Monday, December 28, 2020

Between the Pages - Books I Read in 2020

 “Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” ~ Mason Cooley

The year 2020 will certainly be a memorable one for many reasons—the pandemic, politics, social injustices, natural calamities, and many other situations have tested or devastated humankind beyond any year during my six plus decades. The solace and escapism that reading offers me in a "normal" year is remarkable enough. In 2020 I believe it was literally my salvation. In 2019 five months of my year's reading was done while traveling and camping, this year's self-isolating kept me immobile in my 136 sq. ft. tiny dwelling. I am very thankful that by being a true introvert, I am able to live a quiet and simple life where books can be such a huge part of my contentment and well-being. I hope you found whatever sense of "rightness" possible in the books you read this year. 
Several times this year I struggled with the ability to concentrate while reading or listening to books. The sense of despair I felt during those periods certainly felt incapacitating. (I mean, what am I if I cannot read?!) Fortunately, the right book made its way to me at the right time to get me beyond each of those dark times. For those of you suffering similarly, I hope those "rescue" books continue to find their way to you.

I would like to offer a bit of encouragement to those readers who are struggling financially. I feel extremely fortunate that as someone with an annual income about 80% below the poverty line, I am still able to read to my heart's content by accessing my public library's digital collection via OverDrive and by using Amazon's Kindle Unlimited program. Also, by signing up at BookBub many years ago, I am notified every day of free and bargain-priced books in my selected genres. Then there are my dear friends and family members who have gifted me with Kindle Unlimited and Audible subscriptions throughout the year. The amount of joy your gifts have provided me with is unending. Thank you all so much! 

This year I ended up reading proportionately more romance, which lead me to remove my favorite categories for all other genres. However, I wanted to highlight these exceptional books from the following genres: mystery [A Conspiracy of Bones (Temperance Brennan #19) by Kathy Reichs], suspense [Fair Warning (Jack McEvoy #3) by Michael Connelly], thriller [The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides (published 02/05/2019)], historical fiction (The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis and The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson), urban fantasy [Dawn Caravan (Elemental Legacy #4) by Elizabeth Hunter], and memoirs (Disloyal: A Memoir by Michael Cohen and narrated by Robert Petkoff and I'm Your Huckleberry by Val Kilmer).

To all the authors whose stories saved me this year, and especially those who wrote my favorites below, you've earned my highest esteem, gratitude, and adoration. Thank you!

As I haven't discovered a better way of expressing the following, I shall repeat what I said in previous years...

The books I select as my favorites each year are those that: I get lost in; the ones that while reading, I lose all track of time; the ones that evoke the strongest emotions; the ones that make me laugh, cry, blush, gasp, and sigh. Yeah, those books!

Each year I meticulously review my database and Goodreads shelves to select my favorites. Even though I arbitrarily decide upon the categories, I am careful in considering which books deserve each designation.

Sadly, no matter how much I love a book, I am unable to recall details. In other words, although my devotion is clear, my memory is not. I would, indeed, like to attempt to explain my choices to anyone who may be interested.

There are several books that were published this year that I wanted to read but was unable to, some of which were published late in the year. I may have to make an exception for some of them and include them in a future list, just as I made an exception this year for one book (*) that was published in 2017.

I'll be starting out 2021 with well over 250 books on my to-be-read shelves—primary and secondary—and nearly 100 books on my library wish list. I've chosen The Searcher by Tana French as the first read to begin in 2021 and set my Goodreads Challenge goal at 220 books.

My 2020 Stats

My Goodreads Challenge total was 247 (first reads and rereads of single titles).
My database total was 218 (first reads only and book bundles are counted as a single title).

