Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-me authors of 2018

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today’s theme is new-to-me authors of 2018 and I have to say, I think it’s going to be a little difficult to narrow this down to ten.

Shaun David Hutchinson

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Alice Clayton


my review

Jenn Bennett

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Sarah J. Maas

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Emma Hart

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Jay Kristoff

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Tara Sivec

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Maggie Stiefvater

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my review

Brian K. Vaughan

see all my Saga reviews here!

Erin Hahn


my review will be posted closer to publication!

Did you do your own Top Ten Tuesday post today? Feel free to leave your link in the comments and I’ll check it out! Have you read any of these books? Who’s the best author that you read for the first time in 2018? Let’s talk in the comments!

ARC Review: Kiss the Girl by Tara Sivec

Kiss the Girl by Tara Sivec
Series: Naughty Princess Club #3
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: Amazon • Goodreads
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Source: ARC from the publisher

A struggling antiques collector finds herself falling in love with a millionaire playboy; but can she ever be a part of his world?

Meet the Naughty Princess Club, a series from USA Today bestselling author Tara Sivec that brings readers to Fairytale Lane and the hilarity—and romance—that three women fall into once they decide to strut their stuff and bring on their own happily ever after.

While her friends have broken free of their insecurities, Ariel Waters is struggling to come out of her shell. Her ex-husband took away her voice and her self-confidence, and Ariel is drowning under a sea of debt to afford the alimony she has to pay him. She refuses to ever fall for a man’s charms again, and is determined to make her own way.

When her house and her beloved antiques are taken by the bank after too many missed payments, Ariel finds herself adrift until the infuriatingly charming Eric Sailor comes to her rescue. Although she can’t stand the millionaire playboy, Eric’s kindness and unconditional support reveal hidden depths and a love that Ariel never imagined she could find.

But there are outside influences who will stop at nothing to keep them apart; can Ariel and Eric weather the storm and find a way to be together?

I loved the first two books in Tara Sivec’s Naughty Princess Club series (I’ll link my reviews down below) so I was really excited to get an email from St. Martin’s Press/Swerve offering me an ARC of Kiss the Girl! Enemies-to-lovers is kind of my thing and I’d been anticipating Ariel and Eric’s story ever since we were first introduced to them in At the Stroke of Midnight.

I liked Eric a lot. He was such a great guy and I loved that he just gave Ariel a yacht. Why can’t someone just give me a big yacht to live on all by myself? I need my personal space. In that way, I really related to Ariel. But aside from that… Ariel is just so prickly. It wasn’t a surprise, really, since it’s not like she was a ball of sunshine in the previous two books, but I found it really hard to connect with her. I’m all for my female protagonists being complex and layered and having their own issues, but Ariel created a lot of her own problems but blamed them on other people and that was hard for me to deal with.

The relationship between Eric and Ariel was actually pretty cute. Eric was so supportive of her and I loved the romance once Ariel got over herself and stopped pushing him away. But for the actual story? I don’t know. I just felt like, compared with the last two books in the series, the parallels with the actual Little Mermaid story were pretty forced. The whole plot felt kind of rushed and I just didn’t love this one as much as I’d expected. Not to mention that the whole plot with Ursula had me rolling my eyes. (Are these grown adults or teenagers? Sometimes I couldn’t tell.)

Kiss the Girl wasn’t a bad way to spend a few hours, but I don’t know that I’d necessarily recommend it to anybody other than fans of the previous two books in the series.

Previously: At the Stroke of Midnight | In Bed With the Beast

Have you read Kiss the Girl? Do you like this kind of retelling?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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ARC Review: In Bed with the Beast by Tara Sivec

In Bed With the Beast by Tara Sivec
Series: Naughty Princess Club #2
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Amazon • Goodreads
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Source: ARC from the publisher

A tale as old as time: she needs a place to stay, he’s a grump with a secret and an extra room…can love find a way?

Meet the Naughty Princess Club, a series from USA Today bestselling author Tara Sivec that brings readers to Fairytale Lane and the hilarity—and romance—that three women fall into once they decide to strut their stuff and bring on their own happily ever after.

