Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about books that I have picked up on a whim. Since I tend to plan out what I’m going to read based on my New Releases posts—I like to read as many as I can of the previous books in a series when I’m mentioning a later book in a post—so I don’t really pick things truly on a whim, but I do just give books a chance in a way that is somewhat a whim. For instance, I see a book on Goodreads or something, and I decide to give it a chance even though I know nothing about the author, or I get the opportunity to influence for an author I’m not familiar with and I jump at the chance no matter my lack of knowledge about their writing. So now that I’ve established that’s the type of “whim” I’m talking about, let me get to those books! Oh, and if you want to see any of my full reviews, just click on the coral titles!
All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant
All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes is a book I saw in the store and decided to give a chance on, and I’m so glad I did.
Kat Varland has had enough of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.
At twenty-six years old, Kat is still living in the shadows of her family in Bayou Bend, Louisiana. Still working shifts at her Aunt Maggie’s bakery. Still wondering what to do with her passion for baking and her business degree. And still single.
But when Lucas Brannen, Kat’s best friend, signs her up for a reality TV bake-off on Cupcake Combat, everything Kat ever wanted is suddenly dangled in front of her: creative license as a baker, recognition as a visionary…and a job at a famous bakery in New York.
As the competition heats up, Lucas realizes he might have made a huge mistake. As much as he wants the best for Kat, the only thing he wants for himself—her—is suddenly in danger of slipping away.
The bright lights of reality cooking wars and the chance at a successful career dazzle Kat’s senses and Lucas is faced with a difficult choice: help his friend achieve her dreams…or sabotage her chances to keep her in Louisiana.
If I Run by Terri Blackstock
If I Run is a book I reviewed through the Litfuse Group, even though I had hardly even heard of Terri before. And I’m glad I decided to read it, that’s for sure!
Casey knows the truth. But it won’t set her free.
Casey Cox’s DNA is all over the crime scene. There’s no use talking to police; they’ve failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she’s arrested…or worse. The truth doesn’t matter anymore.
But what is the truth? That’s the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren’t adding up.
Casey Cox doesn’t fit the profile of a killer. But are Dylan’s skewed perceptions keeping him from being objective? If she isn’t guilty, why did she run?
Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has, but as Dylan’s damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices: the girl who occupies his every though is a psychopathic killer…or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.
Mist of Midnight by Sandra Byrd
Mist of Midnight is a book I decided to read just because it looked interesting, and I’m glad I did!
Rebecca Ravenshaw, daughter of missionaries, spent most of her life in India. Following the death of her family in the Indian Mutiny, Rebecca returns to claim her family estate in Hampshire, England. Upon her return, people are surprised to see her…and highly suspicious. Less than a year earlier, an imposter had arrived with an Indian servant and assumed not only Rebecca’s name, but her home and incomes.
That pretender died within months of her arrival; the servant fled to London as the young woman was hastily buried at midnight. The locals believe that perhaps she, Rebecca, is the real imposter. Her home and her father’s investments reverted to a distant relative, the darkly charming Captain Luke Whitfield, who quickly took over. Against her best intentions, Rebecca begins to fall in love with Luke, but she is forced to question his motives—does he love her or does he just want Headbourne House? If Luke is simply after the property, as everyone suspects, will she suffer a similar fate as the first “Rebecca?”
Jaded by Varina Denman
Jaded is Varina’s debut novel, so I didn’t know anything about her but thought I’d give it a chance, and now she’s one of my favorite authors.
Their small-town church wants them apart. But God has other plans.
As a child, Ruthie was shunned by the local congregation. Now, thirteen years later, Ruthie’s heart begins to stir when an attractive single preacher arrives. But their relationship is bitterly opposed, and a string of secrets are unearthed that threaten to turn the church, the town, and her world upside down.
Jaded is the rare novel that is a love story between both a woman and a man…and God and His church. Plunging deep into the waters of shame forgiveness, and restoration, this book will resonate with every woman who’s experienced a loss of heart…and a thirst for hope.
Back in the Saddle by Ruth Logan Herne
Back in the Saddle is another Litfuse novel I took a chance on, that I actually really enjoyed.
The prodigal is coming home.
It’s been a long time since Colt Stafford shrugged off his cowboy legacy for shiny Manhattan loafers and a promising career on Wall Street. But when stock market manipulations leave him financially strapped, the oldest son of legendary rancher Sam Stafford decides to return to the sprawling Double S ranch in Gray’s Glen, Washington. He’s broke, but not broken, and it’s time to check in with his ailing father, and get his legs back under him by climbing into the saddle again.
He doesn’t expect to come home to a stranger pointing a loaded gun at his chest—a tough yet beautiful woman that Sam hired as the house manager. Colt sense there’s more to Angelina Morales than meets the eye and he’s determined to find out what she’s hiding…and why.
Colt’s return brings new challenges. Younger brother Nick has been Sam’s right-hand man at the ranch for years and isn’t thrilled at having Cot insert himself into Double S affairs. And the ranch’s contentious relationship with the citizens of Gray’s Glen asks all of the Stafford men to examine their hearts about what it truly means to be a neighbor. And as Wall Street recovers, will Colt succumb to the call of the financial district’s wealth and power—or find the courage to stay in the saddle for good?