(Note: I receive no monetary compensation. I only wish to show my appreciation. The book links below open up to the corresponding Webpages on or

 My Favorites Published in 2020

(alphabetical by author)

Single Titles

Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon
Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover
Layla by Colleen Hoover
Happily Letter After by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward
The Bribe (Calamity Montana #1) by Willa Nash (Devney Perry)
By a Thread by Lucy Score
The Cabin by Jasinda Wilder

Special Mentions

*Catching Caden (The Perfect Game #1) by Samantha Christy (published 12/07/2017)

Series Titles (two or more installments published within 2020)

Cobra Elite Series (Hard Edge, Hard Line, & Hard Pursuit) by Pamela Clare
Bellamy Creek Series (Drive Me Wild & Make Me Yours) by Melanie Harlow
Glimmer Lake Series (Suddenly Psychic, Semi-Psychic Life, & Psychic Dreams) by Elizabeth Hunter
Moonstone Cove Series (Runaway Fate & Fate Actually) by Elizabeth Hunter
Wildfire Lake Series (In Too Deep, Going Under, & Swept Away) by Skye Jordan

Favorites by Category

Favorite Contemporary Romance - Happily Letter After by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward
Favorite Historical Romance - Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels #6) by Lisa Kleypas
Favorite Romantic Suspense - Hard Pursuit (Cobra Elite #6) by Pamela Clare
Favorite Inspirational Romance - Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover
Favorite New Adult - Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover
Favorite Novella - Forever Wild (The Simple Wild #2.5) by K.A. Tucker
Favorite Paranormal Romance - Fate Actually (Moonstone Cove #2) by Elizabeth Hunter (with the most beautiful AFTERWORD in literary history!)
Favorite Romantic Series - Wildfire Lake Series by Skye Jordan
Favorite Audiobook - (tie) A Guy Walks Into My Bar by Lauren Blakely and narrated by Shane East & Joe Arden and Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels #6) by Lisa Kleypas and narrated by Mary Jane Wells.
Favorite Alpha Male - Dante "Reno" DeLuca of Dirty Deeds (Devil Kings MC #1) by Nicole James
Favorite Romantic Hero - Asher Valentine of Asher (Ashes & Embers #6) by Carian Cole
Favorite Romantic Heroine - Blair Beaufort of Drive Me Wild (Bellamy Creek #1) by Melanie Harlow
Favorite Romantic Couple - Caden Kessler & Murphy Cavenaugh of *Catching Caden (The Perfect Game #1) by Samantha Christy (published 12/07/2017).

Most Tormented Hero - Father Gabriel Thorne of Father Figure by Jane Harvey-Berrick and Alana Albertson
Most Heroic Hero - Malik Jones of Hard Pursuit (Cobra Elite #6) by Pamela Clare
Most "Kick-Ass" Heroine - Kristi Chang of Hard Pursuit (Cobra Elite #6) by Pamela Clare
Most Realistic Romance - Love Under Quarantine by Kylie Scott and Audrey Carlan
Most Luscious - Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels #6) by Lisa Kleypas
Most Erotic - On My Knees Duet (Worship #1 and Adore #2) by Ella James
Most Heartrending - The Cabin by Jasinda Wilder
Most Humorous - By a Thread by Lucy Score
Most Taboo - Credence by Penelope Douglas (quite the shocking read!)
Most Pleasant Surprise - Going Under (Wildfire Lake #2) by Skye Jordan
Most Surprising Plot Twist - Uncharted Waters by Scott MacKenzie (and there were several this year!)
Most Striking Cover - Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon

Most Anticipated Books of 2021 

How to Get Lucky (Kindle and Audible) by Lauren Blakely and Joe Arden
Broken French by (Na)Tasha Boyd
Heartbreak Bay (Stillhouse Lake Book 5) by Rachel Caine 
Don't Kiss the Bride by Carian Cole
Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone (Outlander #9) by Diana Gabaldon
Heard It in a Love Song by Tracey Garvis Graves 
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
The Invitation by Vi Keeland
The Bluff (Calamity Montana #2) by Willa Nash (Devney Perry)
Amped (Trent Brothers #2) by Tina Reber (Everything crossed that this will finally be released in 2021!) 
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Legacy: A Novel by Nora Roberts
The Crush by Penelope Ward

Book Bundles I Read in 2020 
Since my book database counts a multi-book bundle as a single book, the following is a list of the individual books from within the book bundle I read this year. The remainder of my 2020 book database follows.

Infidelity Box Set (5 Book) Bundle by Aleatha Romig
Betrayal (#1) 10/26/2020 (10 out of 10 stars)
Cunning (#2) 10/27/2020 (10 out of 10 stars)
Deception (#3) 10/28/2020 (10 out of 10 stars)
Entrapment (#4) 10/30/2020 (10 out of 10 stars)
Fidelity (#5) 10/31/2020 (10 out of 10 stars)


Individual First Time Reads of 2020
(The (a) following a book's title designates an audiobook.
Table best viewed in landscape mode on mobile devices.) 

