Wednesday, January 20, 2021

#TBRChallenge January 2021 - Comfort Read *REVIEW*

 His Bride for the Taking by Tessa Dare is a historical romance novella that's been on my Kindle for awhile. It's surprising because Tessa Dare is one of my favorite romance authors so this is one I overlooked. She's the author who brought me back to reading historicals after a LONG time away from them.

I love Tessa Dare's writing style. She's easy to read, one chapter flowing to the next, gracefully fleshing out her characters and their conflicts. In a less skilled author's hands, this story would have been predictable. Certainly, the tropes are common: childhood crush, woman left at the altar, hero with daddy issues, JUST ONE BED... but she has enough surprises that the story is fresh and wonderfully comforting.

Thanks to SuperLibrarian for hosting this 2021 challenge. If you're interested in joining in - please do! The details are here:


Friday, January 1, 2021

#TBRChallenge January 2021 - Comfort Read

To kick off the 2021 #TBRChallenge, I've selected His Bride for the Taking by Tessa Dare for my Comfort read. Tessa Dare is the author who started me reading historical romances again after a long time away from them.

I'll have more to say about it on the 20th, after I've read it, but I'm sure it will be delightful!

Sunday, December 13, 2020

The Misadventures of SuperLibrarian 2021 #TBRChallenge

I have way, way too many books in my TBR pile. (TBR means "to be read.") At last count, I have 92 books waiting to be read. 

In 2021, I'll be participating in The Misadventures of Super Librarian #TBRChallege.

Each month, I'll pick a book from my pile that matches the theme, read it, and post about it on the 3rd Thursday of the month.

January is Comfort Read. I'll need to check my pile and post about it soon.

I'm guessing if I focused on it, I'll clear at least half the pile in 2021. If I read the first twenty pages of a book and I don't like it, I abandon it and look for something else. I rarely leave a review if that's the case. I only actually read 1 in 5, or on bad weeks 1 in 10, books that I start.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Best Books of 2020

 My family and I track our reading on my Goodreads account. Our goal for the year was 400 books. Thanks to the pandemic and long hours in quarantine, we've met and exceeded our goal. We're currently at 765 books and it's possible that we'll get to 800 by the end of the year.

Here are my top books of the year in no particular order. Note that these books weren't necessarily published in 2020.


The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd 

Hill Women by Cassie Chambers

Circe by Madeline Miller 


The Highwayman by Kerrigan Byrne

The Wicked Ways of Alexander Kidd by Paula Quinn

Upstairs Downstairs Temptation by Janice Maynard

The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie by Jennifer Ashley

Middle-grade fiction:

The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead

The Taken (Foxcraft Series) by Inbali Iserles

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Because of the Rabbit by Cynthia Lord 

Monday, October 5, 2020

All the Romance Tropes (that I can think of)

*** Most books contain several or many tropes ***

Accidental Cuddling (see also Only One Bed)

Accidentally falling/tripping into one another

Accidental text / email or phone call

Adopting a baby/child


Alpha Hero

Amnesia/Fugue state


Arranged Marriage

Avenging a Death


Baby On The Doorstep: this might be an actual baby left for hero or heroine, or someone close to the hero/heroine leaving them unexpectedly in charge of a child

Bad Boy / Rebel

Bachelor Auction

Best Friend’s sibling

Books Ends (location): have the book start and end in the same place, but the hero/heroine are drastically different from the start of the book

Boss/Employee: must have explicit consent – no dubious consent, the subordinate has agency

Billionaire (Golden Sand by C.J. Miller)

Bodyguard Romance

Bridesmaid / Groomsman Affair 

Broken Hero/Heroine: may feel unworthy of love


Bullying Support / Bulling in the Past


Camping: great outdoors, sleeping bags zipped together - the modern version of sleeping in a tartan

Cinnamon Roll Hero: a hero who will take care of heroine

Christmas/ Holiday theme

Chef / Food  (Exquisite Sand by C.J. Miller)

Childhood sweethearts

Chronic Illness

Cowboys / Westerns: quiet confidence, wild and untamed


Dad’s Best Friend or Best Friend’s Dad

Dancing: one cuts in on another's dance

Damsels in Shining Armor / Dudes in Distress

Destined to be Together: imprinting

Destructive: hero or heroine thinks they are too garbage to be loved

Disasters: snowstorm, blackout, tornado

Drinking: hero/heroine drinks or is destructive, doesn't feel good enough for the heroine, self-loathing

