“Winterworld” by Barbara Elsborg

about

‘Tis the season of Santa and snow and sparkles…and secrets.
With the looming grand opening of Winterworld, the Overton family’s Christmas extravaganza, the last thing groundsman Kem needs is to be partnered with the Overtons’ prodigal son. Kem’s got enough on his plate with a brother increasingly lost to drugs, a spurned boss, herding three adoring but out-of-control wolfhounds, not to mention Lady Overton’s contagious love of all things Christmas, and her never-ending to-do list. He has no time or desire to babysit a clueless young aristocrat.

Fabian’s been travelling the world for the past two years. Or at least, that’s his parents’ version of events. Lying low at the family estate, no home or money or future to call his own, he has no option but to toe their line. And yet, despite his resentment of his every move being orchestrated, he discovers working with Kem has its benefits, including those of the sexy, fun kind.

Winterworld isn’t the only magic Kem and Fabian are creating. Attraction, friendship and trust deepen as they discover they have more in common than either thought possible — including pasts and secrets neither wants to talk about. But their budding relationship doesn’t please everyone, and acts of betrayal threaten to blow them apart for good. Can the magic of Christmas, a secretive, sees-all Santa, and a meddling but well-meaning mother, save the day?

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2020 Favorite Reads – Sheri

If there was ever a year I needed an escape, 2020 takes the cake. And all the pies and cookies and every other sweet baked good on the planet. Wow, What. A. Year. I know in the future, I will look back and remember how resilient we were. How we dug deep, then deeper and helped one another and…survived. We will honor those unfortunate souls that did not, remember the heroes, and focus on what helped us get through. In all honesty, there was a stretch when I struggled to read. I couldn’t concentrate and my anxiety ran free. But as the months slipped by I was forced to face the mounting uncertainties and roll with the punches. It was during that time that I turned to my kindle to rescue me. To take me away from the overwhelming stress I battled every day. I know each and every one of us will have a different story, unique in our own ways, and I’d love to hear yours. My personal quarantine days included loads of baking, puzzles, projects, and unexpected homeschooling. This post is always about reflection and celebration and despite the many hardships, I was extremely blessed this year. Thanks to all the healthcare warriors, frontline workers, my blue line family, and my book family…I am more grateful than you’ll ever know.
So let’s get this party started!

….*dum-ba-badump*…
In no particular order, here are my most treasured books and series from this past year…

“Stormhaven and Necropolis” by Jordan Hawk
– As this year began, I began a journey back in time. Whyborne and Griffin quickly swept me away and I couldn’t get enough. I began a lovely book binge and devoured the first half of this series in a matter of a few weeks. These two books, in particular, knocked me off my feet. I am powerless to their charms. I relish in their affection and can’t seem to get enough of them. Whyborne and Griffins fans know exactly what I mean…and if you’re not part of this elite group….why not? Seriously, hop on this marvelously manic adventure, it’s too good to miss. I can’t wait to dive back in and finish this spectacular series!
Stormhaven AMAZON Necropolis AMAZON 

 

“The Edge of the World” by Garrett Leigh
– As always, Garrett brings vibrant and memorable men to the pages. Exceptional writing pulls you into their lives and I couldn’t wait to discover everything there was to know. They discover that knowing and accepting your past can help shine a light on your future. Standing at the edge of the world can be scary as shit but also take you on a trip to the clouds…if you’ve imagined that’s a place filled with comfort food and breathtaking tunes you might want to check this out. Actually, there’s no might about it. Go on…and give them all my love.
AMAZON

 

“The Mating of Michael” by Eli Easton
– Loved this series and above all, I loved this book. Fan meets favorite author and falls in love? Yes, please! They had a tentative beginning that blossomed into a delicate friendship. I loved how they overcame obstacles together. I loved how they loved one another. I think Michael is a treasure and couldn’t wait for him to find his beloved. It wasn’t an easy path but the best things never are, are they? Thanks for this one Eli, it warmed me to the core.
AMAZON

 

“The Parable of the Mustard Seed” by Lisa Henry
– Stop. Listen. Do you hear that? No? Me neither. But I can tell you what’s happening in this silence. A new book scar is healing on my heart. *deep breath* Yeah, this is one of those books. So many threads are spun together and I was awestruck with each and every one. John and Caleb share a special love, nothing, and no one can ever compare or compete between these two. This book is for…only those looking for an unforgettable story about a boy and his rescuer and how one day, he rescued him right back.