All the Books I Read in 2020

Author Title Publication Year Reading Date My Rating
Adams, Lyssa Kay Undercover Bromance (a) 2020 7/6/2020 6
Armentrout, Jennifer L. Moonlight Sins (a) 2018 6/2/2020 6
Armentrout, Jennifer L. Moonlight Seduction (a) 2018 6/10/2020 8
Armentrout, Jennifer L. Moonlight Scandals (a) 2019 10/25/2020 8
Blakely, Lauren A Guy Walks Into My Bar (a) 2020 8/26/2020 10
Blakely, Lauren The Break-Up Album (a) 2018 9/15/2020 8
Blakely, Lauren P.S. It's Always Been You: Part 1 2020 6/23/2020 6
Blakely, Lauren P.S. It's Always Been You: Part 2 2020 6/24/2020 6
Blakely, Lauren P.S. It's Always Been You: Part 3 2020 6/24/2020 6
Blakely, Lauren One Night Only (a) 2020 9/30/2020 6
Bocci, Nina On the Corner of Love and Hate 2020 1/19/2020 4
Bowen, Rhys The Ghost of Christmas Past 2017 12/1/2020 8
Bowen, Sarina Lies and Lullabies 2020 10/24/2020 6
Boyd, Natasha Accidental Tryst (a) 2018 2/19/2020 8
Bromberg, K. Cockpit (fka Worth the Risk) 2018 1/29/2020 4
Bromberg, K. Flirting with 40 2020 10/12/2020 8
Brooks, Abby Beyond Words 2019 1/27/2020 8
Brooks, Abby Beyond Love 2019 3/21/2020 6
Brooks, Abby Beyond Now 2019 3/26/2020 8
Brooks, Abby Beyond Us 2020 10/8/2020 6
Brooks, Teagan Dash 2018 1/3/2020 4
Brown, Sandra Thick as Thieves 2020 9/14/2020 8
Caine, Rachel Bitter Falls 2020 10/10/2020 8
Carlan, Audrey What the Heart Wants 2020 9/11/2020 8
Carlson, Melody The Happy Camper 2020 5/20/2020 6
Carr, Robyn The Wanderer (a) 2013 3/20/2020 6
Carr, Robyn Harvest Moon (a) 2011 2/17/2020 8
Carr, Robyn Bring Me Home for Christmas (a) 2011 9/2/2020 8
Carr, Robyn Hidden Summit (a) 2011 9/10/2020 6
Carr, Robyn Redwood Bend (a) 2012 9/16/2020 8
Carr, Robyn Sunrise Point (a) 2012 9/20/2020 6
Carr, Robyn My Kind of Christmas (a) 2012 9/22/2020 8
Castille, Sarah Nico (a) 2016 2/24/2020 10
Castille, Sarah Luca (a) 2017 2/25/2020 10
Castille, Sarah Rocco (a) 2018 2/26/2020 10
Castille, Sarah Rough Justice (a) 2015 3/6/2020 6
Cates, Georgia Eighty-One Nights 2019 10/14/2020 10
Cates, Georgia Beautiful Ever After 2019 10/14/2020 10
Cates, Georgia Intern Girl 2020 3/23/2020 8
Chase, Emma Dirty Charmer (a) 2020 6/20/2020 8
Chase, Emma Getting Played (a) 2019 1/3/2020 8
Cherry, Brittainy Southern Storms 2020 10/3/2020
Christy, Samantha Catching Caden (a) 2018 11/3/2020 10
Christy, Samantha Catching Caden 2017 8/2/2020 10
Christy, Samantha Benching Brady 2018 8/5/2020 8
Christy, Samantha Stealing Sawyer 2018 8/8/2020 8
Clare, Pamela Hard Edge 2020 6/10/2020 8
Clare, Pamela Hard Line 2020 8/28/2020 10
Clare, Pamela Hard Pursuit 2020 12/19/2020 10
Clare, Pamela Sweet Release (a) 2014 9/25/2020 8
Clare, Pamela Carnal Gift (a) 2014 9/27/2020 8
Clare, Pamela Ride the Fire (a) 2015 9/29/2020 10