Love’s Rescue by Christine Johnson
Love’s Rescue is a novel I stumbled upon on Goodreads, and I thought I’d give it a chance. I didn’t love it, but I did choose it on a whim.
Can a girl enamored with the adventurous seas ever be content with the tame life of a Southern belle?
When her mother dies, Elizabeth Benjamin heads home to Key West, determined to transform herself into the perfect Southern belle her parents always wished her to be. But nothing goes according to plan. Her brother resents her, the servants do not obey her, and Rourke O’Malley, the dashing man she vowed to forget, refuses to relinquish his hold on her heart. Worst of all, it becomes painfully obvious that her father is not the man he appears to be.
As family secrets come to light, Elizabeth is faced with a difficult choice: to perform her duty and abandon her dreams, or to leave her life of privilege behind to chase the man her father sees as little better than a pirate.
The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder by Rachel McMillan
The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder is not only a debut novel I gave a chance on, but is also a Litfuse book I requested on a whim. It is a cute little story, and I’m glad I took a chance on it.
In 1910 Toronto, while other bachelor girls perfect their domestic skills and find husbands, two friends perfect their sleuthing skills and find a murderer.
Inspired by their fascination with all things Sherlock Holmes, best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem launch a consulting detective business. The deaths of young Irish woman lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city’s underbelly, where the high hopes of those dreaming to make a new life in Canada are met with prejudice and squalor.
While searching for answers, donning disguises, and sneaking around where no proper ladies would ever go, they pair with Jasper Forth, a police constable, and Ray DeLuca, a reporter in whom Jem takes a more than professional interest. Merinda could well be Toronto’s premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever—if they can stay alive long enough to do so.
Sister Dear by Laura McNeill
Sister Dear is another Litfuse novel I gave a chance on, and I’m glad I did because it was completely captivating!
All Allie Marshall wants is a fresh start. But when dark secrets refuse to stay buried, will her chance at a new life be shattered forever?
Convicted of a crime she didn’t commit, Allie watched a decade of her life vanish—time that can never be recovered. Now, out on parole, Allie is determined to clear her name, rebuild her life, and reconnect with the daughter she barely knows.
But Allie’s return home shatters the quaint, coastal community of Brunswick, Georgia. Even her own daughter Caroline, now a teenager, bristles at Allie’s claims of innocence. Refusing defeat, a stronger, smarter Allie launches a battle for the truth, digging deeply into the past even if it threatens her parole status, personal safety, and the already-fragile bond with family.
As her commitment to finding the truth intensifies, what Allie ultimately uncovers is far worse than she imagined. Her own sister has been hiding a dark secret—one that holds the key to Allie’s freedom.
An Endless Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti
An Endless Christmas is another Litfuse novel I took a chance on, and I’m glad I did because it helped to find one of my new favorite authors.
Both in their eighties, Dodie and Wilson Binder celebrate every Christmas as if it were their last. This year, their only grandson, Micah, asks his girlfriend, Katie, to marry him—in front of the whole Binder family. But things go terribly wrong when she says no. now Katie is stuck. Too many people, too much snow, and too little room should be a recipe for disaster. But, sometimes too much is just enough. Especially, when it’s Christmas.
Will Katie let herself love and be loved before it is too late?
The Dandelion Field by Kathryn Springer
The Dandelion Field is a novel I stumbled upon that really piqued my interest, so I gave it a chance, and have fallen in love with both Banister Falls and Kathryn’s writing.
This handsome firefighter makes a living coming to the rescue, but Gin doesn’t need a man to fight her battles.
After Raine’s dad walked out, Ginevieve Lightly never lived in one place too long, a rambling lifestyle that defined her daughter’s youth. When their car dies in Bannister Falls, Wisconsin, Gin promises Raine they can stay until she finishes her senior year of high school. Gin will do anything to make sure her daughter has a bright future…a future that’s compromised when Raine reveals she’s pregnant.
Dan Moretti has only ever called Banister Falls home. After losing his best friend in a tragic accident, Dan devoted himself to responding to fires, rescuing the helpless, and guiding Cody Bennett, his best friend’s son, through life. With Cody being the epitome of the good kid, it was an easy job. Until he says four little words: “The baby is mine.”
Knowing gossip of Raine’s pregnancy will erupt sooner or later in the small town, Gin’s reflex is to grab the suitcase and escape to a new city, a new life. But with each passing day, Gin’s feet stay rooted in Banister Falls, and she falls a little more for this local firefighter who shows her not all men abandon women at the first sign of smoke.
As Gin and Dan do the best they can to guide the two teenagers through their early entry into adulthood, they discover together that romance can bloom in the rockiest of situations. Ad God can turn the pieces of a broken past into a beautiful new beginning.
Well, those are ten books I’ve recently picked up on a whim. What about you? What are some books you’ve taken a chance on lately?
Happy Tuesday and happy reading!
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly linkup hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
To see where I’m linking up, check out my Where I Party page.
All credit for the italicized synopses goes to each author and their respective publishers.