We’re Back With New #20BacklistIn2020 Challenge Reviews!

It almost feels like we committed to our #20BacklistIn2020 Challenge a decade ago! We caught up with some of our staff who’ve read amazing backlist books you’re going to want to add on your TBR (if they’re not already on it, yet!). Want to join the fun and make your pledge? Click here for more details!

The Beach House by Mary Alice Monroe

The Beach House by Mary Alice Monroe

Reviewed by: Rachel B. — VP, Associate Publisher, Harlequin Trade Publishing

Describe the book in 3 words: Lowcountry second chances, with turtles! (three words for a whole book? Too hard!)

Why you wanted to read it: This classic from Mary Alice Monroe has been on my to-read list forever.

Who was your favorite character and why? The family’s matriarch, Olivia “Lovey” Rutledge. I loved her feistiness.

How long did it take you to read the book? One day! I sped through it.

What’s your favorite thing about getting to work with books every day? There’s always another great story ahead of me, every single day.

What’s next on your TBR list? Return to Virgin River by Robyn Carr.

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

Reviewed by: Randy C.—Senior Marketing Manager, Harlequin Trade Publishing

Describe the book in 3 words: Life affirming fiction.

Why you wanted to read it: This book is one of the reasons I work for Harlequin! When I was applying for the job back in 2016, I read the advance reading copy of this, to get familiar with the kind of books I’d be working on. The novel was pitch-perfect, and it convinced me Harlequin was the place I needed to be.

Who was your favorite character and why? Arthur is the star of the show. The journey he goes in, as a commitment to the love he has for his wife, is so beautiful.

How long did it take you to read the book? Two sittings—I remember a glass of wine (or two) was involved.

What’s your favorite thing about getting to work with books every day? I met Phaedra Patrick (the author) at the ABA Winter Institute conference in Minnesota, and she was warm and generous of spirit. There’s nothing like meeting the incredible talent behind the amazing books you work on!

What’s next on your TBR list? I’m reading Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart, which has been nominated for the Booker Prize. It’s almost too good.

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

Describe the book in 3 words: Gripping, unexpected, addictive

Why you wanted to read it: I love a good thriller and this one was right up my alley.

Who was your favorite character and why? Hard to pick but if I had to choose I would say Mia.  She kept me wanting to read more.

How long did it take you to read the book? 2 days

What’s your favorite thing about getting to work with books every day? Getting to read a book well in advance of its release date!

What’s next on your TBR list? The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher, The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton, and The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab to name a few.

Virgin River by Robyn Carr

Virgin River by Robyn Carr

Describe the book in 3 words: Warms the heart.

Why you wanted to read it: I hate to admit that this was one of the times I watched the Netflix show before reading the books! I felt like I needed to go back and see the original inspiration for the show, and I’m glad I did! The story is lovely, and I can see why SO many people have enjoyed the whole series.

Who was your favorite character and why? Mel, all the way! She’s grieving, but you can tell she’s one tough chick and she isn’t afraid to stand up for herself.

How long did it take you to read the book? I cozied up on a Friday afternoon and once I started, I couldn’t put it down! Read the whole thing that day.

What’s your favorite thing about getting to work with books every day? Being able to have conversations with people I’ve never met through our amazing books. 

What’s next on your TBR list? Even though I loved Virgin River, I’m a thriller fanatic at heart. I’m looking reading The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher next!

Unbridled by Diana Palmer

Unbridled by Diana Palmer

Describe the book in 3 words:   Sweet, emotional and satisfying!
 
Why you wanted to read it:   I’ve been reading a lot of really heavy, dark books over the past couple of months and was craving a pallet cleanser—something feel-good and romantic. Also, have you seen the cowboy on that cover?!

Who was your favorite character and why? Sunny was my favorite character.  She’s innocent, she’s sweet, she has a heart of gold and is no stranger to tragedy. It was great to see her get her happily ever after.

How long did it take you to read the book?  I took this with me on vacation and read it lakeside over the course of two days.

What’s your favorite thing about getting to work with books every day?  I love seeing books go through all the various stages of publication—from acquisition, all the way to that first glimpse of the book on a shelf in store.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

What’s next on your TBR list? I’m currently wrapping up One More For Christmas by Sarah Morgan and will keep the Christmas trend going with Christmas at Holiday House by RaeAnne Thayne

Have you read any of these books? Let us know in the comments below!

    Katie Didow

    Katie's been a book nerd ever since she skipped out on recess to read Harry Potter. When she's not reading, you'll find her sewing, baking or binge-watching her old favorite TV shows on Disney+.

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