Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week a new theme is suggested for bloggers to participate in. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want. Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post. 

This week the topic is: 2021 Releases I Was Excited to Read But Didn’t Get To. Now, this list could go on and on, but I am going to keep it to ten, so here goes.

The Mistletoe Pact

The Mistletoe Pact by Jo Lovett was one of my Christmas books I really wanted to get to. I said I wasn’t going to read anymore Christmas books until July, but I think I will try and slip this one in.

Blurb from Goodreads: Two single thirty-year-olds. One marriage pact. And a night in Vegas that’s about to change everything…

On Christmas Eve eight years ago Evie and Dan made a pact: if they weren’t married by thirty, they were going to marry each other. Of course, neither of them took it seriously, even if Dan has always been mesmerised by Evie’s beautiful smile, and Evie has always fancied Dan, her best-friend’s brother. But then “it” happens. They wake up on Christmas Eve, the night before Evie’s thirtieth birthday in Vegas… married. In a honeymoon suite filled with hundreds of heart-shaped pillows, they realise too late what they’ve done – just like Ross and Rachel.

Surely if they just get a quickie divorce, they can go back to the way things used to be, right? If it wasn’t for the alcohol and Susan-with-the-huge-beehive-hairdo who just wouldn’t take no for an answer, none of this would have happened. They can just go back to being friends. Except moving on is easier said than done when you’ve secretly loved each other forever… but if one of them doesn’t admit that, what happens to their friendship? If they don’t get together this time, what happens to the pact? Are they really ready to let it go for good?


Autumn Dreams at Mermaids Point (Mermaids Point #2)

Autumn Dreams at Mermaids Point by Sarah Bennett is by an author I enjoy. I read Summer Kisses at Mermaids Point and Christmas Surprises at Mermaids Point, but didn’t get to this one. As the next book is coming out soon, I need to get to this one, even though autumn is long gone.

Blurb from Goodreads: When her dreams of young love were cruelly shattered, Nerissa Morgan found it hard to move on. Now, at forty-three, everyone around her is enjoying life while she’s just going through the motions. With her boss retiring and rumours of a new doctor coming in to take over the practice she manages, change is coming, whether she’s ready for it or not.

Following the death of his beloved wife, Tom Nelson buried himself in work at his busy inner-London GP practice. When his teenage children find themselves in trouble at school, he realises he’s completely lost touch with them. Desperate to reconnect before it’s too late, he whisks his family away to the pretty seaside village of Mermaids Point determined to make a fresh start.

But all is not as idyllic as it seems. With his predecessor reluctant to let go of the reins and the children as distant as ever, the last thing Tom needs is an undeniable attraction to the woman he unexpectedly finds himself sharing a roof with…


Hummingbird Lane

I really enjoy Carolyn Brown’s books and wanted to read Hummingbird Lane when it came out. I even downloaded the book and audiobook from KU, but still did not get the opportunity to read or listen to it. I have downloaded it again and hope to get to it soon.

Blurb from Goodreads: Ever since childhood, Emma Merrill and Sophia Mason were bound by a passion for painting. Like all young best friends, they promised to never lose touch. But the girls came from different worlds, and their paths diverged when Emma went to an elite college and Sophie worked her way through state school.

After a decade they’ve reconnected, both in a time of need. Emma has been struggling with depression since her college years, and she’s lost herself under the suffocating influence of her controlling and manipulative mother. Sophie, under pressure to prepare for an upcoming gallery show, whisks the fragile Emma away to a small artist’s colony in south Texas. It’s a raw and beautiful landscape where wildflowers bloom—and perhaps Emma can bloom there, too. In the company of such nurturing and creative strangers—especially Josh Corlen, the openhearted manager of the commune—Emma allows herself to breathe again.

For Sophie and Emma, it’s the perfect place for reflection and to finally share the secret burdens each has carried. Most of all it’s a chance to rediscover their true selves and to make good on the old promise that their friendship would last forever.


