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Top Ten Tuesday - My Summer Reads List (Or rather..."Books I HOPE I Can Read This Summer")

Monday, May 22, 2017

Summer is JUST around the riverbend...I mean *ahem* corner. (No! I do NOT randomly burst into Disney songs on a regular basis...) And so, the wonderful people at The Broke and the Bookish have given us a summer reads freebie this week. And so I wanted to share 10 books that I really hope I can get to this summer. I review a lot of new releases and that is SO MUCH FUN! However, I still have a stack (ok STACKS) of books that I have never read that are starting to feel rejected and alone and forgotten on my shelf. So maybe if I tell y'all I need to read these books...I will actually get to them this summer! And now...In no particular order...I give you my (HOPEFUL) Summer TBR...

What books have you had on your TBR for far too long?

A Twist of Faith
by Pepper Basham

(Yes, yes, I know...this is the greatest abomination in the Bookish World. Yes, I work for Pepper Basham...Yes, there is a book of hers that I have not read yet. BUT this WILL be remedied SOON!!!) 

Dr. Adelina Roseland has worked ten years in research as an accent reduction specialist to attain her dream job. But a secret wager to transform Appalachian cattle farmer Reese Mitchell into corporate material challenges Adelina in ways she never expected, threatening her new position. 

For one, Adelina didn't plan for the faith and friction of Reese, or the unexpected influence of his chaotic family. Now, drawn into a culture she'd tried to forget, Adelina finds the warmth of family, the hope of faith, and the joy of love melting away the deep wounds of her past. 

But when Reese discovers that he's a pawn in her climb up the academic ladder, will he forgive Adelina's deceit or will their miscommunication end in two broken lives?

You're the Cream in my Coffee
by Jennifer Lamont Leo

In 1928, Chicago rocks to the rhythm of the Jazz Age, and Prohibition is in full swing. Small-town girl Marjorie Corrigan, visiting the city for the first time, has sworn that coffee's the strongest drink that will pass her lips. But her quiet, orderly life turns topsy-turvy when she spots her high school sweetheart--presumed killed in the Great War--alive and well in a train station. Suddenly everything is up for grabs.

Although the stranger insists he's not who she thinks he is, Marjorie becomes obsessed with finding out the truth. To the dismay of her fiancé and family, she moves to the city and takes a job at a department store so she can spy on him. Meanwhile, the glittering world of her roommate, Dot, begins to look awfully enticing--especially when the object of her obsession seems to be part of that world. Is it really so terrible to bob her hair and shorten her skirt? To visit a speakeasy? Just for a cup of coffee, of course.

But what about her scruples? What about the successful young doctor to whom she's engaged, who keeps begging her to come back home where she belongs? And what, exactly, is going on at the store's loading dock so late at night?

Amid a whirlwind of trials and temptations, Marjorie must make a choice. Will the mystery man prove to be the cream in her coffee--the missing ingredient to the life she yearns for? Or will he leave only bitterness in her heart?

The Butterfly and the Violin
by Kristy Cambron

A Mysterious painting breathes hope and beauty into the darkest corners of Auschwitz--and the loneliest hearts of Manhattan.

Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at the altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. Her desire for distraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young girl--a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes.

In her search for the painting, Sera crosses paths with William Hanover--the grandson of a wealthy California real estate mogul--who may be the key to uncovering the hidden masterpiece. Together Sera and William slowly unravel the story behind the painting's subject: Austrian violinist Adele Von Bron.

A darling of the Austrian aristocracy of 1942, talented violinist, and daughter to a high-ranking member of the Third Reich, Adele risks everything when she begins smuggling Jews out of Vienna. In a heartbeat, her life of prosperity and privilege dissolves into a world of starvation and barbed wire.

As Sera untangles the secrets behind the painting, she finds beauty in the most unlikely of places: the grim camps of Auschwitz and the inner recesses of her own troubled heart.

A Hope Undaunted
by Julie Lessman

The 1920s are drawing to a close, and feisty Katie O'Connor is the epitome of the new woman--smart and sassy with goals for her future that include the perfect husband and a challenging career in law. Her boyfriend Jack fits all of her criteria for a husband--good-looking, well-connected, wealthy, and eating out of her hand. But when she is forced to spend the summer of 1929 with Luke McGee, the bane of her childhood existence, Katie comes face-to-face with a choice. Will she follow her well-laid plans to marry Jack? Or will she fall for the man she swore to despise forever?

A Portrait of Emily Price
by Katherine Reay

Art restorer Emily Price has never encountered anything she can’t fix—until she meets Ben, an Italian chef, who seems just right. But when Emily follows Ben home to Italy, she learns that his family is another matter . . .

Emily Price—fix-it girl extraordinaire and would-be artist—dreams of having a gallery show of her own. There is no time for distractions, especially not the ultimate distraction of falling in love.

But Chef Benito Vassallo’s relentless pursuit proves hard to resist. Visiting from Italy, Ben works to breathe new life into his aunt and uncle’s faded restaurant, Piccollo. Soon after their first meeting, he works to win Emily as well—inviting her into his world and into his heart.

