Etta

~ Goodreads TBR Cleanup #18 ~

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: 344


1. New Orleans Rush (Showmen #1)

by Kelly Siskind
[Published April 23rd 2019]

You know that Carrie Underwood song? The one about her keying her cheating ex’s car? Beatrice Baker totally did that, except she vandalized the wrong guy’s Mustang.

Now she’s stuck in New Orleans, working for Huxley Marlow—owner of said vandalized car—attempting to cover her debt. And desperately trying not to fall for him. His vague nightly activities are highly suspect, and he’s on the vexing side of demanding, but he’s secretly kind and caring under all that gruffness.

Beatrice can’t quit fantasizing about his adept hands and kissable lips. Even worse, his tortured past hits her right where it counts: in her heart. The last time she trusted a man, her bank account got drained and she almost got arrested. Surely this can’t end that badly…right?

THOUGHTS:

I loved The Knockout Rule, which is the third novel in this series. Although I had intentions to circle back and read the first two in the series, I do not see myself actually accomplishing this after looking at other novels that are higher on my TBR.

2. Faking It (Dempseys #2)

by Jennifer Cruise
[Published January 1st 2002]

LOVE AND DECEPTION HAVE A LOT IN COMMON. Meet the Goodnights, a respectable family who run a respectable art gallery-and have for generations. There’s Gwen, the matriarch who likes to escape reality, Eve the oldest daughter who has a slight identity problem (she has two), Nadine, the granddaughter who’s ready to follow in the family footsteps as soon as she can find a set that isn’t leading off a cliff. And lastly, Matilda, the youngest daughter, has inherited the secret locked down in the basement of the Goodnight Gallery, the secret she’s willing to do almost anything to keep, even break into a house in the dead of night to steal back her past.

THE RISKS ARE INTOXICATING. Meet the Dempseys, or at least meet Davy, a reformed con man who’s just been ripped off for a cool three million by his financial manager, who then gallantly turned it over to Clea Lewis, the most beautiful sociopath Davy ever slept with. Davy wants the money back, but more than that he’ll do anything to keep Clea from winning, including break into her house in the dead of night to steal back his future.

AND IF YOU’RE REALLY GOOD AT THEM, THEY BOTH PAY OFF. One collision in a closet later, Tilda and Davy reluctantly join forces to combat Clea, suspicious art collectors, a disgruntled heir, and an exasperated hitman, all the while coping with a mutant dachshund, a juke box stuck in the sixties, questionable sex, and the growing realization that they can’t turn their backs on the people they were meant to be…or the people they were born to love.

THOUGHTS:

This one was an easy toss as it is the second novel in a series and I would love to read a series in order, when possible. I have not decided fully, though, if I am keeping the other novels that are somewhere on my TBR, but I will think about it more and decide when they show up on the generator (haha).

3. Red Queen (Red Queen #1)

by Victoria Aveyard
[Published February 10th 2015]

This is a world divided by blood—red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power. Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime. But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance—Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

THOUGHTS:

Although I have heard mixed reviews about this series as a whole, I am still excited to give it a try.

4. A Discerning Eye

by Carol Orange
[Published October 6th 2020]

Art dealer Portia Malatesta is devastated when she learns that thirteen works of art were robbed from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. To help uncover the whereabouts of the artwork, she sets out to construct a psychological profile of the thief. By analyzing the common theme linking the stolen pieces, she suspects the mastermind behind the heist is obsessed with the interplay of dark and light – not only in art, but also in life.

The FBI enlists Portia’s help in a high-stakes sting operation to recover the stolen works of art – a dangerous proposition that will take her to Colombia, where she’ll have to earn the trust of a notorious drug lord’s married daughter. Risking everything, Portia must navigate the underworld of Medellin – a complicated web of politics, pride and ugly crimes – where a single misstep could have deadly consequences.

Inspired by history’s largest art heist, A DISCERNING EYE is a fast-paced, skillfully plotted journey in which the fate of some of the world’s most prized masterpieces depends on one woman’s perceptive cunning.

THOUGHTS:

It has been awhile since I’ve read a novel featuring heists, so I was excited when this novel popped up on the clean-up list. However, I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews on this one and quantity vs quality of characters was brought up a few times. I’ve had mixed experiences with this type of issue, so I am not sure I want to risk it with this novel. Maybe in the future, but not now.

5. Astrid Sees All

by Natalie Standiford 
[Published April 6th 2021]

New York, 1984: Twenty-two-year-old Phoebe Hayes is a young woman in search of excitement and adventure. But the recent death of her father has so devastated her that her mother wants her to remain home in Baltimore to recover. Phoebe wants to return to New York, not only to chase the glamorous life she so desperately craves but also to confront Ivan, the older man who painfully wronged her.

With her best friend Carmen, she escapes to the East Village, disappearing into an underworld haunted by artists, It Girls, and lost souls trying to party their pain away. Carmen juggles her junkie-poet boyfriend and a sexy painter while, as Astrid the Star Girl, Phoebe tells fortunes in a nightclub and plots her revenge on Ivan.

When the intoxicating brew of sex, drugs, and self-destruction leads Phoebe to betray her friend, Carmen disappears, and Phoebe begins an unstoppable descent into darkness. She may have a chance to save herself—and Carmen, if she can find her—but to do it she must face what’s hiding in the shadows she’s been running from—within her heart and in the dangerous midnight streets.

A love letter to gritty 1980s New York City, Astrid Sees All is an irresistible, original novel about female friendship, sex and romance, and what it’s like to be a young woman searching for an identity.

THOUGHTS:

I was on the fence with this novel as the 1980s New York is a very intriguing setting. The synopsis sounds fun, but something about this novel just does not seem enough for me to want to keep it on my TBR.


Clean-up number 18 is now complete! This week I tossed four novels and kept one. The one I kept is the first novel in the Red Queen series and I have been meaning to read it for over a year. The other four, although they were not bad, were just not ones that intrigued me enough to keep them on my every changing TBR. 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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