ky were inseparable all through the awkwardness of puberty and right up until Bailey came along and became Mikey’s girl. For two years while Mikey swooned over and made plans with Bailey, Kylie stood by him as his best friend, even though she loved him so much more than that. Beautiful, charming Mikey is aloof to her feelings for him and never did realize what was right in front of him all along. Now they have graduated from high school and Mikey is still reeling from the loss of Bailey. She left for Nashville to pursue her music career, leaving him in the dust, despite all of their plans to pursue music together in Nashville. Kylie is planning on a gap year, as a way to honor her late mother. As if Kylie’s heart could break into any more pieces, a down-in-the-dumps Mikey announces his plan to move to New York and start over fresh in the city of opportunity. Kylie is crushed. What kind of future in Stratford will she have without Mikey? But instead of letting him go without a fight, she devises a last ditch effort to get him to stay – by showing him everything Stratford has to offer him. Two months to prove to Mikey that he can find happiness again in Stratford, if only he will let the painful past with Bailey go and let himself truly live again. It doesn’t take long for Mikey to figure out that it’s not so much Stratford that could change his mind, but Kylie. However, the road to happiness for the youngest Becker brother and his lifelong best friend is not as smooth as they imagined. I promise you’ll love this story. I couldn’t put it down – finishing over half of it in one sitting. I can’t wait for the final Becker brothers story to release! Kandi Steiner is the queen of angsty romance and small-town, slow-burn romance.

Thank you so much to Social Butterfly PR for providing me with a review copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.

 About the Book

The fire… the guitar… THE FEELS!

Everyone knows not to fall in love with your best friend. But when your best friend is Michael Becker, it’s impossible not to.

He’s everything our town knows a Becker brother to be: devastatingly handsome, charming as a thief, and the icing on the cake — a sentimental musician who’s never without his guitar.

And he was mine. At least, that’s what I’d convinced myself.

Our bond was born in elementary school, strengthened by circumstance and the promise to always be there for each other, no matter what. And the best thing about my life was being friends with Michael Becker.

Until it was the worst.

I watched him fall in love with someone else, and helped patch him back up when she left him behind. But when he drops the bomb that he’s moving to New York, I realize it’s my last chance to tell him how I feel. And I ask him to make one more promise.

One summer. One list of adventures to remind him that our small town has more to offer than memories of the girl who left him behind. One last chance to tell him I’m in love with him.

And I’m just dumb enough to believe that maybe he could love me, too.

You’ll love this book if you love:

➔ small town romance

➔ country romance

➔ summer romance

➔ romantic mystery

➔ friends-to-lovers

➔ slow burn

➔ angst

Download your copy today or read FREE on Kindle Unlimited!


Amazon Worldwide:

Add to Goodreads:

About Kandi:

Kandi Steiner is a bestselling author and whiskey connoisseur living in Tampa, FL. Best known for writing “emotional rollercoaster” stories, she loves bringing flawed characters to life and writing about real, raw romance — in all its forms. No two Kandi Steiner books are the same, and if you’re a lover of angsty, emotional, and inspirational reads, she’s your gal.

An alumna of the University of Central Florida, Kandi graduated with a double major in Creative Writing and Advertising/PR with a minor in Women’s Studies. She started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a diehard hopeless romantic, and likes to highlight all the challenges of love as well as the triumphs.

When Kandi isn’t writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys live music, traveling, anything heavy in carbs, beach days, movie marathons, craft beer and sweet wine — not necessarily in that order.

Connect with Kandi:

Mailing List:


Facebook Reader Group: (Kandiland):





Kandi Steiner may be coming to a city near you! Check out her “events” tab to see all the signings she’s attending in the near future:

Kind of Cursed by Stephanie Fournet



Librarian Laura’s Review

This is a sweet new multicultural romantic comedy that will cause you to both laugh & swoon. I loved it!