Emily astonishes everyone when she accepts Ben’s proposal and follows him home. But instead of allowing the land, culture, and people of Monterello to transform her, Emily interferes with everyone and everything around her, alienating Ben’s tightly knit family. Only Ben’s father, Lucio, gives Emily the understanding she needs to lay down her guard. Soon, Emily’s life and art begin to blossom, and Italy’s beauty and rhythm take hold of her spirit.

Yet when she unearths long-buried family secrets, Emily wonders if she really fits into Ben’s world. Will the joys of Italy become just a memory, or will Emily share in the freedom and grace that her life with Ben has shown her are possible?

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book
by Jennifer Donnelly

(This one is going to be my REWARD book after I finish reading the books for The INSPY Awards.)

Smart, bookish Belle, a captive in the Beast’s castle, has become accustomed to her new home and has befriended its inhabitants. When she comes upon Nevermore, an enchanted book unlike anything else she has seen in the castle, Belle finds herself pulled into its pages and transported to a world of glamour and intrigue. The adventures Belle has always imagined, the dreams she was forced to give up when she became a prisoner, seem within reach again.

The charming and mysterious characters Belle meets within the pages of Nevermore offer her glamorous conversation, a life of dazzling Parisian luxury, and even a reunion she never thought possible. Here Belle can have everything she has ever wished for. But what about her friends in the Beast’s castle? Can Belle trust her new companions inside the pages of Nevermore? Is Nevermore’s world even real? Belle must uncover the truth about the book, before she loses herself in it forever.

A Secret Courage
by Tricia Goyer

Dive into WWII history in this well-researched story of international intrigue, heartwarming romance, and profound courage.

American Emma Hanson is one of a dozen women sent to work in London as a cryptographer—decoding German secrets at the height of World War II. Her job as a member of the Women's Army Corps gives her a way to fight back against those who killed her brother. The only distraction she needs is a good book for the long nights of bombing that threaten her fragile peace.

Englishman William Brandt's mind is full of the secrets he knows and the spies he must keep tabs on to ensure the safety of the people and nation he loves. But there might just be room in his heart for a pretty WAC worker with a sweet spirit—and a curiosity that could threaten all his plans.

Emma's and William's paths cross in the aisle of a London bookstore as they reach for the same Agatha Christie novel. But such an innocent beginning could have deadly consequences...

Always Watching
by Lynette Eason

The bodyguards of Elite Guardians Agency have more than just skill and prowess in common--they're also all women. When it becomes clear that popular psychiatrist and radio personality Wade Savage has a stalker, his father secretly hires Elite Guardians in order to protect his son.

But when Wade's bodyguard is attacked and nearly killed, agency owner Olivia Edwards must step in and fill the gap. Olivia's skills are about to be tested to the limit as Wade's stalker moves from leaving innocent gifts at his door to threatening those closest to him. Olivia has the feeling that she's next on the list. And to complicate things even further, she realizes that her heart may be in as much danger as her client.

The Mark of the King
Jocelyn Greene

After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.

When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne's brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on?

With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king's mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.

Belle's Tale
by Mallory Reaves

(These books are graphic novels. Yes, I am EXCITED...I may be a TAD bit addicted!) In Disney's live-action film Beauty and the Beast, Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman, is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle's enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast's hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince inside. This manga explores Belle's innermost thoughts as she learns that true beauty comes from within. 

The Beast's Tale
by Mallory Reaves

A tale as old as time ... told in timeless manga style 

Disney's much-anticipated live-action adaptation of "Beauty and the Beast" hits theaters in March 2017, and it stars Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. This original two-part manga series is based upon the upcoming movie... but you've never seen this classic love story told quite this way before. 
The "Beauty" manga delves into Belle's deepest thoughts as she's taken prisoner by the Beast in his majestic castle. Where the "Beast" manga explores Beast's deepest thoughts as he captures Belle in his castle and finds himself falling in love with her feisty attitude and adventurous spirit.


  1. I feel this dilemma, Rachel. I have a stack (or as you say, stacks) of books that are terribly neglected for the same reason: new review books. Cannot wait to get to mine. Someday. :D

    Those 'Belle' graphic novels DO look fun, and I really (really!) like Lynette's Always Watching. Hope you enjoy all of these. :)

  2. I love the look of those graphic novels. So beautiful! :-) Great list!

    1. Thank you! Fingers crossed i can get to them soooooon!

  3. I haven't seen the Beauty and the Beast manga before. I have gotten into graphic novel the last couple of years but haven't crossed over into manga. I might have to try with those.

    1. I have yet to try any graphic novels of any kind. I am super excited about these!

  4. OH~ That Beauty and the Beast manga. Belle looks so great. <3

  5. My TBR pile seems to be ever growing as well. It seems for every book I read I add 4 to the pile!
    I just finished Kristy Cambron's The Illusionist's Apprentice which I loved so now I want to go back and read her other novels. The Butterfly and the Violin is first on my list from her. A Potrait of Emily Price is also on my list. Some others on my list include Count Me In by Mikal Dawn, The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan, The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck, and The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck (when it comes out).

