“Jonty’s Halloween” by Barbara Elsborg

about

Jonty and Devan’s Big Adventure travelling around the world is cut short when Devan’s mother falls ill, and they have to fly home. Leaving Jonty to his own devices is never a good idea and before Devan can say no, Jonty has talked his way into hosting a Halloween extravaganza at The Dunes hotel.

Family and friends are roped in to help and perform on the evening, but someone has it in for Jonty who gets a fright he hadn’t expected.

Join Jonty and his friends and family in a Halloween extravaganza with a surprise ending!

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“Waiting for Ru” by Barbara Elsborg

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Ruari Byrne may not have had an easy life, but now he’s determined to live in the present, not his past. Trouble is, it’s hard to be independent when you’ve no money and no qualifications. All Ru knows is horses, and when he finds out that his beloved Joni and Cookie are off to auction, his heart is in his throat. How can he protect them if he can’t even look after himself?

Jasim bin Rajhi hadn’t intended to buy two working mares; the horses in his rarefied life are priceless polo ponies, but there’s something that intrigues him about the guileless young man who’s so concerned for their welfare. They might be worlds apart in every way, but Jasim doesn’t want this to be the last time he sees Ru. It can’t be because Ru might just be the one he’s been waiting for.

Reunited at Jasim’s polo grounds, the pair bond over lives lived in darkness and secrecy. But there’s a truth about Jasim that should make Ru bolt like his beloved horses. Jasim knows he should let Ru go for his own safety, and yet it feels like happiness might be within their grasp. Can they overcome their pasts and trust in a future, or will Jasim’s obligations forever have a hold on him?

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“Reinventing Cato” by Barbara Elsborg

about

Fate is not always written in the stars…

Being headhunted by NASA might be his ultimate dream, but Cato’s life still sucks. He’s tired of anonymous one-night stands. He’s tired of being lonely. And, frankly, he’s tired of himself. As the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, he realises the only thing to do if he wants to be happy is to reinvent himself.

Persuaded by his sister to spend New Year’s Eve in Scotland with his parents, Vigge is counting down the hours until he can escape the memory of why their family fractured, and his part in it. He hasn’t belonged anywhere since he left eighteen years ago. He’s channelled the guilt he feels into finding truth and justice for others, but his own life is empty and cold.

A chance encounter in a blizzard brings Vigge and Cato together. Vigge’s held himself back from looking for love for so long, traumatised by what happened when he came out—and now he’s pent up and falling hard for a guy he’s picked up in a snow storm. This has to stop now.

Have Vigge and Cato thrown away the chance of something lasting? Or is it written in the stars that this is just the beginning?

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“Jonty in Russia” by Barbara Elsborg

about

When Devan, Best Boyfriend in the Entire World, books them a trip to Russia in February, Jonty’s excitement knows no bounds. There’s packing to do, plans to be made, and places to see.

Armed with his smile and a handful of dubious Russian Phrases, Jonty is ready for the delights Vladivostok has to offer—the famous glass beach he’s dreamed about, ice skating on a frozen sea, and snow. And maybe even vodka.

But, is Vladivostok ready for Jonty Bloom?

This takes place after ‘Jonty’s Christmas’ and before the epilogue in ‘The Making of Jonty Bloom’.

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“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

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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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