Cohen, Michael Disloyal: A Memoir (a) 2020 10/5/2020 8
Cole, Carian Asher 2020 6/3/2020 10
Cole, Fiona Voyeur 2018 1/25/2020 6
Connelly, Michael The Poet 2003 4/25/2020 8
Connelly, Michael The Scarecrow 2009 6/1/2020 8
Connelly, Michael Fair Warning 2020 10/17/2020 10
Conner, Claudia Waiting for You 2019 12/30/2020 8
Cosway, L.H. Beyond the Sea 2020 6/21/2020 8
Cunning, Olivia Hot Ticket (a) 2013 2/9/2020 8
Darhower, J.M. Sempre (a) 2013 6/28/2020 10
Darhower, J.M. Ghosted (a) 2017 3/26/2020 8
Darhower, J.M. Menace (a) 2017 1/29/2020 10
Darhower, J.M. Grievous (a) 2017 1/31/2020 10
Davenport, Jack Clutch 2020 10/14/2020 8
Davis, Fiona The Lions of Fifth Avenue 2020 8/18/2020 8
Delinsky, Barbara A Week at the Shore 2020 7/15/2020 6
Delinsky, Barbara Within Reach (a) 2019 8/29/2020 6
Douglas, Penelope Credence 2020 1/23/2020 10
Evanovich, Stephanie Big Girl Panties 2013 9/20/2020 8
Force, Marie Fatal Affair (a) 2010 3/1/2020 8
Force, Marie How Much I Feel 2020 11/19/2020 8
Force, Marie How Much I Care 2020 11/24/2020 8
Force, Marie Finding Forever 2020 8/30/2020 10
Frank, Ella Inside Affair 2020 9/26/2020 8
Frank, Ella Breaking News 2020 9/28/2020 8
Frank, Ella Headlines 2020 9/29/2020 8
Gael, Christine Writing Wrongs 2020 2/23/2020 6
Garvis Graves, Tracey Every Time I Think of You (a) 2015 2/1/2020 8
Grisham, John Camino Island (a) 2017 3/6/2020 6
Halle, Karina Lovewrecked 2020 7/6/2020 4
Harlow, Melanie If You Were Mine 2017 10/4/2020 8
Harlow, Melanie From This Moment 2017 10/6/2020 8
Harlow, Melanie Drive Me Wild (a) 2020 10/18/2020 10
Harlow, Melanie Drive Me Wild 2020 8/28/2020 10
Harlow, Melanie Make Me Yours 2020 11/25/2020 10
Harlow, Melanie Irresistible 2019 1/27/2020 8
Harlow, Melanie Undeniable 2019 2/26/2020 6
Harlow, Melanie Insatiable 2019 3/2/2020 6
Harlow, Melanie Unbreakable 2020 3/17/2020 8
Harlow, Melanie Unforgettable 2020 5/25/2020 8
Harmon, Amy Where the Lost Wander 2020 7/26/2020 10
Harvey-Berrick, Jane; Albertson, Alana Father Figure 2020 5/22/2020 8
Henry, Emily Beach Read 2020 12/28/2020 6
Hoover, Colleen Heart Bones 2020 8/27/2020 10
Hoover, Colleen Layla 2020 12/15/2020 10
Hunter, Elizabeth Waking Hearts (a) 2016 3/3/2020 6
Hunter, Elizabeth Dawn Caravan 2020 6/30/2020 8
Hunter, Elizabeth The Stars Afire 2018 1/16/2020 8
Hunter, Elizabeth The Scarlet Deep (a) 2016 12/5/2020 6
Hunter, Elizabeth Suddenly Psychic 2020 2/20/2020 10
Hunter, Elizabeth Semi-Psychic Life 2020 4/28/2020 8
Hunter, Elizabeth Psychic Dreams 2020 8/25/2020 10
Hunter, Elizabeth The Secret (a) 2015 11/9/2020 6
Hunter, Elizabeth Ink (a) 2018 2/29/2020 8
Hunter, Elizabeth Runaway Fate 2020 11/11/2020 8
Hunter, Elizabeth Fate Actually 2020 12/17/2020 10
James, Ella Worship (a) 2020 11/20/2020 6
