First Line Friday (#6) – A Distant Melody

Happy Friday! Welcome to First Line Friday, hosted by Hoarding Books! This week I’m highlighting a book in my July TBR pile.

This week’s book selection is: A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin.

Los Angeles, California

Monday, June 22, 1942

One whole delicious week together.  Allie Miller clung to her best friend’s promise and to the train ticket that would deliver it.

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About A Distant Melody

Will a chance meeting in a time of war change her life forever?

Never pretty enough to please her gorgeous mother, Allie will do anything to gain her approval—even marry a man she doesn’t love.  While Allie has nearly resigned herself to that fate, Lt. Walter Novak—fearless in the cockpit but hopeless with women—takes his last furlough at home in California before being shipped overseas.

Walt and Allie meet and begin a correspondence that will change their lives.  As letters fly between Walt’s muddy bomber base in England and Allie’s mansion in an orange grove, their friendship binds them together.  But can they untangle the secrets, commitments, and expectations that keep them apart?

Book I in the Wings of Glory series, A Distant Melody is an exciting and tender story of love, courage, and sacrifice during World War II.

What are you reading? Share your first line in the comments below. Don’t forget to visit Hoarding Books to see what other book bloggers are sharing.

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July “To Be Read” Pile . . .

 

Hello Bookworms!  It’s that time to post a new batch of books of the extensive To Be Read Pile.  I’m starting to hit my groove in reading, but at the same time I keep going into reading slumps.  I’ve set another ambitious goal this month to read 13 books for July!  Hopefully, I’ll reach my projected goal before the month is over.  Without further ado, my TBR is:

 

 

When Miss Charlotte Wilson asks God for a husband, she decides he must want her to pursue Mr. Hamilton Beckett, the catch of the season.  The only problem?  She’s never actually met Hamilton.  Fortunately, one of her oldest and dearest friends, Mr. Henry St. James—who has returned to new York after a two-year absence—does know Hamilton.  Much to Henry’s chagrin, Charlotte immediately ropes him into helping her meet Hamilton.  However, none of her plans to catch Hamilton’s eye go as she expected, and she is even more confused when her old feelings for Henry begin to resurrect themselves.  In the midst of the mayhem Charlotte always seems to cause, she wonders if the gentleman of her dreams might be an entirely different man than she thought.

 

 

Love Has No Place in a World of Spies.

1779—Winter Reeves is an aristocratic American Patriot forced to hide her heart amid the British Loyalists of the city of New York.  She has learned to keep her ears open so she can pass information on British movements to Robbie Townsend, her childhood friend, and his spy ring.  If she’s caught, she will be executed for espionage, but she prays the Lord’s protection will sustain her, and Robbie has taught her the tools of the trade—the wonders of invisible ink, secret drop locations and, most importantly, a good cover.

Bennet Lane returns to New York from his Yale professorship with one goal: to find General Washington’s spy hidden among the ranks of the city’s elite.  Searching for a wife was supposed to be nothing more than a convenient cover story for his mission, but when he meets Winter, with her too-intelligent eyes in her too-blank face, he finds a mystery that can’t be ignored.

Both are determined to prevail at any cost . . . and each is committed to a separate cause.  Will God lead them to a shared destiny or lives lived apart?

 

 

Will a chance meeting in a time of war change her life forever?

Never pretty enough to please her gorgeous mother, Allie will do anything to gain her approval—even marry a man she doesn’t love.  While Allie has nearly resigned herself to that fate, Lt. Walter Novak—fearless in the cockpit but hopeless with women—takes his last furlough at home in California before being shipped overseas.

Walt and Allie meet and begin a correspondence that will change their lives.  As letters fly between Walt’s muddy bomber base in England and Allie’s mansion in an orange grove, their friendship binds them together.  But can they untangle the secrets, commitments, and expectations that keep them apart?

Book I in the Wings of Glory series, A Distant Melody is an exciting and tender story of love, courage, and sacrifice during World War II.

 

 

Lady Eliza Sumner is on a mission.  After losing her family, her fiancé, and her faith, the disappearance of her fortune is the last straw.  Now, masquerading as Miss Eliza Sumner, governess-at-large, she’s determined to find the man who ran off with her fortune, reclaim the money, and head straight back to London.

