“The Edge of the World” by Garrett Leigh

about

Shay Maloney is living his dream—on tour with his pirate/folk-rock band. But you can’t know where you’re going until you know where you’re from, and that’s where moody filmmaker and researcher Ollie Pietruska comes in.

The band’s management persuades Shay to let a television company film a documentary about his roots beyond his adoptive Irish family, and Ollie comes into his life knowing more about Shay than Shay’s ever known about himself.

But while Ollie holds the key to Shay’s past, he’s also hiding deep scars. Even as the hardships of the tour bring them closer, Ollie’s demons threaten the blossoming romance. They might both reach the breaking point before Ollie realises he’s been standing on the edge of the world for too long, and it’s Shay who holds the key to his future.

 

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2019 Favorite Reads – Sheri

*blinks* And that’s a wrap on another year! Gracious me, it’s hard to believe. My grandmother always told me that every year that passes picks up speed and I didn’t exactly grasp what she meant. But now I’m beginning to see what she was saying. The one thing I’m trying to do more as these years fly by is to ‘be in the moment‘. It’s easy to lose yourself online or get swept up in the latest fiasco but those things will pass. They may leave a mark but eventually, they will pass. It’s been hard watching authors suffer from the heavy strains and hardships of 2019 and I can only hope 2020 brings a brighter lighter year for everyone.
Reviewing has begun to lose its luster and I’m not quite sure how much longer I’ll continue…I said I would keep at it while it’s still fun.
This is my seventh year and I’m holding onto the enjoyment for now.
Who knows what the next year will bring?
Until then, thank you amazing, strong, resilient authors…
please, keep doing your thing!

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

“Memory of Scorpions: 1~ ‘Scorpion’ 2~ ‘Lying with Scorpions’ 3~ ‘A Taste for Poison'” by Aleksandr Voinov – This impressive series was rereleased and I couldn’t be more grateful. How I missed it the first time I’ll never know. Scorpions are a badass elite group, an exclusive team that members are born into and comrade takes on a whole new meaning. This intense and powerful series left me awestruck time and time again. Filled with devotion and betrayal as well as destruction and passion, I couldn’t get enough. Voinov delivers a potent trio with piercing emotions that leave an everlasting impression. If you’re looking for a wild ride that includes: fantasy, historicals, soldiers and unparalleled romance, look no further.
Scorpion AMAZON Lying with Scorpions AMAZON A Taste for Poison AMAZON

 

“Strays” by Garrett Leigh – I’m not ashamed of my addiction to GL specials. They are sincerely one of my most favorite things. True to course, as with anything penned by Leigh, the emotional upheaval here was intense. Nero and Lenny have a compelling and piercing story to share. I was caught, bound, and unresisting…desperately lost to the pages. If you can handle a punch in the gut on the road to a love story that’s unlike anything you’ve ever experienced…grab a seat and prepare for a story full of real-life and loads of heart.
AMAZON

 

“Family Camp” by Eli Easton – Since this is Eli Easton, there is a lot to like. I always enjoy her smooth writing and was instantly hooked with this improbable pair. She delivers a powerful punch with this emotional and touching story; it’s full of passion, determination, and dedication. If you’re in the mood for a labor of love that includes the first stitches of a patchwork family who will tug on your heartstrings…welcome to Family Camp.
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“Thrown off the Ice” by Taylor Fitzpatrick – Wow…what to say without saying too much? That’s tough. I was consumed with the tale of Mike and Liam. This is an epic story that burned a scar on my heart and I feel honored to wear its mark. I held onto every word, every page, every chapter…begging not to fall. If you take a chance on one story this year, this should be it.
AMAZON

 

“Cowboy Seeks Husband” by Leta Blake & Indra Vaughn – This was FUN. A new to me writing collaboration and hope it’s not the last book they share. Both Walker and Roan are driven to desperate measures when they agree to participate in the new gay bachelor reality show, Queer Seeks Spouse. I smiled, snickered, wept, and melted. If you’re looking for the full monty of feels, this little lion and his cowboy are exactly what you need.
AMAZON

 