James, Ella Worship 2019 11/12/2020 6
James, Ella Adore (a) 2020 11/20/2020 6
James, Ella Adore 2019 11/12/2020 6
James, Nicole Dirty Deeds 2020 5/15/2020 8
James, Nicole Dirty Deals 2020 7/22/2020 8
James, Nicole Dirty Desires 2020 10/4/2020 8
Jones, Kim That Guy (a) 2018 3/18/2020 8
Jones, Tom Over the Top and Back 2015 8/11/2020 6
Jordan, Skye In Too Deep 2020 9/17/2020 8
Jordan, Skye Going Under 2020 9/18/2020 10
Jordan, Skye Swept Away 2020 12/15/2020 10
Kaye, Laura Fighting for Everything (a) 2018 1/4/2020 8
Keeland, Vi Inappropriate 2020 1/21/2020 10
Keeland, Vi Inappropriate (a) 2020 3/17/2020 8
Keeland, Vi Sex, Not Love (a) 2018 2/13/2020 8
Keeland, Vi The Rivals 2020 7/21/2020 8
Keeland, Vi; Ward, Penelope Dirty Letters (a) 2019 12/3/2020 10
Keeland, Vi; Ward, Penelope Happily Letter After 2020 10/21/2020 10
Keeland, Vi; Ward, Penelope Happily Letter After (a) 2020 11/19/2020 10
Kennedy, Elle The Chase 2018 1/13/2020 4
Kilmer, Val I'm Your Huckleberry 2020 4/30/2020 10
Kleypas, Lisa Chasing Cassandra (a) 2020 10/18/2020 10
Kleypas, Lisa Chasing Cassandra 2020 4/5/2020 10
Kleypas, Lisa The Devil in Winter 2009 10/31/2020 10
Lake, Autumn Jones Slow Burn (a) 2018 1/10/2020 8
Lake, Autumn Jones Corrupting Cinderella (a) 2018 1/11/2020 8
Lake, Autumn Jones Strength From Loyalty (a) 2018 1/18/2020 8
Lauren, Christina The Honey-Don't List 2020 4/9/2020 6
Lee, Robinne The Idea of You (a) 2018 1/9/2020 10
MacKenzie, Scott Uncharted Waters 2020 5/16/2020 10
Mallery, Susan Accidentally Yours (a) 2007 2/16/2020 8
March, Meghan Black Sheep (a) 2019 9/7/2020 8
March, Meghan White Knight (a) 2019 9/8/2020 8
March, Meghan Richer Than Sin (a) 2018 7/19/2020 6
March, Meghan Guilty As Sin (a) 2018 7/21/2020 6
March, Meghan Reveling in Sin (a) 2018 7/22/2020 6
McQuiston, Casey Red, White & Royal Blue 2019 1/1/2020 10
Meyer, Stephenie Midnight Sun 2020 9/8/2020 4
Michaelides, Alex The Silent Patient 2019 3/29/2020 10
Nash, Willa The Bribe 2020 10/15/2020 10
Nickless, Barbara Blood on the Tracks (a) 2016 12/20/2020 8
Nickless, Barbara Gone to Darkness 2020 6/20/2020 8
O'Roark, Elizabeth Across Time 2019 4/14/2020 8
O'Roark, Elizabeth Across Eternity 2020 4/18/2020 8
Perry, Devney Rifts and Refrains 2020 11/28/2020 10
Perry, Devney The Candle Palace (a) 2019 2/27/2020 8
Perry, Devney Runaway Road 2020 5/13/2020 8
Perry, Devney Wild Highway 2020 8/22/2020 6
Perry, Devney Quarter Miles 2020 8/30/2020 8
Perry, Devney Riven Knight 2020 2/7/2020 10
Perry, Devney Stone Princess 2020 6/15/2020 8
Phillips, Susan Elizabeth Dance Away with Me 2020 7/18/2020 8
Proby, Kristen Come Away With Me (a) 2013 12/13/2020 4
Proby, Kristen Dream With Me 2020 3/12/2020 6
Krentz, Jayne Ann Mistress (a) 2012 8/27/2020 8