Much to Mr. Hamilton Beckett’s chagrin, all the eyes of New York society—all the female ones, at least—are on him.  Unfortunately for all the matchmaking mothers and eligible daughters, he has no plans to marry again, especially with his hands full keeping his business afloat and raising his two children alone.

When Eliza’s hapless attempts to regain her fortune put her right in Hamilton’s path, sparks instantly begin to fly.  The discovery of a common nemesis causes them to join forces, but with all their plans falling by the wayside and their enemies getting the better of them, it will take a riot of complications for Hamilton and Eliza to realize that God just might have had a better plan in mind all along.

 

 

This bonus romantic novella is set in the intervening years between Ring of Secrets and Whispers from the Shadows.  In 1789 General Isaac Fairchild travels across the Channel on a very special assignment.  After surviving the American Revolution, he is now gathering information on life at King Louis XVI’s court.  But he must also locate a countess and her grown daughter and escort them back to England before revolution explodes in France.  He knows danger is in the task set before him, but when he meets the beautiful Julienne, a new peril beckons him deeper into the intrigue of Versailles.

 

 

Can they overcome the past to find a brighter future together?

Major Jack Novak has never failed to meet a challenge—until he meets army nurse Lieutenant Ruth Doherty.  When Jack lands in the army hospital after a plane crash, he makes winning Ruth’s heart a top-priority mission.  But he has his work cut out for him.  Not only is Ruth focused on her work in order to support her orphaned siblings back home, she also is determined not to give her heart to any man.

As the danger and tension of World War II rise to a fever pitch, Jack and Ruth will need each other more than ever.  Can Jack break down her defenses?  Or are they destined to go their separate ways?

From the English countryside to the perilous skies over France, A Memory Between Us takes you on a journey through love, forgiveness, and sacrifice.

 

 

Miss Arabella Beckett, defender of the downtrodden women of America, is returning from her travels in support of the women’s suffrage movement when she suddenly finds herself in a spot of trouble.  Arabella, always loath to accept help, is particularly reluctant to receive assistance from the arrogant, narrow-minded knight in shining armor who shows up just in time.

Private investigator extraordinaire Mr. Theodore Wilder is on an assignment that began as a favor to his good friend Hamilton Beckett but swiftly evolved into a merry chase across the country.  When he finally locates Hamilton’s sister, and she turns out to have radical ideas and a fiercely independent streak, he’s at his wit’s end.

Much to their chagrin, Theodore and Arabella’s paths continue to cross when they return to New York.  When the trouble Arabella accidentally stirred up in her travels follows her home and threatens her very life, the unlikely couple must face the possibility that they have landed in the most peculiar circumstances of all: love.

 

 

I LOVE HER . . . CAN I TRUST HER?

I LOVE HIM . . . IS HE SAFE?

1814—England and America are again at war.  Sudden and implacable treachery causes Gwyneth Fairchild’s world to crumble in a moment’s time.  The daughter of a British general, she barely saves her life by fleeing London aboard a ship bound for America.  Her goal is to find refuge with the Lane family in Maryland.  Yet after meeting the Lanes’ son, Thaddeus, Gwyn wonders how safe she is.  For she discovers that this family trades in a dangerous commodity—espionage.

Thad Lane is a prominent citizen in the city of Baltimore.  He has the ear of everyone, and he is in a unique position to pass on to leaders of government exactly what he hears.  Not long after the beautiful and British Gwyneth Fairchild finds safe haven in his community, he experiences the tug of love, though he fears it may blur lines of loyalty.  With family playing the part of enemies and enemies proving themselves friends, a future with Gwyn is more than uncertain—it could be life threatening.

In the end, with the British advancing relentlessly on Baltimore, Thad and Gwyn have to trust in their shared faith in God to be a shield about them.  To give them a future and a hope.

 

 

In a time of peril, can they find the courage to confront their fears and embrace a love that lasts?

When her husband becomes a casualty of the war in the Pacific, Helen Carlisle throws herself into volunteering for the war effort to conceal her feelings.  But keeping up appearances as the grieving widow of a hometown hero is taking its toll.  Soon something is going to give.