“Paint it Black” by Amy Lane – I love this crazy group of misfits and could read about them till they are old and gray. This is Cheever’s chance and I cursed him and cheered for him…and loved him. This is Blake’s new beginning and I cried for him and believed in him…and loved him. Hurt. Healing. Harmony. Their road is rugged with wicked turns, but they figure out together they can make it through anything. Together they are a force to be reckoned with…because with love, there is always light. Beneath the Stain groupies need this book. And if you don’t know Outbreak Monkey, start at the beginning and…good luck.
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“Love Me Whole” by Nicky James – If you’re looking for a stellar example of soulmates, this might be the most precise portrayal I’ve ever seen. Dissociative identity disorder is complicated. Oryn’s daily battles are exhausting and almost inconceivable. And their love is cautious yet all-consuming. Vaughn and Oryn are a perfect example of pure, powerful, unconditional love. Anyone willing to take a chance...Love Me Whole is one of the most tremendous love stories that I’ve ever read.
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“Finding Home: 1~ ‘Oz’ 2~ ‘Milo’ 3~ ‘Gideon’” by Lily Morton – When it comes to Morton, I find myself somewhat of a broken record. I gush and squee and blather on but I just can’t help it. Because…every time it’s true. I think I have a favorite or perhaps she’s outdone herself only to be proven wrong again and again. I absolutely adored Oz. I still do. And yet, I am just as smitten with Milo. And then Gideon elbowed his way to the top. If you haven’t read this insanely amazing series yet, you really really should. If you are looking for vivid and vivacious stories of two unlikely men finding their perfect match, stop here!
Oz AMAZON Milo AMAZON Gideon AMAZON

 

“Soul on Fire” by Tal BauerRuthless. Unforgiving. Haunting. Elliot and Ikolo meet under dreadful conditions. It seems impossible to consider romance existing in the middle of an Ebola crisis in the Congo. And I would argue that this is not a romance. But it IS a love story. A hauntingly beautiful love story. Souls catch fire…and they weren’t alone. I won’t lie, this book hurts. But it also gives you hope. And there’s no greater gift a book can give you than that.
AMAZON

 

“Those Other Books: 1~ ‘The Other Book’ 2~ ‘Adam Only’ 2.5~ ‘One in Between’” by Roe Horvat – I’m a needy greedy reader when it comes to Horvat. It doesn’t matter what it is…it’s tantalizing and divine. Exquisite writing will take your breath away, concentrated pages pack a powerful punch, and sex may dominate but the tenderness is far more seductive. These ‘other books’ are erotic masterpieces and I felt fortunate to witness such breathtaking moments. I can taste the hope. Feel the love. With any luck, you will too.
The Other Book AMAZON Adam Only AMAZON One in Between AMAZON

 

Ta-da! That’s it.
I enjoyed reliving my best of 2019 and hope you did too. Of course, I always have trouble narrowing down my favorites…so here’s my honor’s list of spectacular books that deserve a shout out: “Everybody in the Place” by Suki Fleet, “Fated Hearts” by Garrett Leigh, “After Ben” by Con Riley, “Whatever it Takes” by Barbara Elsborg and “The Christmas Deal” by Keira Andrews. I continue to soak in the amazing stories of my ‘absolutely-must-read’ list and have found a few new names to watch out for.

Despite the highs and lows, 2019 has been good to me. I feel so lucky for the endless blessings I have received, not to mention all the awesome books! I will continue to strive to not take anything for granted and relish in all favors, big and small. I’ve found my way back to Goodreads this year and am thrilled with my new friends and was happy to see familiar faces still there.
As I close the final pages of this year I just want to say…
Hold your loved ones close and don’t forget to celebrate today.
Remember self-care is immensely important.
Find what makes your heart lift and don’t let it go.
And pass along a smile whenever you can.

Cheers to a bright new year!
And as always…
I hope the new year brings you lots of laughter, love, and books that will…. shake any funk.

Hugs,

sheri

“Hometown Christmas” by Garrett Leigh

about

Can Yani and Gavin go from friends to lovers this Christmas?

Yani Nicolaou is sworn off love for good. After fleeing a bad break-up in London, the only blood, sweat, and tears he has left are for his gyro stall at the Christmas market. Rebound fling? No thanks. He’s sticking to one-night-stands.

Ex-army vet Gavin Richie has even less capacity for romance. Managing a homeless shelter while recovering from injury keeps him far too busy. So what if he’s often alone? He’s content being single, or so he thinks until a chance meeting lights a spark he can’t ignore.

Yani is the warmth and affection Gavin hadn’t known he was missing. As Christmas lights up the city, their lives entwine in more ways than one. Falling for each other is easy. Holding on is harder, unless a hometown Christmas proves their love can last longer than the festive season.

 

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“Fated Hearts” by Garrett Leigh

about

“He’s not a wolf.”

Devastated by the death of his best friend, Zio is a soldier with one thing on his mind: revenge. Consumed by a conflict that’s raged as long as he’s been alive, he’s had little time or inclination to learn the legends of the shifter world he was raised in. And he certainly doesn’t have time to deal with a shifter of a different kind, even if it’s for the good of the war effort. For the good of his pack. The fact that he’s already crossed paths with the new face in his unit is almost irrelevant.

