Etta

~ Goodreads TBR Cleanup #14 ~

To aid my efforts to clean up my endless TBR, I decided to go with the Goodreads TBR Cleanup (created by @ Mega Bunny Reads). This challenge can be done bi-weekly or weekly (or any other timeframe that suits you). If you’re interest in the other Down the TBR Hole meme, then you can check it out following the links. The meme was created by Lia @ Lost in a Story — she has a new blog though called Sunflowers and Wonder!

How It Works:

  • Go to your Goodreads want-to-read shelf.
  • Ask Siri (or any other generator) to pick a number between 1 and however many books are on the list.
  • Go to that book and look at it and the 4 after it, for a total of 5.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

For the number selection, I used an online random number generator.

TODAY’S RANDOM NUMBER: 854


1. Spying In High Heels (High Heels #1)

by Gemma Halliday
[Published Oct 25th 2010]

L.A. shoe designer, Maddie Springer, lives her life by three rules: Fashion. Fashion. Fashion. But when she stumbles upon the work of a brutal killer, her life takes an unexpected turn from Manolos to murder. And things only get worse when her boyfriend disappears – along with $20 million in embezzled funds – and her every move is suddenly under scrutiny by the LAPD’s sexiest cop. With the help of her post-menopausal bridezilla of a mother, a 300 pound psychic and one seriously oversexed best friend, Maddie finds herself stepping out of her stilettos and onto the trail of a murderer. But can she catch a killer before the killer catches up to her…

THOUGHTS:

This series looked like a lot of fun, but I am apprehensive to keep it as the main character uses a lot of “Valley Girl” language. While this is not a huge deal, it can be wearing when you read it. For people in real life, you have other factors that complete their personality, but in a novel, it is sometimes difficult to input the other pieces to balance the word choices. Therefore, I think I’ll give this series a pass.

2. The Last Garden in England

by Julia Kelly
[Published January 12th 2021]

Present day: Emma Lovett, who has dedicated her career to breathing new life into long-neglected gardens, has just been given the opportunity of a lifetime: to restore the gardens of the famed Highbury House estate, designed in 1907 by her hero Venetia Smith. But as Emma dives deeper into the gardens’ past, she begins to uncover secrets that have long lain hidden.

1907: A talented artist with a growing reputation for her ambitious work, Venetia Smith has carved out a niche for herself as a garden designer to industrialists, solicitors, and bankers looking to show off their wealth with sumptuous country houses. When she is hired to design the gardens of Highbury House, she is determined to make them a triumph, but the gardens—and the people she meets—promise to change her life forever.

1944: When land girl Beth Pedley arrives at a farm on the outskirts of the village of Highbury, all she wants is to find a place she can call home. Cook Stella Adderton, on the other hand, is desperate to leave Highbury House to pursue her own dreams. And widow Diana Symonds, the mistress of the grand house, is anxiously trying to cling to her pre-war life now that her home has been requisitioned and transformed into a convalescent hospital for wounded soldiers. But when war threatens Highbury House’s treasured gardens, these three very different women are drawn together by a secret that will last for decades.

THOUGHTS:

This novel features three timelines. Lately, I have been reading a few novels that are similar, as it is always interesting how the timelines all tie together. I am a huge fan of historical fiction, so I think I might keep this novel, at least for now.

3. Where Have All the Boys Gone?

by Jenny Colgan
[Published July 31st 2005]

Faced with the harsh reality that there are 25,000 more women than men in London, Katie’s dating prospects are at an all-time low. While she’s glad it’s not a man’s world anymore, it wouldn’t hurt if there were more eligible bachelors.

More likely to get murdered than married, according to gleeful media reports, Katie resigns herself to the fact that there’s no sex in the city for her and decides to head for the hills – or the Scottish Highlands to be exact. Despite the fact she’s never been one for muddy rain boats – and Fairlish is in the middle of nowhere – the tiny town does have one major draw – men. LOTS of them!

But while Katie relishes the chance to do battle with armies of admirers, she’s not excited about going head to head with her shady new boss, Harry. At least there’s the local eye-candy to distract her, including gorgeous newshound Iain. But he is at loggerheads with Harry, and she can’t afford to get on Harry’s bad side anymore than she already has.

Life in the country might not be one big roll in the hay, but now that Katie has taken the plunge, can she ever turn her back on the delights of Fairlish and return to city life. . .?

THOUGHTS:

I have heard great things about this author’s later work, including The Bookshop on the Corner, which is a novel I own, but have not read yet. For her earlier work, it is more of a mixed bag of reviews. As I have a copy of the Bookshop novel, I think I will start with that and go from there. Therefore, this particular novel is a toss, for now.

4. Life Skills

by Katie Fforde
[Published July 1st 2004]

Athletic, outdoor type, good cook, good with people, wanted for work on the canals….

Newly not engaged and suddenly out of work, Julia Fairfax needs a new direction. The classified ad that catches her eye sends her on a delightful, hilarious adventure along the English canals on a rickety old hotel boat.

Among the twists and turns, Julia encounters a passel of persnickety guests, an irritating ex-boyfriend, the challenges of cooking in a galley kitchen the size of a closet, and a whole lot of rattling tea cups. Add some frighteningly narrow bridges to steer through, and you’ve got the makings of an unforgettable journey.

Part romp, part romance, part step-by-step guide to how not to see England’s scenic canals, Life Skills will delight fans of intelligent romantic comedy, as well as anyone looking for a few tips on staying afloat.

THOUGHTS:

This author has a lot of people on the fence as I know many that love her and many that do not. One of my friends actually just finished this and did not like the characters at all and, as we have somewhat similar tastes, I am trusting her judgement to toss this novel.

5. Fix Her Up (Hot & Hammered #1)

by Tessa Bailey
[Published June 11th 2019]

After an injury ends Travis Ford’s major league baseball career, he returns home to start over. He just wants to hammer out his frustrations at his new construction gig and forget all about his glory days. But he can’t even walk through town without someone recapping his greatest hits. Or making a joke about his… bat. And then there’s Georgie, his buddy’s little sister, who is definitely not a kid anymore.

Georgette Castle has crushed on her older brother’s best friend for years. The grumpy, bear of a man working for her family’s house flipping business is a far cry from the charming sports star she used to know. But a moody scowl doesn’t scare her and Georgie’s determined to show Travis he’s more than a pretty face and a batting average, even if it means putting her feelings aside to be “just friends.”

Travis wants to brood in peace. But the girl he used to tease is now a funny, full-of-life woman who makes him feel whole again. And he wants her. So damn bad. Except Georgie’s off limits and he knows he can’t give her what she deserves. But she’s becoming the air he breathes and Travis can’t stay away, no matter how hard he tries…

THOUGHTS:

I actually read the second novel in this series and found it to be a decent read. I did not love it, but I still liked elements. I meant to come back and read more from the series, but it just comes down to timing and other novels just keep pushing this series further down my list. Therefore, this novel is a toss mainly due to timing.


Clean-up number 14 is now complete! I decided to try a slightly different format to try and shorten the posts as some of the descriptions can be fairly long. I am not sure if I will keep it, but I thought I would give it a try. If I keep it, I might try different font/color choices, so this will be a work in progress. With four books being tossed, this week was definitely a decent clean-up. Between these clean-ups and my slightly higher reading numbers in April, I am slowly, but surely reducing my TBR. I hope it continues, but I am not putting too much pressure on myself. Happy Clean-ups to those that are doing these every week and good luck to those who are giving it a shot!

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