Lt. Raymond Novak prefers the pulpit to the cockpit.  His stateside job training B-17 pilots allows him the luxury of a personal life—and a convenient excuse to ignore his deepest fear.  When the beautiful Helen catches his eye and captures his heart, he is determined to win her hand.

But when Ray and Helen are called upon to step out in faith and put their reputations and their lives on the line, can they meet the challenges that face them?  And can their young love survive until blue skies return?

Filled with drama, daring, and all the romance of the WWII era, Blue Skies Tomorrow is the captivating final book in the popular Wings of Glory series.

 

 

For years, Miss Felicia Murdock’s every thought and action have been in pursuit of becoming a minister’s wife.  When the minister she’d set her sights on has other ideas, she decides something in her life needs to change—and soon—before she wastes any more time pretending to be someone she’s not.  If that means spreading her wings and embracing a more lively way of life, who’s to say nay?

Grayson Sumner, Lord Sefton, has had his fill of spreading his wings and only hopes to settle into the life of a respectable New York gentleman.  Prompted by friends to life the spirits of the disappointed-in-love Miss Murdock, he is surprised to encounter an adventurous young lady with an unfortunate knack for stumbling into troublesome situations.

Just as Grayson decides he’s had quite enough of her antics, his past comes back to haunt him and his presence in Felicia’s life endangers her.  As they work to extricate themselves from this latest complication, will Grayson and Felicia decide they want to spend the rest of their lives keeping each other out of trouble?

 

 

January 29, 1835 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Twenty-year-old Julienne Lane eagerly awaits the return of her fiancé and naval officer, Jack Arnaud, but she has not been idle.  She and her best friend, Freeda Payne, have been working hard to support the abolitionist movement.  Their efforts have been clouded in secrecy, but when Freeda shows up in Julienne’s cellar with a runaway slave, the need for secrets becomes imperative.  When Jack returns home, will Julienne threaten his career in the Navy by including him in their plans, or will she hide news of the slave from him and put his trust to the test?  Moreover, why does her fiancé appear to be hiding a secret of his own?

Despite a harrowing tour of duty in the North Atlantic, Jack’s hopes for rest and recuperation are put on hold.  His wedding to Julienne is in two days, but a more pressing matter comes to his attention from his associates in the Culper Ring.  Should he ask his beautiful fiancée to postpone the wedding for the third time in two years?  How will he and the Culper Ring foil the malicious plans they have uncovered?  And why does Julienne blush so brightly when he asks her about the cellar?  The clock is ticking.  Danger looms.  Can justice prevail?  Will their love survive?

 

 

After his departure from New York two years ago to meet up with his almost-fiancée, Zayne Beckett is the last person Agatha Watson wanted to stumble upon in her travels as a reporter with the New York Tribune.  Quite pathetically bedraggled, he clearly needs to be taken in hand and sent back East to his family.  Although she no longer has feelings for him, Agatha realizes—by hook or by crook—she’ll have to be the one to get the obstinate man home.

Zayne has no desire to be taken anywhere and is prepared to drag his heels all the way home . . . until he finds himself slipping back into the familiar banter of his former friendship with Agatha.  Once they arrive in New York, Zayne realizes Agatha’s determined to nose for news has earned her a few enemies, and he hopes to repay her help with some help of his own.  When she rebuffs all his attempts to prove himself a knight in shining armor, the lengths to which they’ll go to win this battle of wills lead to some memorable antics.

Everyone else may think them a match, but nothing could be further from the truth—until Agatha finds herself in real trouble.  Have these two stubborn, too-smart-for-their-own-good people been meant for each other all along?

 

 

A Glimpse Was All She Had . . .

A Glimpse Was All She Needed.

1865—Marietta Hughes never wanted to be a spy, but the family legacy of espionage is thrust upon her as the War Between the States rolls on.  Unknown to her, the Knights of the Golden Circle—a Confederate secret society bent on destroying the Union her brother died for—has been meeting in a hidden lair beneath her home.  Faced with the secrets of her late husband and his brother, whom she thought she could trust with anything, Marietta’s world tilts out of control.  Can she right it by protecting a Union agent infiltrating the KGC?

