Top Ten Tuesday

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by The Artsy Reader. This week’s topic is Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2021. Now I’m going to fudge this one a bit, as I’ve already had the chance to read some of my most anticipated reads of 2021 already (the Netgalley gods have been kind to me).

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Snapped by Alexa Martin

snapped by Alexa Martin book cover
snapped by Alexa Martin book cover

Sports romance is one of my favorite sub-genres of the romance genre. They’re usually super indulgent and very quick reads – the perfect palate cleanser between heavier books. Snapped is the conclusion to the popular Playbook series – a series that I’ve had mixed experience with. Nevertheless, when I found out that this final book was enemies to lovers and tackled some very serious and important topics, I decided to give it a shot.

With the stakes this high, it’s no longer just a game for the quarterback in this romance by the author of Blitzed.

Elliot Reed is living her best life—or pretending to. She owes it to her dad’s memory to be happy and make the most of her new job as Strategic Communications Manager for the Denver Mustangs. Things are going well until star quarterback Quinton Howard Jr. decides to use the field as his stage and becomes the first player to take a knee during the national anthem.

As the son of a former professional athlete, Quinton knows the good, the bad, and the ugly about football. He’s worked his entire life to gain recognition in the sport, and now that he has it, he’s not about to waste his chance to change the league for better. Not even the brilliant but infuriating Elliot, who the Mustangs assign to manage him, will get Quinton back in line.

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Bookish and The Beast by Ashley Poston

bookish and the beast by ashley poston book cover
bookish and the beast by ashley poston book cover

Bookish and the Beast is the conclusion to the Once Upon a Con series – one of my favorite YA contemporary series. The first two books were truly an ode to nerd culture and fangirls – and great modern takes on classic fairy tales. When I found out the final book would be based on Beauty and the Beast, I was thrilled – it’s one of my favorite fairy tales.  

In the third book in Ashley Poston’s Once Upon a Con series, Beauty and the Beast is retold in the beloved Starfield universe.

Rosie Thorne is feeling stuck—on her college application essays, in her small town, and on that mysterious General Sond cosplayer she met at ExcelsiCon. Most of all, she’s stuck in her grief over her mother’s death. Her only solace was her late mother’s library of rare Starfield novels, but even that disappeared when they sold it to pay off hospital bills.

On the other hand, Vance Reigns has been Hollywood royalty for as long as he can remember—with all the privilege and scrutiny that entails. When a tabloid scandal catches up to him, he’s forced to hide out somewhere the paparazzi would never expect to find him: Small Town USA. At least there’s a library in the house. Too bad he doesn’t read.

When Rosie and Vance’s paths collide and a rare book is accidentally destroyed, Rosie finds herself working to repay the debt. And while most Starfield superfans would jump at the chance to work in close proximity to the Vance Reigns, Rosie has discovered something about Vance: he’s a jerk, and she can’t stand him. The feeling is mutual.

But as Vance and Rosie begrudgingly get to know each other, their careful masks come off—and they may just find that there’s more risk in shutting each other out than in opening their hearts.

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In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

in a holidaze by christina lauren book cover
in a holidaze by christina lauren book cover

Merry Christmas! If you’ve ever read my blog before, you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of the author duo Christina Lauren. They write adorable, heartwarming romantic comedies that I love to read over and over. Naturally, any time they have a book coming out, I preorder it the minute it’s available. I was extra excited for In a Holidaze, since it features time loops and is their first ever holiday book (I’ve already read it twice this year).

One Christmas wish, two brothers, and a lifetime of hope are on the line for hapless Maelyn Jones in In a Holidaze, the quintessential holiday romantic novel by Christina Lauren, the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions.

But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.

The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.

Jam-packed with yuletide cheer, an unforgettable cast of characters, and Christina Lauren’s trademark “downright hilarious” (Helen Hoang, author of The Bride Test) hijinks, this swoon-worthy romantic read will make you believe in the power of wishes and the magic of the holidays.

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