To Be Loved by You

To Be Loved by You by Debbie Burns is part of the Rescue Me series. I love reading about the rescued animals and the humans who love them as well as the romance included in the books. A fun, lighthearted series with some great underlying messages.

Blurb from Goodreads: Debbie Burns reminds us that every heart deserves a forever home in this bestselling contemporary romance series set in a no-kill animal shelter. Jeremy and Ava are as different as two people can be, but when they’re thrown together repeatedly, Jeremy starts to see there’s something very true to the theory that opposites attract.

Jeremy Washington couldn’t be happier running his own therapy program for at-risk teens. Between weekend service projects and hanging out with his faithful rescue dog, Rolo, Jeremy doesn’t have time to date–which is fine with him considering the mess his early marriage turned out to be. The only thing he needs now is a new project for the kids in his program, and the High Grove Animal Shelter has the perfect opportunity–a group of dogs and puppies needing foster care.

At the rescue site, Jeremy meets Ava Graham, a yoga teacher looking to expand her practice. Jeremy thinks the kids would really benefit from learning yoga, and Ava’s the perfect person to help–maybe too perfect. Ava’s beautiful, talented, and funny–and she has the biggest heart Jeremy has seen in a long time. But can Ava convince him that mixing business and pleasure could be the key to rescuing his heart?


Mercy (Atlee Pine, #4)

Mercy by David Baldacci is the 4th book in the Atlee Pine series. I really enjoyed the first three books in this series and can’t wait to see what is next for Atlee in her search for Mercy. I am definitely going to read this one soon.

Blurb from Goodreads: FBI Agent Atlee Pine’s harrowing search for her long-lost sister Mercy reaches a boiling point in this breakneck thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci. 

For her entire life, FBI agent Atlee Pine has been searching for her twin sister, Mercy, who was abducted at the age of six and never seen again. Mercy’s disappearance left behind a damaged family that later shattered beyond repair when Atlee’s parents inexplicably abandoned her. Now, after a perilous investigation that nearly proved fatal, Atlee has finally discovered not only the reason behind her parents’ abandonment and Mercy’s kidnapping, but also the most promising breakthrough yet: proof that Mercy survived her abduction and then escaped her captors many years ago. Though Atlee is tantalizingly close to her family at last, the final leg of her long road to Mercy will be the most treacherous yet. Mercy left at least one dead body behind before fleeing her captors years before. Atlee has no idea if her sister is still alive, and if so, how she has been surviving all this time. When the truth is finally revealed, Atlee Pine will face the greatest danger yet, and it may well cost her everything.


Wish You Were Here

Jodi Picoult is an auto-read for me, but unfortunately, she is for lots of other people as well. I am on the list at the library for this one, but still waiting. I will read it as soon as my name finally gets to the top of the list.

Blurb from Goodreads: From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes a deeply moving novel about the resilience of the human spirit in a moment of crisis.

Diana O’Toole is perfectly on track. She will be married by thirty, done having kids by thirty-five, and move out to the New York City suburbs, all while climbing the professional ladder in the cutthroat art auction world. She’s not engaged just yet, but she knows her boyfriend, Finn, a surgical resident, is about to propose on their romantic getaway to the Galápagos—days before her thirtieth birthday. Right on time.

But then a virus that felt worlds away has appeared in the city, and on the eve of their departure, Finn breaks the news: It’s all hands on deck at the hospital. He has to stay behind. You should still go, he assures her, since it would be a shame for all of their nonrefundable trip to go to waste. And so, reluctantly, she goes. Almost immediately, Diana’s dream vacation goes awry. The whole island is now under quarantine, and she is stranded until the borders reopen. Completely isolated, she must venture beyond her comfort zone. Slowly, she carves out a connection with a local family when a teenager with a secret opens up to Diana, despite her father’s suspicion of outsiders.

Diana finds herself examining her relationships, her choices, and herself—and wondering if when she goes home, she too will have evolved into someone completely different.


Firekeeper's Daughter

One of my 2021 goals was to read Native Canadian/American books, specifically by Indigenous Authors. This YA book, Firekeeper’s Daughter had some amazing reviews and was recommended to me by several people. I put my name on the list at the library and when the book became available, I did not have time to read it before heading south so had to return it. I am now on the list for the ebook. I am almost at the top, so soon.