Living in her overprotective dad’s basement, shy Belle lives her life through books. Being a part of the Naughty Princess Club is the first adventure she’s ever had, plus she desperately needs the money to save one of her favorite places – the local library.

But when her new friends and new business gets her kicked out of her dad’s house, Belle is rescued by the surly Vincent “Beast” Adams who invites her to be his house guest until she gets back on her feet. Despite his attitude problem and long list of rules, Belle finds herself warming to the muscled man with a penchant for growling and starts seeing a gentle side to him that wasn’t there before.

Yet there’s a room that Beast keeps locked and Belle keeps getting hints that Beast is hiding something…can a nerdy librarian tame the beast or will their romance be over before it has a chance to blossom?

I love fairytale retellings. Earlier this year, I read (and really enjoyed) At the Stroke of Midnight, the first book in Tara Sivec’s Naughty Princess Club series. While that book was a retelling of Cinderella, In Bed with the Beast is (clearly) a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Of the three Naughty Princesses (the third being Ariel), I relate most to Belle and I could not wait to read her story. Thank you so much to St. Martin’s for the advance copy!

The retellings in this series are so well done! The foundation of the fairytale is still there, but enough is changed that the stories feel new and exciting. This book, in particular, was cute and sweet, laugh out loud funny, and also really steamy! There’s a whole heck of a lot of sexual tension between Belle and Vincent and just enough conflict to keep things interesting. Belle and Vincent were legitimately good for each other and their relationship felt so natural and healthy. I didn’t see the plot twist coming and, as before, I’m so intrigued by Ariel’s story. I can’t wait for the absolute explosion of enemies-to-lovers passion that’s sure to come in Kiss the Girl.

ARC review: At the Stroke of Midnight by Tara Sivec

Goodreads ⭐ Amazon ⭐

Cynthia prides herself on perfection. Even though she grew up in a trailer park with a stepmother who openly hated her, once she married Brian, the most important things in her life were her pearls, her PTA meetings, and her volunteer work.  Then Brian disappeared.  He ran off with the babysitter and left her and their daughter alone with no money and no plan. Now, her neighbors are getting suspicious, bill collectors are hounding her, and she needs to find some way to put food on the table, so she decides to toss aside her pearls and do the one thing she can: start stripping.

It isn’t easy.  Cynthia’s become a little straight-laced over the years and forgetting everything her horrible mother-in-law taught her takes some work. But with the help of two friends and one grumpy (but gorgeous) man, maybe Cynthia can finally get back on her feet.

What can I even say about this book?! It’s my first by Tara Sivec and I certainly hope it’s not my last because I cannot wait for Belle’s story. The book was really well-written with great, even pacing… but I wasn’t totally convinced at the beginning.  The thing is, PJ is the world’s biggest jerk (maybe second biggest if we include Brian).  It took some time for me to stop seeing him as a jerk and start accepting him as Cynthia’s love interest. But once I did? Someone grab me a fan – or maybe a bucket of cold water – because he is some love interest. Wow!

I loved that throughout the book, there was absolutely zero slut shaming, zero derision directed toward stripping as a profession, and zero insinuation that PJ would somehow “save” Cynthia from the indignity of it all.  Cynthia is proud to do this for herself and her daughter. She’s happy to have the control back in her life and honestly, it was so empowering! This is the first book I’ve read with a plot even remotely like this and I loved it so much.

Cynthia was a wonderful character, but I also fell in love with our other two main girls, Ariel and Isabelle.  Ariel is bold, brash, and unabashedly herself. I can’t wait to read about her romance with (I’m guessing) Eric.  Isabelle is this quiet, unassuming librarian who spouts off random facts when she gets nervous, and I am eagerly anticipating (like give it to me NOW) her romance with (again, guessing) Beast.

This was such a fun, funny, and empowering read. I highly recommend it.

Final rating: ★★★★☆

I received a free advance copy of At the Stroke of Midnight from the publisher (via Netgalley) in exchange for my honest review.