Slade Osborne, an undercover Pinkerton agent, is determined to do whatever is necessary to end the conflict between the North and the South.  When he infiltrates this secret cell, it isn’t just their inner workings that baffle him—it’s the beautiful woman who seems to be a puppet for the new leader and yet . . . so much more.

Do they dare trust each other in this circle of intrigue?  Will their shared faith sustain them?  And can Mari and Slade stymie the enemy long enough to see their beloved country reunited?

 

 What is in your July “TBR” Pile?

Review: Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz

Book Blurb:

CAUGHT BETWEEN THE WILDERNESS AND CIVILIZATION, MORROW LITTLE MUST FIND HER WAY TO TRUE LOVE.

MORROW LITTLE is haunted by the memory of the day her family was torn apart by raiding Shawnee warriors. Now that she is nearly a grown woman and her father is ailing, she must make difficult choices about the future. Several men—ranging from the undesired to the unthinkable—vie for her attentions, but she finds herself inexplicably drawn to a forbidden love that both terrifies and intrigues her. Can she betray the memory of her lost loved ones—and garner suspicion from her friends—by pursuing a life with him? Or should she seal her own misery by marrying a man she doesn’t love?

This sweeping tale of romance and forgiveness will envelop you as it takes you from a Kentucky fort through the vast wilderness of the West.

 

Little Miss Bookworm Review:

 

 

Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz is a captivating love story set in the wild, untamed and savage land of 1778 Kentucke. Living along the Red River and surrounded by nature’s beauty, Morrow Little suffers from anxiety along with fear of the local Indian tribes. In the first half of the book, Morrow is considerably weighed down by the grudge she holds against them from a prior incident against her family. Red Shirt is strong, courageous, humble, protector, warrior, and leader. He displays all the traits that make a perfect hero. Throughout the novel, Red Shirt is both gentle and patient towards Morrow as he shows her not every Indian is a savage. Slowly, Morrow learns to trust and even fall in love with him. Morrow’s character growth highlights her patience, faith and devotion in the second half of the novel. With each turn of the page, readers are transported into a scene with the rich historical details and vivid imagery. Readers are also able to identify with Frantz’s characters on a deep and personal level. Love conquers all is the prevalent theme in an adventurous, romantic and dangerous world of colonial Kentucke.

I give Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz . . . 5 Stars.

 

 

Review: The Frontiersman’s Daughter by Laura Frantz

frontiersmansdaughterBook Blurb:

One woman searches for love—and herself—in a wild land.

LOVELY AND HIGH-SPIRITED, Lael Click is the daughter of a celebrated frontiersman.  Haunted by her father’s ties to the Shawnee Indians and her family’s past, Lael comes of age in the fragile Kentucky settlement her father founded.  As she faces the many trials of life on the frontier, Lael draws strength from the rugged land.  But the arrival of a handsome doctor threatens her view of her world, her God, and herself.  Can the power of grace and redemption break through in this tumultuous place?

This epic novel gives you a glimpse into the simple yet daring lives of the pioneers who first crossed the Appalachians, all through the courageous eyes of a determined young woman who would not be defeated.

 

Little Miss Bookworm’s Review:

 

 

The Frontiersman’s Daughter by Laura Frantz is an interesting debut novel, that highlights a young woman’s journey to womanhood during the late eighteenth century.  Living in the untamed Kentucke frontier, Lael Click struggles with her mother’s indiscretion and her father’s hidden past with the Shawnee Indians.  Ma Horn, Captain Jack, Ian Justus, and the inhabitants of a small Kentucke settlement, are an unique blend of secondary characters.  Living in the middle of Indian Territory strife with danger, feuds reigniting, and broken hearts.  Lael is determined to prove women can survive in the uncivilized region.

The extensive research and historical detail highlights the harsh realities of living in 1777 Kentucke during the American Revolution.  Conflict between white men and Indian tribes like the Shawnee is woven into the plot.  Frantz does a remarkable job in portraying both sides of the issue.

The Frontiersman’s Daughter is a hard book to review.  It immediately captured my attention and I thought the prologue foreshadowed what was to come.  However, the intricate plot twists kept me hooked from beginning to end.  I also loved how each character was given a complex personality that enabled them to stand out.  Adventure, Romance, Faith, and Redemption are four key themes that emerge within the story.