Blurb from Goodreads: Eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. She dreams of a fresh start at college, but when family tragedy strikes, Daunis puts her future on hold to look after her fragile mother. The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team.

Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into an FBI investigation of a lethal new drug. Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, drawing on her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the source. But the search for truth is more complicated than Daunis imagined, exposing secrets and old scars. At the same time, she grows concerned with an investigation that seems more focused on punishing the offenders than protecting the victims. Now, as the deceptions—and deaths—keep growing, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she’ll go for her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.


The Heights

I have only read a couple of books by Louise Candlish, but I have enjoyed the ones I read. I put The Heights on my TBR when I first heard about this book and after reading some good reviews, I really wanted to get to it. Alas, I ran out of time in 2021. I will get to it soon, I hope.

Blurb from Goodreads: He thinks he’s safe up there.
But he’ll never be safe from you.

The Heights is a tall, slender apartment building among the warehouses of Shad Thames, its roof terrace so discreet you wouldn’t know it existed if you weren’t standing at the window of the flat directly opposite. But you are. And that’s when you see a man up there – a man you’d recognize anywhere. He’s older now and his appearance has subtly changed, but it’s definitely him.

Which makes no sense at all since you know he has been dead for over two years. You know this for a fact. Because you’re the one who killed him. 


Never Fall for Your Fiancée (The Merriwell Sisters, #1)

Virginia Heath is an author I enjoy. I love her witty banter and fresh storylines. I don’t read a lot of Regency Romance, but I love her books. Also the fact that this is a rom-com, really piqued my interest. I definitely want to read Never Fall for Your Fiancee, but it got pushed back due to my Christmas reading. Time to get it back on that upcoming TBR.

Blurb from Goodreads: The first in a new historical rom-com series, a handsome earl hires a fake fiancée to keep his matchmaking mother at bay, but hilarity ensues when love threatens to complicate everything.

The last thing Hugh Standish, Earl of Fareham, ever wants is a wife. Unfortunately for him, his mother is determined to find him one, even from across the other side of the ocean. So, Hugh invents a fake fiancée to keep his mother’s matchmaking ways at bay. But when Hugh learns his interfering mother is on a ship bound for England, he realizes his complicated, convoluted but convenient ruse is about to implode. Until he collides with a beautiful woman, who might just be the miracle he needs.

Minerva Merriwell has had to struggle to support herself and her two younger sisters ever since their feckless father abandoned them. Work as a woodcut engraver is few and far between, and the Merriwell sisters are nearly penniless. So, when Hugh asks Minerva to pose as his fiancée while his mother is visiting, she knows that while the scheme sounds ludicrous, the offer is too good to pass up.

Once Minerva and her sisters arrive at Hugh’s estate, of course, nothing goes according to his meticulous plan. As hilarity and miscommunication ensue, while everyone tries to keep their tangled stories straight, Hugh and Minerva’s fake engagement starts to turn into a real romance. But can they trust each other, when their relationship started with a lie?


Harlem Shuffle

Colson Whitehead is an author whose books I always try to read. He is a “My Voices” author and his stories always enlighten me as well as keep me riveted on his stories. I actually just downloaded the audiobook from the library so will be adding this to my read list shortly.

Blurb from Goodreads: From the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys, a gloriously entertaining novel of heists, shakedowns, and rip-offs set in Harlem in the 1960s.

Harlem Shuffle’s ingenious story plays out in a beautifully recreated New York City of the early 1960s. It’s a family saga masquerading as a crime novel, a hilarious morality play, a social novel about race and power, and ultimately a love letter to Harlem. But mostly, it’s a joy to read, another dazzling novel from the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning Colson Whitehead. 


So, there you have it, ten books published in 2021 that I had wanted to read, but did not get to. I tried to select from a variety of genres as I had so many to choose from.

How about you? Are any of these books on your TBR? Did you read them in 2021?