Twenty-four year old Millie Delacroix has her hands full. Five months ago, her parents were killed in a freak accident, leaving her in charge of her three siblings: teenage twins Harry and Mattie, and 8 year old Emmett. Millie has worked hard to become a respected veterinarian. And now she has to work even harder to keep things in order in her family home, as well. In an effort to bring some change and joy into their home, Millie pursues her late mother’s plans to remodel the family kitchen. Enter the tall, dark, and handsome Mexican-American contractor, Luc Valencia. Luc doesn’t stand a chance with feisty, red-headed Millie and her no-nonsense, but playful attitude. As things heat up between Luc and Millie, two problems arise. One – the curse (kind of). The women in Millie’s family are highly subject to pregnancy, regardless of any type of preventative measures they take. Case in point: her little brother Emmet who came along 5 years after her father’s vasectomy. Birth control just doesn’t seem to work for them. As such, Millie has sworn off men and relationships, especially since the most recent one with Carter ended so painfully. Her life of celibacy all sort of goes to pot when sexy Luc starts demolishing her kitchen. (I could totally insert wickedly hilarious tool and hammer puns here!)

Problem number two is that Millie is Luc’s client. Luc’s father worked so hard to build a respectable business in America, and he doesn’t want to do anything to seem unprofessional or give the business a bad name. And his Papi doesn’t take too kindly to him finding a white girl to date, either. Despite all the obstacles in the way of true happiness for Luc and Millie, there’s no denying their attraction and Luc’s genuine love and care for Millie and her siblings.  I won’t let you know how the story ends, of course, because that would be a spoiler. You’ll just have to read it and find out for yourselves. I promise you’ll enjoy it!

Thank you to the author for providing me with an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Links

KIND OF CURSED is a brand new, romantic comedy by Stephanie Fournet







Purchase in Paperback:

About the Author

Stephanie Fournet, Amazon bestselling author of FALL SEMESTER, LEGACY, BUTTERFLY GINGER, LEAVE A MARK, YOU FIRST, DRIVE, SHELTER, and SOMEONE LIKE ME, lives in Lafayette, Louisiana—not far from the Saint Streets where her novels are set. She shares her home with her husband John and their needy dogs Gladys and Mabel, and sometimes their daughter Hannah even comes home from college to visit them. When she isn’t writing romance novels, Stephanie is usually helping students get into college, setting up a tent in the woods, or running. She loves hearing from fans so you can follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or message her on Goodreads.








The Boyfriend Blog by K.L. Grayson

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About the Book
Boyfriend (n.)
1) A frequent or regular male companion with whom one has a romantic or sexual
2) A myth. A legend. Impossible to find.
According to her eighty-year-old neighbor, Lizzie Donovan is looking for Mr. Right in all the wrong places. Though it’s made great fodder for her blog, Lizzie is finally tired of swiping left and awful blind dates, and she’s ready to take Mrs. Skinner’s advice and find love the old-fashioned way. Goodbye dating app, hello grocery store, book store, dog park, and wherever else she might be able to meet a good man. And she really has nothing to lose. Not only will she be entertained along the way, but even if she ends up alone, she’ll always have her longtime best friend, Aiden, by her side.

Friend zone (n.)
1) A situation in which a friendship exists between two people, one of whom has an
unreciprocated romantic or sexual interest in the other.
2) Location of Aiden Wallace.
According to his eighty-year-old neighbor, Aiden Wallace has been friend zoned. And that’s mostly his fault because instead of opening his eyes and seeing what was right in front of him, Aidan has spent the last several years enjoying the single life. But things have changed—he has changed—and now he needs his best friend, Lizzie, to stop shoving him into the friend zone so he can work at winning her heart. Until then, he’s stuck watching her string of dating disasters and wishing she’d believe him when he tells her he’s the one.


Librarian Laura’s Review of The Boyfriend Blog

If you like best friends to lovers romance with both steam and hilarity, this is the book for you. KL Grayson’s The Boyfriend Blog is a fast-paced romantic comedy sure to delight romance readers for it’s charming characters and laugh-out-loud funny dating charades.