    1. Count Me In is SO good!!!! And I have read Kristy's two latest novels, but not the WWII ones yet. Happy Reading!

  6. Lost In A Book is on my TBR too!
    And those graphic novels look fab.
    Cora ❤

  7. Great list! Some are already in on my TBR list and some are now added. Thanks!

  8. Start with "The Portrait of Emily Price" and you'll need to read all of her books before you tackle the rest of your pile. Love Katherine's books.

    My pile also grows and grows. On top of just my normal desire to read, I'm the church librarian so usually need to proof read those books also. Ack! I can't keep up.

  9. Haha! I love that Pepper's book is at the top of the list! 😂 You have a lot of great reading ahead of you this summer!

    1. I might get fired if it wasn't at the top Bahaha! JUST KIDDING! But seriously...I need to get on that one...JULY it is on the schedule for JULY!

  10. I assumed everyone just randomly burst out into Disney songs on a regular basis.....
    Anyway, hope you enjoy all these this summer!
    My TTT:

    1. Hahahahaha! Yaaaaa.....What fills my waking hours? Singing Beauty and the Beast....nonstop... #noshame

  11. A Twist of Faith is wonderful. Pepper Basham knows just how to balance humor, life issues, and faith - I hope you enjoy it. I'm finally getting around to reading a Dawn Crandall book, The Hesitant Heiress, and I love it. As with all my TBR I wonder, "What took me so long to choose this book?" I do have The Butterfly and the Violin on my TBR as well as a mound of other wonderful author's books just calling my name. Happy Summer Reading!

    1. I LOVE all of Pepper's other books. Can't wait to dive into this one!

  12. I've read a few of them...I'd say my top two are Twist of Faith and Mark of the King...Both Basham and Greene are excellent writers! Happy summer reading!!!

  13. I've read 3 of those and loved all of them: A Twist of Faith, A Portrait of Emily Price, and The Butterfly and the Violin. Read Kristy's last because you'll want to go on and read The Sparrow of Terezin afterward. It's not as good asThe Butterfly and the Violin, but it's still good to read. A Twist of Faith was so cute and much more fun to read than I initially anticipated. I don't like it when people talk in heavy dialects but this one was great! I also love everything that I've read by Katherine Reay. A Portrait of Emily Price made me want to hop the next plane to Italy! Lol

    Some of the other books are on my TBR list, like The Mark of the King and A Secret Courage.

  14. Your Summer will be sizzlin'! My TBR is getting to the point that I need to purchase books to complete a series. Yes, I'm one of those people who devours a series when it's complete.

    I recently read Julie Lessman's series. It was awesome!

    Happy Summer Reading!

    1. Haha...if the whole series is out...then YES, I will binge read until I am done! (In the middle of 2 series right now like that!) Happy reading to you too!

    2. Hey, Caryl, SO glad you finally got a chance to read the Isle of Hope series, and I hope you liked the character I named after you! ;)

      Book 3, His Steadfast Love releases August 1st, and you won't believe the trouble Cat gets into!!


  15. The Mark of the King is going to be my reward for finishing Spring Quarter. I mean, she's a midwife!!!! Need I say more? No I do not.

  16. Mark of the King & The Butterfly & the Violin are on my list also! The struggle is real!!

  17. Great list! You'll love A Twist of Faith!

  18. I bust out Disney songs all the time, which makes my teenagers and preteen roll their eyes, which in turn makes me break out into another Disney song...

    Great list! I really do have to read Mark of the King, Always Watching, and A Secret Courage. I absolutely loved Portrait of Emily Price, Butterfly and Violin (and its sequel!). Yes, I need to get some Pepper Basham books... haven't read any yet *gasp*

    1. OH goodness! Well...let me just say...that TWO of Pepper's books are among my top 4 favorites of all time. End of story haha!

  19. Oh I have most of these waiting on my Kindle! No time yet :(

  20. All these books sound really good! A Secret Courage sounds especially interesting. Here is my Top Ten Tuesday

  21. I have read or have on my kindle 6 of these books, and want to read 3 of the others. Great list!

    1. Haha YES!!! THank you! Happy reading...when you get around to them lol!

  22. I love the cover of The Butterfly and the Violin. For a smile-out-loud read, add TURTLES IN THE ROAD by Rhonda Rhea and Kaley Rhea. Lovin' it right now!

    1. Oooh that sounds interesting! Thanks for the rec!

  23. Replies
    1. My pleasure!!! Your books were an important catalyst to get me back into reading a few years ago! :)

  24. RACHEL!!! I am SO excited you're going to read Katie O'Connor's story -- it is my TOP FAVE book of any I have written, so I hope you enjoy it too!

    THANK YOU for including it on your summer read list -- I am truly honored!

    Hugs and more hugs,

    1. YAY! Thank you for stopping by Julie! You are a such a blessing and encouragement!


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