Quinn, Meghan The Modern Gentleman 2020 8/11/2020 4
Regnery, Kate Unloved 2017 10/23/2020 10
Regnery, Kate Unloved (a) 2018 10/23/2020 10
Reichs, Kathy A Conspiracy of Bones 2020 4/7/2020 10
Reilly, Cora Sweet Temptation 2020 5/23/2020 8
Reiss, C.D. Crowne of Lies 2020 9/16/2020 8
Reiss, C.D. Crowne Rules 2020 10/1/2020 8
Reiss, C.D. Pretty Scars 2019 1/6/2020 8
Reisz, Tiffany The Headmaster (a) 2015 9/5/2020 10
Reisz, Tiffany The Lucky Ones (a) 2018 11/5/2020 8
Reisz, Tiffany The Night Mark (a) 2017 11/28/2020 8
Reynard, Sylvain Gabriel's Promise (a) 2020 9/1/2020 6
Reynard, Sylvain Gabriel's Promise 2020 1/8/2020 10
Reynard, Sylvain The Shadow (a) 2016 4/20/2020 10
Reynard, Sylvain The Roman (a) 2016 8/15/2020 8
Richardson, Kim Michele The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek 2019 2/14/2020 10
Roberts, Nora Hideaway 2020 4/3/2020 6
Roberts, Nora Whiskey Beach (a) 2013 10/13/2020 6
Romig, Aleatha Beyond the Consequences (a) 2015 11/4/2020 6
Romig, Aleatha Ripples (a) 2017 9/13/2020 8
Romig, Aleatha Infidelity Box Set 2020 10/31/2020 10
Ryan, Kennedy Queen Move 2020 12/10/2020 8
Ryan, Kennedy Long Shot 2018 10/25/2020 10
Salsbury, J.B. Split 2015 8/1/2020 6
Score, Lucy By a Thread 2020 5/19/2020 10
Score, Lucy Riley Thorn and the Dead Guy Next Door 2020 9/25/2020 4
Scott, Kylie Closer 2019 10/14/2020 8
Scott, Kylie; Carlan, Audrey Love Under Quarantine 2020 5/6/2020 8
Stevens, Amanda The Restorer (a) 2012 1/8/2020 8
Stevens, Amanda The Kingdom (a) 2012 2/23/2020 8
Stevens, Amanda The Prophet (a) 2012 3/22/2020 8
Stevens, Amanda The Visitor (a) 9/4/2020 8
Stevens, Amanda The Sinner (a) 2016 9/19/2020 10
Stevens, Amanda The Awakening (a) 2017 9/22/2020 8
Torre, Alessandra Even Money (a) 2018 10/19/2020 10
Torre, Alessandra Double Down (a) 2018 10/20/2020 10
Torre, Alessandra Filthy Vows 2019 1/25/2020 6
Torre, Alessandra Twisted Marriage 2019 1/25/2020 6
Tucker, K.A. Wild at Heart 2020 03/15/2020 10
Tucker, K.A. Forever Wild 2020 12/23/2020 10
Ward, J.R. Lover Awakened (a) 2009 1/14/2020 6
Ward, Penelope The Anti-Boyfriend 2020 8/31/2020 8
Ward, Penelope Drunk Dial (a) 2017 11/30/2020 10
Ward, Penelope Just One Year 2020 5/12/2020 6
Ward, Penelope; Keeland, Vi My Favorite Souvenir 2020 5/4/2020 8
Ward, Penelope; Keeland, Vi My Favorite Souvenir (a) 2020 9/12/2020 8
Ward, Penelope; Keeland, Vi Park Avenue Player (a) 2019 9/3/2020 10
Westover, Tara Educated (a) 2018 8/3/2020 6
Wilder, Jasinda The Cabin 2020 11/7/2020 10
Williams, Shanora Bad for Me 2019 1/30/2020 6
Wylde, Joanna Reaper's Fall (a) 2015 10/15/2020 8
Wylde, Joanna Rome's Chance (a) 2018 3/5/2020 6
Wylde, Joanna Eli's Triumph (a) 2019 3/4/2020 6
Yarros, Rebecca Muses and Melodies 2020 12/29/2020 8