There were several flaws that caused significant problems.  First, the story focuses on an eight-year period of Lael’s life.  On more than one occasion, I was unsure of her age.  Second, the heroine lets other characters influence her decisions.  Third, not all of the plot lines were completed, leaving the reader with unanswered questions.  Finally, I was unsure if the chemistry was there between Lael and the man she ultimately ends up with.

Overall, I would recommend The Frontiersman’s Daughter to anyone who enjoys historical romances set during the American Revolution.

 

I give The Frontiersman’s Daughter by Laura Frantz . . . 4 Stars.

Top Ten Tuesday: Cover Love (Blue Edition)

 

Happy Tuesday! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl, focuses on books with our favorite colors on the cover. I was torn over which color to choose, but in the end BLUE prevailed. I selected nine historical romance covers that utilize it in some way.

 

 

Irish Meadows by Susan Ann Mason

The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin

Across the Blue by Carrie Turansky

 

 

The Painter’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

A Dangerous Engagement by Melanie Dickerson

The Magnolia Duchess by Beth White

 

 

Out Of The Ashes by Tracie Peterson & Kimberley Woodhouse

The Melody of the Soul by Liz Tolsma

A Bride in Store by Melissa Jagears

 

What’s YOUR favorite color to see on a book cover?

First Line Friday (#1) – The Frontiersman’s Daughter

 

 

Happy Friday!  Welcome to First Line Friday, hosted by Hoarding Books! This week I’m highlighting the first book in my May TBR pile.

This week’s book selection is: The Frontiersman’s Daughter by Laura Frantz.

 

 

Kentucke, Indian Territory, 1777

“In the fading lavender twilight, at the edge of a clearing, stood half a dozen Shawnee warriors.”

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About The Frontiersman’s Daughter

One woman searches for love—and herself—in a wild land.

LOVELY AND HIGH-SPIRITED, Lael Click is the daughter of a celebrated frontiersman. Haunted by her father’s ties to the Shawnee Indians and her family’s past, Lael comes of age in the fragile Kentucky settlement her father founded. As she faces the many trials of life on the frontier, Lael draws strength from the rugged land. But the arrival of a handsome doctor threatens her view of her world, her God, and herself. Can the power of grace and redemption break through in this tumultuous place?

This epic novel gives you a glimpse into the simple yet daring lives of the pioneers who first crossed the Appalachians, all through the courageous eyes of a determined young woman who would not be defeated.

 

What are you reading? Share your first line in the comments below.  Don’t forget to visit Hoarding Books to see what other book bloggers are sharing.

May “To Be Read” Pile . . .

 

Hello Bookworms! It’s that time to post a new batch of books of the To Be Read Pile. I’ve been in a massive reading slump all year. Spring is my favorite season, so I’m hoping it will inspire me to read more. I’ve set an ambitious goal this month to read 9 books for May. *I’m not sure if I’ll reach this projected goal. Without further ado, my TBR is:

 

 

One woman searches for love—and herself—in a wild land.

LOVELY AND HIGH-SPIRITED, Lael Click is the daughter of a celebrated frontiersman. Haunted by her father’s ties to the Shawnee Indians and her family’s past, Lael comes of age in the fragile Kentucky settlement her father founded. As she faces the many trials of life on the frontier, Lael draws strength from the rugged land. But the arrival of a handsome doctor threatens her view of her world, her God, and herself. Can the power of grace and redemption break through in this tumultuous place?

This epic novel gives you a glimpse into the simple yet daring lives of the pioneers who first crossed the Appalachians, all through the courageous eyes of a determined young woman who would not be defeated.

 

 

EVEN A PROPER VICAR’S DAUGHTER CAN MAKE A MISTAKE . . . and now Charlotte Lamb must pay a high price for her fall. To avoid the prying eyes of all who know her, she hides herself away in London’s forbidding “Milkweed Manor,” a place of mystery and lore, of old secrets and new birth.

But once there, she comes face-to-face with a suitor from her past—a man who now hides secrets of his own. Both are determined, with God’s help, to protect those they love. But neither can imagine the depth of sacrifice that will be required.

Sprinkled with fascinating details about the lives of women in Regency England, Lady of Milkweed Manor is a moving romantic drama about the redemption of past failings and the beauty of sacrificial love.