AMAZON

 

“Mean Machine” by Alexandr Voinov
– When it comes to Voinov, I always expect the unexpected. This particular tale revolves around a fight. I’m not talking about in the ring. Admittedly we do witness many ringside bloody battles and I held my breath for each one. There is so much that I never knew! But the ultimate fight doesn’t involve gloves. Brook is fighting for his life, his freedom, and most importantly, his redemption. If you’re searching for something that packs a punch, this heavyweight is a sure-fire winner.
AMAZON

 

“Off Balance” by Jay Hogan
– I’m still dipping my toes into Hogan’s wonderful writing but now I want to dive straight in and immerse myself completely. There is so much heart in this book. But not only are the feels in full effect but it’s passionate, lively, and overflowing with courage and hope. I believe courage and hope go hand-in-hand. You must be brave to dream and daring to trust. Anyone interested in witnessing a remarkable counterbalance to lost dreams and the beauty of fresh wishes becoming reality…this is exactly what you need.
AMAZON

 

“His Horizon and His Compass” by Con Riley
– I love it when reading a story becomes a physical experience. I always adore slipping into one of Riley’s worlds but this particular case was special. I was sitting on the edge of my seat and biting my fingernails as the emotional storm crashed and calmed. Riley delivers a multifaceted tale with rugged terrain that swept me off my feet. I JUST finished His Compass and am still seeing stars. These stories are anything but smooth sailing but if you’re searching for a family-focused journey with heartache, humor, and heat….hop on, you won’t want to miss these incredible voyages. 
His Horizon AMAZON  His Compass AMAZON

 

“Unfinished Business 1~ The Making of Jonty Bloom 1.5~ Jonty’s Christmas 2~ A Long Way Back‘” by Barbara Elsborg
– My favorite series of the year!! I always adore Elsborg’s witty and quirky characters but Jonty slipped through a crack in my heart and nestled in for the long run. Jonty is remarkable and I dare anyone to tell me differently. Add Devan, Tay, and Ink and I was head over heels in love. For me, this was the perfect package; remarkable writing, courageous characters, and a riveting tale as they embark on sexy self-discovery and redemption. Absolutely stunning. And sandwich in a sensational and sexy holiday tale that will make you laugh and cry…possibly at the same time!
The Making of Jonty Bloom  AMAZON  Jonty’s Christmas AMAZON  A Long Way Back AMAZON  

 

“A Sweet Man” by Jaime Reese
The Men of Halfway House have secured their spot on my absolute joy list and this new release was a sunny spot during a time of dark clouds. These two, Bull and Ben, made me so happy. I swooned, I full-body sighed, and I smiled almost the entire time. This spirited and sensual love story captivated me and I have all the confidence you will find yourself rapt as well. If you’re searching for a concoction of sugar-coated with a sinful center, this exceptional pairing is just what you need.
AMAZON 

“Beautiful Beast” by Roe Horvat
– Adorable meet-cute leads to a holy-hotness-not-to-be-forgotten first kiss with cute and sexy texting in between. Kevin craves a particular dynamic and power roles that Joakim is more than happy to oblige. Explicit desires quickly went from whispered cravings to a fulfilled frenzy of passion. I’m not only devoted to Roe’s words but also this series for good reason. If you’ve savored these “other” couples as I have, you won’t want to miss their return and the newest duo joining the group.
AMAZON 

Sometimes There’s Stars” by Suki Fleet
– I don’t know how Suki does it, but they present their best new couple every time. This story only took me until 13% and I was overcome with a surge of emotions, left wonderstruck before it barely began. It’s a heartfelt and heartwrenching story that will remain with you long after the sensational ending. If you want to discover more about the boy who is bottled sunshine personified, this is for you. I have no doubt Peri and Echo will leave their mark on your heart. I’m happy and proud to add another Fleet scar to mine…for some scars are special.
AMAZON

 

 

There we go! I may have included an extra this year but all things considered, I’m allowing some wiggle room and extra book love. I always have a blast looking back at my favorites and 2020 was no exception. Since I can never keep it to just ten (ahem, eleven this year), here’s my honor list of books that shined a bit brighter and deserve a nod of appreciation: “Marc Jillson & the Gazebo” by Anyta Sunday, “Spring Strings” by Lily Morton, “Redemption” by Garrett Leigh, “Tic Tac Mistletoe” by NR Walker and “The Christmas I Know” by Nicky James. I truly adored my holiday stories this year and they lifted my spirit when I needed a boost.

2021 is a year of hope.
I hope you stay well and healthy.
I hope you find happiness and joy in the most unexpected places.
I hope we all move forward with compassion for our friends, neighbors, and strangers that cross our path.
And I hope you are showered with love, surrounded with peace, and filled with a deep faith that we can and will weather any storm…but hopefully with unlimited books at your disposal.