Exported from BookCollector 12/27/2020 3:27:21 PM

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Book Review: By a Thread by Lucy Score

Title: By a Thread

Author: Lucy Score

Rating: Five out of five stars

Published: 04/23/2020

Publisher: That's What She Said Publishing, Inc.

Genre(s): Contemporary Romance



I got her fired. Okay, so I’d had a bad day and took it out on a bystander in a pizza shop. But there’s nothing innocent about Ally Morales. She proves that her first day of her new job… in my office… after being hired by my mother.

So maybe her colorful, annoying, inexplicably alluring personality brightens up the magazine’s offices that have felt like a prison for the past year. Maybe I like that she argues with me in front of the editorial staff. And maybe my after-hours fantasies are haunted by those brown eyes and that sharp tongue.

But that doesn’t mean that I’m going to be the next Russo man to take advantage of his position. I might be a second-generation asshole, but I am not my father.

She’s working herself to death at half a dozen dead-end jobs for some secret reason she doesn’t feel like sharing with me. And I’m going to fix it all. Don’t accuse me of caring. She’s nothing more than a puzzle to be solved. If I can get her to quit, I can finally peel away all those layers. Then I can go back to salvaging the family name and forget all about the dancing, beer-slinging brunette.


Ha. Hold my beer, Grumpy Grump Face.

Author’s Note: A steamy, swoony workplace romantic comedy with a grumpy boss hero determined to save the day and a plucky heroine who is starting to wonder if there might actually be a beating heart just beneath her boss’s sexy vests.

MY THOUGHTS (Short and Sweet)

I loved this book! The zingers, repartee, and chemistry between Ally and Dominic had me in stitches! By a Thread was by turns humorous, touching, sizzling, and had just enough conflict to keep me looking forward to their rewarding happily-ever-after. It delivered on every count! ❤️


“Dominic, for the love of God. Behave yourself,” the woman sighed in exasperation. In answer, he spun his pizza around so his mother could read it. FU spelled out in greasy pepperoni. “Is there a problem, sir?” I asked with sugary politeness. “Oh, my,” the woman said, pressing her fingers to her mouth and trying to stifle a laugh. A real one this time. “It’s not funny,” he snapped. “It is from where I stand,” I said. “You are a server. Your job is to act like one and serve,” he said. Ass. And. Hole. “You’re a human. Your job is to act like one,” I countered.


I brought my son on to take his father’s place and tasked him—perhaps unfairly—with cleaning up his father’s mess. As you saw last week, the strain is getting to him.” I was busy wondering exactly what Dalessandra wasn’t saying when that last bit of information landed. Oh, shit. “Charming is your son?” She looked bewildered. “Who did you think he was?” “I thought he was your date. I told him you could do better than him,” I said.


“I don’t hate you, Ally.” His voice was quiet, gruff. I wasn’t sure how it had happened, but suddenly we were standing too close. Nothing good would come of this odd attraction. Yet I couldn’t seem to help myself. He was supposed to be cold. However, from where I stood, inches away, he seemed anything but. “Good. Because frankly, I’m irresistible, and you might as well just give up the fight now.” “I can’t afford to find you irresistible,” he said. We weren’t touching. But it felt like the space between us was charged with something. It was acting like a defibrillator on my heart. I didn’t like him, I reminded myself. But clearly that didn’t mean I didn’t want him. Apparently I’d turned into a woman who would gladly rip her clothes off and jump a guy who didn’t like her just because he was scary hot.


I really needed to stop consuming dairy products. This had to be some kind of hormonal effect from too much glorious cheese.


I got it now. I got him now. He wanted me but not enough to do something that—in his mind—would put him in his father’s league. I had experience in that department and could respect Dominic’s decision. I wanted that revelation to free me from whatever attraction I had to the man. I wanted to feel relieved. Instead, I just felt sad. Bone-deep, soul-deep sad.


“There are a lot of things I want,” he said softly. His hopeful gaze found mine and held it. His pinky flexed, and for one glorious, perfect second, it brushed mine. My body lit up like a Christmas tree. I loved him. So damn much. And he’d hurt me so damn badly. And I didn’t know what I needed from him.