Almost.

Do no harm. Give life not death: it’s the oath Devan was reborn to live by, so when he’s sent abroad to embed with a wolf pack as their resident healer, he doesn’t hesitate. In the supernatural world, some bonds are instant—soldiers become brothers, pack become family. But others run deeper and before long, Devan’s at the mercy of instincts he can’t control.

Zio’s inner wolf is desperate to be with Devan, while Devan struggles to keep the pack safe. But as the war escalates, and new love is tainted by anguish and pain, the battles within might prove the toughest of them all.

“I won’t let him die.”

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“Kiss Me Again” by Garrett Leigh

about

Tree surgeon Aidan Drummond is content with his own company. He works alone, and lives alone, and it doesn’t occur to him to want anything else until a life-changing accident lands him in hospital. Then a glimpse of the beautiful boy in the opposite bed changes everything.

Ludo Giordano is trapped on the ward with a bunch of old men. His mind plays tricks on him, keeping him awake. Then late one night, a new face brings a welcome distraction. Their unlikely friendship is addictive. And, like most things in Ludo’s life, temporary.

Back in the real world, Aidan’s monochrome existence is no longer enough. He craves the colour Ludo brought him, and when a chance meeting brings them back together, before long, they’re inseparable again.

But bliss comes with complications. Aidan is on the road to recovery, but Ludo has been unwell his entire life, and that’s not going to change. Aidan can kiss him as much as he likes, but if he can’t help Ludo when he needs him most, they don’t stand a chance.

 

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“Jude” by Garrett Leigh

about

Isha has spent the last year watching his BFF get his happily-ever-after. He’s proud of Dom, but…it hurts to see him so free while Isha’s love life is still on lockdown. Only Isha’s ex-wife knows the secret that he’s kept caged for so long—that he’s queer too, and he’s lonely.

Jude’s too chained to his work to notice what he’s missing by being terminally single, but a new face in the village soon catches his attention. City boy Isha is gorgeous, and when he starts to haunt Jude’s reptile shop as well as the hook-up app on his phone, he’s a welcome distraction from Jude’s business problems.

For a control freak like Isha, letting Jude under his skin is an existential meltdown, but Jude’s not in the market to be anyone’s queer crisis, not when he’s facing troubles of his own. Unlocking their lives could push both men apart forever, but it might be a risk worth taking if sharing is the key to their happy future.

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“Strays” by Garrett Leigh

about

Work, sleep, work, repeat. Nero’s lonely life suits him just fine until his best friend, Cass, asks him to take on a new apprentice—a beautiful young man who’s never set foot in a professional kitchen. Despite his irritation and his lifelong ability to shut the world out, Nero is mesmerised by the vibrant stray, especially when he learns what drove him to seek sanctuary on Nero’s battered old couch.

Lenny Mitchell is living under a cloud of fear. Pursued by a stalker, he has nowhere left to run until Nero offers him a port in a storm—a job at the hottest restaurant in Shepherd’s Bush. Kitchen life proves heady and addictive, and it’s not long before he finds himself falling hard and fast for the man who has taken him in.

Fast-forward a month and a neither man can imagine life without the other, but one thing stands in their way: a lifetime of horrors Nero can’t bring himself to share with Lenny. Or can he? For the first time ever, happiness is there for the taking, and Nero must learn to embrace it before fate steps in and rips it away.

 

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“Cash” by Garrett Leigh

about

Cash is a car mechanic with a secret. Head down, sleeves up, he hides from the past as much as his shattered heart, until a reluctant stumble into a Tottenham bar ends in the one night stand of his dreams.

Hunt saboteur Rae can’t believe his luck when he wakes up the next morning. Cash is gorgeous, and the hottest hook up he’s ever had. He doesn’t expect to see him again, until a twist of fate lands him on Cash’s doorstep a few months later.

United by a cause that’s broken Cash before, they are drawn together. They have more in common than they ever imagined, but with Cash haunted by the past, and Rae so tangled in the present, it’s not long before love isn’t enough to keep them alive.

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“Crossroads” by Garrett Leigh

about

Angelo Giordano and Dylan Hart are more in love than ever, but their reality is far from ideal. With Dylan working in London, and Angelo recovering from chronic illness in Cornwall, they rarely spend more than few nights under the same sky.

Dylan is struggling. Being apart from Angelo is killing him, and he’s at the end of his rope. Angelo can’t live in London anymore, but can Dylan give up his whole life and move to a place that often feels like the end of the world?

As the end of a tough year approaches, they reach a crossroads. Dylan returns to Cornwall for Christmas and Angelo can’t imagine watching him leave again. Can the love that surrounds them on Whisper Farm show them the way home?

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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