Thanks to all the creators for finding sunshine in the dark and sharing it with the rest of us. The comfort of a good book took on a whole new meaning this year.
Cheers to a bright new year!
And as always…
I hope the new year brings you health, laughter, love, and books that will…. shake any funk.

Hugs,

sheri

“Not Over Yet” by Barbara Elsborg

about

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me…
One pissed off Santa…
A whole heap of trouble…

The last thing Phin feels like doing is going to a New Year’s Eve party. After a day dealing with sick animals, all he wants is a glass of red wine, some food and his bed. But as he drives home down a steep, snow-covered hill, he skids and hits a guy dressed as Santa Claus.

Maric’s not badly hurt, but he’s pissed off. He’s pretty sure Phin’s not the one he’s supposed to find, but when Phin takes him to his cottage, and Maric sees no sign of festivities, he begins to wonder if Phin is the one who needs his help.

Much as Phin would like to get rid of Maric, the thickly falling snow makes it too dangerous for Phin to drive him anywhere. The pair are stuck together, which suits Maric just fine. Now all he needs is luck and a bit of magic.
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“Jonty’s Christmas” by Barbara Elsborg

about

Have you ever had something that you’re really looking forward to but dreading at the same time?

Jonty’s always longed for a traditional family Christmas, and his boyfriend Devan thinks it’s the perfect time for Jonty to meet his big, boisterous, Christmas-loving family. But Jonty’s sure Devan’s parents aren’t going to think he’s good enough for their son. He probably isn’t. But he is good for Devan and the arrival of an unexpected guest gives him a chance to prove it.

Jonty never backs down from a challenge. His mouth won’t let him. But his brain is telling him that if he interferes, he might wreck any hope of acceptance. On the other hand, could his reward be the best Christmas present ever?

A little Christmas story that takes place before the epilogue of The Making of Jonty Bloom but can be read as a standalone.

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“A Long Way Back” by Barbara Elsborg

about

A serious accident may have left Tay’s body broken, but he’s determined to live an independent life at any cost. Except he’s barely coping. Alone and isolated in London, his only solace comes from the pain numbing drugs he’s become addicted to.

Ink’s on the run. He keeps his head low, but London streets don’t feel safe. The only way to stay under the radar is to keep moving and not let anyone or anything get close. But the stray mutt that’s latched onto Ink has other ideas.

A chance encounter and Ink’s bungled attempt to free himself from his four-legged companion leads to the offer of a job as a live-in helper. Tay’s moody and difficult, but he’s also scared and vulnerable, and Ink finds himself saying yes when he should be saying no.

Can Tay and Ink find a clear path on the road towards true love? Or will their broken lives prove to be one roadblock too many?

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“The Making of Jonty Bloom” by Barbara Elsborg

about

Finding his fiancé in bed with his brother was bad enough, finding out they’re getting married is the final blow.

Devan Smith needs to cool his anger. He needs to forget the lies and betrayals and work on resetting his life. When his boss orders him to scope out a remote hotel for a possible buyout, Devan’s only interested in getting the job done and getting out. What he’s not interested in is the guy with the piercings, bleached hair, and the smart, kissable mouth behind the reception desk.

Working the hotel reception is the only thing that’s stable in Jonty Bloom’s unstable life. His best friend has had a terrible accident, his ex refuses to move on, and his eight-year-old self is still waiting for his mother to collect him from school. Jonty needs his job. What he doesn’t need is the rude, arrogant, and hot as they come guy who’s rocked up demanding he be let into his room right now.

Thrown together by a freak accident, Devan and Jonty’s lives entwine, and neither wants to loosen the knot. Can the irrepressible Jonty be the reset Devan needs? Can Devan be the making of Jonty Bloom, or will secrets drive them apart?

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“Second Chance” by Barbara Elsborg

about

Ryder’s on the company bonding trip from hell, five days of competitive cycling with competitive colleagues and an even more competitive boss. Faced with yet another vertical climb, he ignores his uninvited, insistent inner cheerleader. No, he cannot keep up, and what’s more, he’s had enough. And the weather appears to agree he should stop, when sun turns in an instant to thick fog.

Callan’s at Whittaker’s Auction House to bid on fae land that his werewolf pack need as their new home, when an unsuspecting human stumbles through the door. Ryder is out of breath, out of luck, way out of his depth—and apparently the newest item on the auctioneer’s block. Unexpectedly tempting, if Callan had the money.

