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On my nightstand this Valentine’s month is a tattooed librarian, a soon-to-be Hallmark movie, a former Hallmark movie, hand-lettering talk, and coming soon release from one of my favorite writers.
Hearts on Hold by Charish Reid
From Goodreads: Professor Victoria Reese knows an uphill battle when she sees one. Convincing her narrow-minded colleagues at the elite Pembroke University to back a partnership with the local library is a fight she saw coming and already has a plan for. What she didn’t see coming? The wildly hot librarian who makes it clear books aren’t the only thing he’d like to handle.
When a tightly wound, sexy-as-hell professor proposes a partnership between his library and her university, children’s department head John Donovan is all for it. He knows his tattoos and easygoing attitude aren’t quite what she expected, but the unmistakable heat between them is difficult to resist.
Mixing business with pleasure—and oh, it is pleasure—always comes with risks, but maybe a little casual fun between the sheets is just what Victoria needs.
You had me at “wildly hot librarian”. Nerd Hot is only second to Stoic Hot in my book and I will devour this book.
The Secret Ingredient by Nancy Naigle
From Goodreads: Years ago, Kelly McIntyre and Andrew York were engaged and dreaming of opening a restaurant together. Then he chose an opportunity to study in Paris over the small-town life they’d planned, and their romance came to a bittersweet end.
But Kelly’s doing fine. She’s not only the owner of a potbellied pig named Gray, but also of her own bakery. Business is good—so good that she’s invited to compete in a Valentine’s Day bake-off. As she prepares for the contest, she tries not to get distracted by Andrew’s visit to town.
When Andrew sees Kelly, it stirs up his old feelings. Little does he know that soon, in New York, he’ll compete against her in the bake-off…and they’ll both realize how much their past is a part of them still.
There’s a potbellied pig! And NYC! And this is soon to be a movie on Hallmark for Valentine’s, so naturally, I’m IN!
The Story of Us by Teri Wilson
From Goodreads: Jamie always adored True Love Bookstore and Café, and now she’s the owner. But businesses are struggling in her small town, and her beloved store is threatened by a new retail development scheme.
Sawyer, Jamie’s former high school sweetheart, startles her when he comes to town for the first time in fifteen years. She soon learns he’s the architect of the proposed development and he’s there to sell local business owners on his plan. Sawyer had no idea that Jamie had bought the bookstore and poured everything she had into it. If he takes it over, he’ll break her heart a second time.
Jamie’s discovery of a box of old love letters and valentines might hold the key to saving her shop. And after all this time, could love be in the cards for Jamie and Sawyer, too?
Speaking of Hallmark, this was of their Valentine’s movies last year, but now it has its own novelization by the amazing Teri Wilson, whom I got to interview last year. I mean, I’d already be in on the bookstore angle alone, but super I’m excited to see how she expands Jamie and Sawyer’s relationship on the page.
Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn
From Goodreads: Meg Mackworth’s hand-lettering skill has made her famous as the Planner of Park Slope, designing beautiful custom journals for New York City’s elite. She has another skill too: reading signs that other people miss. Like the time she sat across from Reid Sutherland and his gorgeous fiancée, and knew their upcoming marriage was doomed to fail. Weaving a secret word into their wedding program was a little unprofessional, but she was sure no one else would spot it. She hadn’t counted on sharp-eyed, pattern-obsessed Reid . . .
A year later, Reid has tracked Meg down to find out—before he leaves New York for good—how she knew that his meticulously planned future was about to implode. But with a looming deadline, a fractured friendship, and a bad case of creative block, Meg doesn’t have time for Reid’s questions—unless he can help her find her missing inspiration. As they gradually open up to each other about their lives, work, and regrets, both try to ignore the fact that their unlikely connection is growing deeper. But the signs are there—irresistible, indisputable, urging Meg to heed the messages Reid is sending her, before it’s too late . . .
Hand lettering? Planners? Patterned-obsessed people?? I FEEL SEEN, Y’ALL. I can only hope that this book lives up to the hype.
The Magnolia Sisters by Alys Murray
This edition is an ARC given by the publisher for an unbiased review.
From Goodreads: Harper Anderson‘s dream is to run the family farm with her sisters when their father retires, keeping up traditions that began with her great-great-grandmother. If there’s a farm left to run.
Rich out-of-towners looking for a slice of country living are hiking up the prices in town and it’s putting her family out of business. So she has no time for the arrogant LA tech mogul who makes her an offer to use their farm as his sister’s wedding venue. The sooner Luke Martin is on his way, the better.
But Luke isn’t willing to go. So when Harper’s newest farmhand leaves her in the lurch, he sees an opportunity to strike a deal. He’ll work on the farm for free if she’ll give him the chance to change her mind.
Harper and Luke each expect the other to crack first. What they don’t expect is the chemistry that sparks between them as they work side by side among the budding roses. With her family’s happiness at stake, can Harper put her trust in a man who is worlds apart from everything she knows?
It should be no mystery that I’m a huge fan of Alys Murray’s writing as evidenced here (and here), so of course, I’m super excited to read her latest, coming out this March. And y’all– THIS COVER is to die for.
What are you reading this month??