Drunken mistake: tries to go into the wrong house, Vegas wedding


 Enemies to Lovers


 Fairy tale retelling: giving someone an apple, dress makeover, escape from the wicked stepmother

Fairies / Fae

Fake Engagement

Fake Relationship

Falling for Friend who was helping with a makeover to win over another

Falling in Love with Family’s Enemy

Family Reunion with Secrets Reveals (wedding, funeral)

Famous Person falls for Normal Person

Fated Mates

Forbidden Love

Forced Proximity

Friends to Enemies to Lovers


Grand gesture

Groups of men/brothers/ friends: often each given their own book and HEA

Groveling/Begging for Forgiveness: in proportion to the size of the screw-up


Handcuffed Together

Healthcare Workers / Medical

Hidden Baby


Hometown: returning to a hometown to reclaim a lost love

Home: orphan, foster care, never felt at home, or home was abusive and terrible. Finds home in the LI


Immigration Status: marriage due to this, but then becomes more

Insomniac: he can only sleep when she is with him

In Uniform: military, police, firefighter


Kidnapped /Captive 


Learning at the Feet of the Master

Left at the Altar

Let’s Just Get it Out of Our System

Love Triangle

Longing: aching to reach out, but holding back


Magic Dress: Putting on this dress makes the heroine feel beautiful and everyone sees her as beautiful (like in Cinderella)

Mail-order Bride

Masks / doesn’t recognize, only HE recognizes: masquerades 

Marriage in Trouble

Marriage of Convenience

Match Making gone wrong

May-December (age difference)

Medical or Sickbed: hero/heroine nursing the other back to health

Mistress Contract

Military man/man in uniform

Missing Someone They Claim They Don’t Love

Mortality Chain


Mutual (but secret) Pining



Next Door Neighbor 

Nickname: calling LI first name while others use title, calling hero/heroine by their last name when everyone else uses a title, a nickname no one else uses, use their name when everyone else uses a nickname

Not Like All the Others: the hero/heroine is different in the eyes of their beloved


Only One Bed

One Night Stand Shows Up Again

Opposite Attract

Opposite Occupations: arsonist / firefighter, environmentalist/oil executive, country/city 

Orphan: aunt or uncle caring for orphaned niece or nephew


Parenting: struggling, divorced, blended families

Partner in Danger

Pining hero/heroine


Point of View: hero/heroine sees the other as no one else does

Poor as a child, Now Rich



Rags to Riches

Reformed Rake

Road Trip

Rock Star (Starlit Sand by C.J. Miller)

Rogue Cleaning Up : changes to win over the heroine


Runaway Bride / Groom


Sarcastic banter

Scottish hero - kilt-wearing

Secret baby

Secret Identity

Second Chances

Sexual Concerns: hero or heroine need something specific for sexual satisfaction that only that person gives them


Sibling's Best Friend 

Starchy Hero gets Unstarched

Sunshine and Grumpy (opposites attract)

Surprise Baby (Midnight Sand by C.J. Miller)


Switched / Swapped babies


Time Travel

Traitorous bodies

Transformation: Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast



Ugly Duckling

Up Against the Wall (kissing)

Unintentional Touching: hands brush and there’s a spark


Virgin or Never been kissed



Wagers: to date or sleep with the other person

Wedding: someone needs a date for a wedding, hiring an escort or pretend boyfriend

Will: has terms and conditions

Workplace: boss suddenly sees his/her assistant in a new light (The Maestro by C.J. Miller)


Zip: Will you zip me up?

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Tiny Library Story

 My 100-word tiny library story was posted to the Enoch Pratt Library blog.

Let me know what you think! 

What's the shortest story you've written?

Monday, August 17, 2020

Homeschooling Resources: Best Educational Shows on Netflix

Our Favorite Educational Shows on Netflix for Elementary aged Students:

1. Brainchild

2. Sid the Science Kid

3. If I Were an Animal

4. The Magic School Bus and the Magic School Bus Rides Again

5. The Who Was? Show

6. Disney Nature Oceans 

7. Growing Up Wild 

8. Leap Frog: Letter Factory, Number Land, Phonics Farm, Sing-Along, Read-Along

9. Ask the Storybots 

10. The Cat and the Hat Knows a Lot About That