As the bidding heats up and Ryder proves dangerously irresistible to the assembled supernatural creatures, the situation grows more and more precarious. When Callan interferes, he puts his pack’s future in peril. Despite knowing how devious faeries can be, desperation makes Callan accept a deal, a chance to win the land for his pack and a future with Ryder. But it’s a risk. Possibly a deadly one.

This is not ‘just another Valentine’s story’, it’s a Barbara Elsborg Valentine’s story (ish). So don’t expect the usual sonnets and flowers and Cupids, but do expect the unexpected – vampires, weres, witches and warlocks. Oh, and a vengeful fae. Things are not quite as they may seem. You have been warned!

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“Whatever it Takes” by Barbara Elsborg

about

War in Syria has devastated Zain’s country, destroyed his family and broken his heart. When there is nothing left to stay for, he journeys to England, determined to follow in his father’s footsteps and train as a doctor in London. He might be a refugee with no money, no friends and no qualifications but he still has his dreams and he’ll do whatever it takes to ensure his future turns out to be the one he wants.

Roman is a world away from the naïve Russian boy who lost everything, one devastating day. Now he’s a fixer for a wealthy Russian, keeping the guy’s business dealings away from the attention of the British authorities. Roman is balanced on a moral tightrope which grows more unsteady by the day. The last thing he needs is to become emotionally involved with a young Syrian, especially when he can’t afford to trust anyone.

A chance discovery in Roman’s car by Zain sets off a violent chain reaction and Zain is thrown into a world that threatens not just his dreams but his life. Roman has difficult decisions to make. He’s determined to do whatever it takes to keep Zain safe. But lingering shadows from their pasts as well as prominent figures from Roman’s present need to be eliminated if they’re to have a chance together.
As lies and danger escalate, are they doomed before they’ve even begun?

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“A Faerie Story” by Barbara Elsborg

about

Once upon a time,
the fate of three men was decided in a world where it was forever Christmas.

A faerie forced to flee his homeland

Kaegan lives in fear of his vicious twin brother. Tormented and abused, his only option is to escape to the one place he knows he’ll be safe: Inverkillen, a haven of magic, eternal Christmas where he has the chance to live the life he craves. But leaving Faerieland means taking a huge risk.

A man searching for a second chance

Aiden’s world is broken. Life is a dark and wretched place—until a chance encounter with Kaegan gives him hope for a brighter future. But fate has never been Aiden’s friend. No sooner has Kaegan come into his life, than he’s gone. Aiden is resigned to loneliness, but after he makes a startling discovery, he takes a decision that could be the biggest gamble of his life.

An anguished soul ready to end it all

Pascal is afraid to love. He’s determined not to risk his heart when he knows everything can be snatched away in a single moment. A fateful meeting leads to a night of enchantment and passion, leaving Pascal hungry to know more about the mysterious Kaegan. But when morning comes, Kaegan is gone, leaving Pascal to follow the one clue he has to the beautiful stranger’s whereabouts.

Three men in search of a second chance, deep in a snowy wilderness. Will Christmas cast its magic to give them the greatest gift of all: their Happy Ever After?

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2018 Favorite Reads – Sheri

“Should Old Acquaintance be forgot, and never thought upon…” Wait? What?! It’s over?? Where did this year go? This wraps up my sixth-year book blogging and I can’t believe how fast time flies by. One of my favorite end of the year traditions is taking a moment to celebrate the books that made the biggest impression on me during the past twelve months. The direction and flow of my reading may change slightly but looking back I realize how blessed I am. I find great joy and comfort slipping into the wonders of my kindle and I couldn’t do that without all of the courageous authors that continue to gift us with their stories. I believe in creating your own bit of happiness and carving out book time with my favorite, or perhaps new, author is one of the ways that I find sunshine. So to all the authors out there…thank you. Thank you for coming into my life, bringing light, and making me…happy.

In no particular order,
Here are my most treasured books from this past year…..

“Vanilla Clouds” by Roe Horvat – Last year I had a striking moment of ‘love at first page’ and I am still hopelessly in love with Horvat’s stories. Roe continues to slay me with their clever gift of saturating the pages with fierce emotions. This particular tale is like a drop of ambrosia and dipped in pure ecstasy. It is delicious and divine. If you haven’t experienced the unique style of Horvat yet, I urge you to do so. This is a heavenly place to start.  AMAZON

 

“Slide” by Garrett Leigh – I had another sublime year with Garrett Leigh. I attempted to pace myself for adequate savoring time but it was a futile endeavor. Once my journey with Pete and Ash began, I couldn’t stop. If you are in the mood for a powerful and potent story that is sure to knock you down but will lift you to places you’ve only dreamed of…Slide is everything you need. You may want to plan ahead and grab the entire series, trust me on this one. AMAZON