 

 

No matter the sacrifice,

Elizabeth Whitbread would serve a wounded family.

No matter the danger,

John Costin was determined to speak God’s word.

Neither expected to fall in love.

As enemies threaten to silence Costin—and those close to him—will following their hearts cost John and Elizabeth everything?

 

 

CAUGHT BETWEEN THE WILDERNESS AND CIVILIZATION, MORROW LITTLE MUST FIND HER WAY TO TRUE LOVE.

MORROW LITTLE is haunted by the memory of the day her family was torn apart by raiding Shawnee warriors. Now that she is nearly a grown woman and her father is ailing, she must make difficult choices about the future. Several men—ranging from the undesired to the unthinkable—vie for her attentions, but she finds herself inexplicably drawn to a forbidden love that both terrifies and intrigues her. Can she betray the memory of her lost love ones—and garner suspicion from her friends—by pursuing a life with him? Or should she seal her own misery by marrying a man she doesn’t love?

This sweeping tale of romance and forgiveness will envelop you as it takes you from a Kentucky fort through the vast wilderness of the West.

 

 

Lilly Haswell remembers everything—whether she wants to, or not . . .

AS LILLY TOILS IN HER FATHER’S APOTHECARY SHOP, preparing herbs and remedies by rote, she is haunted by memories of her mother’s disappearance. Villagers whisper the tale, but her father refuses to discuss it. All the while, she dreams of the world beyond—of travel and adventure and romance.

When a relative offers to host her in London, Lilly discovers the pleasures and pitfalls of fashionable society and suitors, as well as clues about her mother. But will Lilly find what she is searching for—the truth of the past and a love for the future?

Blending romance, family drama, and fascinating historical detail, The Apothecary’s Daughter is a novel to savor and share.

 

 

Pricilla White KNEW God wanted her to be a missionary, NOT A WIFE.

Then, the missionary board declares the ONLY WAY she can serve is to be MARRIED.

Now, married IN NAME ONLY, her epic journey west will test her spirit . . . and the new LONGINGS of her heart.

 

 

CAN LOVE SURVIVE THE SECRETS KEPT BURIED WITHIN A TORMENTED HEART?

Roxanna Rowan may be a genteel Virginia woman, but she is determined to brave the wilds of the untamed frontier to reach a remote Kentucky fort. Eager to reunite with her father, who serves under Colonel Cassius McLinn, Roxanna is devastated to find that her father has been killed on a campaign.

Penniless and out of options, Roxanna is forced to remain at the fort. As she spends more and more time with the fiery Colonel McLinn, the fort is abuzz with intrigue and innuendo. Can Roxanna truly know who the colonel is—and what he’s done?

Immerse yourself in this powerful story of love, faith, and forgiveness set in the tumultuous world of the frontier in 1779.

 

 

SHE NEVER INTENDED TO OVERHEAR HIS.

BUT NOW THAT SHE HAS, what is Lord Bradley to do with her? He cannot let her go, for were the truth to get out, he would lose everything—his reputation, his inheritance, his very home.

He gives Miss Keene little choice but to accept a post at Brightwell Court, where he can make certain she does not spread what she heard. Keeping an eye on the young woman as she cares for the children, he finds himself drawn to her, even as he struggles against the growing attraction. The clever Miss Keene is definitely hiding something.

Moving, mysterious, and romantic, The Silent Governess takes readers inside the intriguing life of a nineteenth-century governess in an English manor house where all is not as it appears.

 

 

Michigan, 1883

IN HER DARKEST HOURS, IS HE THE MAN SHE NEEDS?

Lily Young longs to find her lost sister or will die trying. Heedless of any danger, she searches logging camps and towns, posing as a photographer’s assistant. And then she arrives in Harrison, Michigan—and into the sights of Connell McCormick.

Connell is determined to increase the fortune of his lumber baron father and figures as long as he’s living an upright life, that’s what matters. But when Lilly arrives in town she upends his world, forcing him to confront the truth that dangerous men have gained too much power while good men turn a blind eye.

Vexing but persuasive, Lilly soon secures Connell’s help, drawing them ever closer to each other. Will standing for what’s right cost them both everything?

 

What is in your May “TBR” Pile?