Lizzie, unlike her happily married twin sister Emily, is not so lucky in the boyfriend department. Every time she tries dating, it doesn’t end well. In fact, it usually ends with her crying (literally) to her next door neighbor and best friend since childhood, Aiden. From a date who was secretly on two dates at the same time in the same restaurant to a date who introduced her to both his parents and his pregnant ex-wife during the date, Lizzie has unfortunately seen it all: the bad, the worse, and the downright ugly. With each failed date, her hope for a romantic future dwindles.

As an outlet for her frustrating dating life, she starts a blog, The Boyfriend Blog, where she recounts her experiences in the dating world, all the while keeping it a secret from even those closest to her, Emily and Aiden. The only catch…Aiden is in love with Lizzie and doesn’t know how she’ll react. He doesn’t want to lose his best friend. So when she leaves her laptop open and he happens to glance at it while in her apartment, he can’t help but read a blog post and formulate a plan to win the girl, once and for all. Lizzie also secretly loves Aiden, and she can’t stop thinking about that impulsive moment a few years ago when she passionately kissed Aiden, only to have him act like nothing happened and even refuse to talk to her about it. Lizzie has tried to bury her feelings for Aiden and opted for being his best friend. But, she can’t help the butterflies in her stomach when Aiden looks into her eyes or wraps his big, strong arms around her to comfort her after each failed date.

When Lizzie decides to give boyfriend #22, Aiden, a try, things heat right up in the very best way. But love isn’t always easy and Lizzie and Aiden will have to fight through a few major roadblocks on their road to happy ever after. Will boyfriend #22 be her last, or is Lizzie doomed for spinsterhood? You’ll have to read it and find out!

I really enjoyed this book. It’s definitely an adult book; I wouldn’t recommend it for teen readers. Readers will delight in the fun story line with just the right amount of steam to keep things interesting.

Thank you so much to Social Butterfly PR for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review

About K.L. Grayson

K.L. Grayson resides in a small town outside of St. Louis, MO. She is entertained
daily by her extraordinary husband, who will forever inspire every good quality she
writes in a man. Her entire life rests in the palms of six dirty little hands, and when the
day is over and those pint-sized cherubs have been washed and tucked into bed, you can find her typing away furiously on her computer. She has a love for alpha-males,
brownies, reading, tattoos, sunglasses, and happy endings…and not particularly in that
Connect with K.L. Grayson:


Queen Anne’s Lace by Dawn Gardner


Gardner’s debut, coming-of-age novel is set in the 1970s and she shed light on some very tough issues which teenagers face, including physical and sexual abuse, homelessness, and alcoholism. Fourteen-year-old Lacy has been hurt by and seen her mother hurt by her father too many times. In a quick act of bravery, she packs a bag and makes a break for it, after finding a photo and note from a man named Tommy in her mother’s closet. Believing that Tommy could be her real father, Lacy decides to try to find him, hoping he will allow her to stay with him. She accepts a ride with a kind truck driver, Butch, and spends a few days with he and his wife Betty, allowing them to feed her and provide her with a safe, warm bed. But when she overhears them talking about calling social services, she knows he has to leave rather than risk being sent back home to her mother and “father,” Samuel. The only thing she left behind at home is a shell of the woman her mother once was, a violently abusive, hateful man, and plenty of alcohol being consumed by both of them. After leaving Butch and Betty, she lives on the streets for a while, a scary situation where she is almost raped after trusting a drug-addicted, homeless woman who offers her helpful information about where to sleep at night. From there, she ends up hiding in a church closet. She catches a lucky break when she crosses paths with Annie at an AA meeting, after she’s been sober for 11 years. Annie provides her with a job, a safe home, and loving care, things she’s never had before. With Annie’s help, Lacy is able to face the hard truth about her mother and real father. The story doesn’t end with a tied in a bow happy ending, which I really appreciate. Lacy’s life continues to have ups and downs and there are some horrible things that happen toward the end of the story. I won’t tell you what they are, because I don’t want to spoil it for you. However, I do recommend that you read this book. It is gritty and real and it will have readers rooting for Lacy to have a brighter future ahead of her. Not recommended for younger teens due to the maturity of the content. Thank you to the author for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.