 

“Galaxies and Oceans” by N.R. Walker – Walker continues to secure her place on my auto-buy list. This story begins with an electrifying bite and I was hooked from the first page. Aubrey and Patrick demonstrate the healing powers of love. Their love is deeply passionate, fierce and firm, and beautifully brave. If you’re looking for swoon, eager for sexy, and wish to be captivated by a love story mapped by the stars, follow the light here. AMAZON

 

“The Story of Us” by Barbara Elsborg – This story rocked my world. But isn’t just a story…it’s an experience. This experience isn’t just moving…it’s a string of explosions. These explosions transfer from the pages…and directly hit your heart. I was overwhelmed with a tsunami of feels. Zed and Caspian will forever hold a place in my heart. This heartwrenching tale isn’t for everyone but if you’re feeling bold, prepare for turmoil and trust, hurt and healing, and limitless love. AMAZON

“Point of Contact” by Melanie Hansen – This powerful and stunning story wrung me out. Hansen has the profound ability to obliterate my heart and then slowly piece it back together again. One man brings two together and then leaves them. Trevor witnessed Riley’s first breath and Jesse witnessed his last, and this connection soothes two broken men unlike anything else. If you love your books with turbulence and a torrential downpour of emotions, this is for you. AMAZON

 

“Shattered Glass” by Dani Alexander – I am totally late to the party on this one. I would love to extend the invitation if you haven’t fallen into the rabbit hole…yet. Trust me, it’s a place you want to be. I adored both Austin and Peter. This sassy story is an elaborate journey of twists and turns. Alexander delivers a complete package of bellyaching laughs, eye leaking sniffles, foot stomping tantrums, and spontaneously combusting passion. The sequel should be coming next year and I can hardly wait! AMAZON

 

“A Chosen Man” by Jaime Reese – This series owns me. Every single time…each new couple…takes me far past my expectations. There really is no comparison. I hope they continue talking to Jaime for many more books to come because I’m without a doubt addicted. I LOVE them. This time around we have Wall and Dylan. They are very different men in a very difficult and dangerous situation…but you can’t stop love. Trust, tenacity and tender hope spark a fire between them. Their story is brimming with adrenaline, attitude, and an abundance of love.  AMAZON

“If I Should Stumble” by Claire Davis & Al Stewart – This fabulous penning duo blows me away with their words. Kaz is a refugee in the UK and he instantly stole my heart. I liked Zach but I loved that he was everything that Kaz needed. Kaz has suffered and he has suffered greatly. But now he has love, strength, and light to chase away the demons. Their story is phenomenal and Davis and Stewart marvel me with their eloquence. This is the third book of Tork and Adam and if you’re not yet acquainted, I highly suggest you do so. Then make your way to Kaz and Zack and please give them both my love.  AMAZON

“Deal Maker” by Lily Morton -I’m head over heels in love with Morton’s charming stories. I can’t get enough! Jude and Asa are larger than life. This is the second book in the series and it’s just as spectacular as the first. The writing, the humor, the flow, the balance…it’s all spot on. This story is rich in comedy, feels, and passion. It has absolutely everything I consider necessary to compose a stellar read.  AMAZON

“Bitten By the Alpha” by Annabelle Jacobs – This is a remarkable series that I simply can’t get enough of. I felt like I won the lottery when I found out Cam and Gareth were going to have their own book. Jacobs not only excels with her incredible realm but surpasses all other shifter series in my opinion. The man, the wolf, the shift…she covers it all with a masterful hand. Cam accepts his fate and allows himself to love again. It is glorious! If wolves call to you, The Regent Park pack outdoes, outruns, and outshines every other shifter series I’ve read. Seriously, you need them. AMAZON

And there you go! This completes my best of 2018 with an honor’s list of: “A Springful of Winters” By Dawn Sister, “Lucky” by Garrett Leigh, “Shades” by Jaime Reese, “Private Charter” by N.R. Walker, “Someday It Will Be” by S.A. McAuley, “Just like Heaven” by Suki Fleet, “A Love Song for the Sad Man in the White Coat” by Roe Horvat and “A Christmas Angel” by Eli Easton. I’ve found my solid circle with a few new faces and they continue to rock my world.

2018 was gone in a flash. I am grateful for the countless blessings bestowed upon me, my family, and friends. Cheers to a new and bright year! And yet again…I hope the new year brings you lots of laughter, love, and books that will…. shake any funk.

Hugs,

sheri