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

“Loving a Warrior” by Melanie Hansen

about

BUD/S: six months of the most intense training there is. It’s survival of the toughest, and Matt Knytych is determined to come out the other side a navy SEAL.

Distraction is life or death. And just the sight of former marine Shane Hovland is enough to shake Matt’s concentration.

Shane came to BUD/S training ready to prove himself—again. Semper Fi is forever, but he needs a new start. Not this dangerous heat with a man he barely knows.

Everything they’ve ever wanted is riding on a thin, punishing line. And they’ll have to fight for more than just each other if they want to make it through intact.

After all, the only easy day was yesterday.

 

Read More

“Point of Contact” by Melanie Hansen

about

Only love can heal an impossibly broken heart 

There’d forever been a thread running through Trevor Estes’s life—his son, Riley, strong and constant like a heartbeat. But when Riley is killed in combat, everything in Trevor’s life unravels into a mess he doesn’t know how to mourn.

Then Jesse Byrne, Riley’s friend and platoon mate, arrives on Trevor’s doorstep with a box of Riley’s things. Jesse’s all-too-familiar grief provides an unlikely source of comfort for Trevor: knowing he’s not alone is exactly what he needs.

Trevor never imagined he’d find someone who fills his heart with hope again. As the pair celebrate Riley’s memory, their unique bond deepens into something irreplaceable—and something neither man can live without.

But diving into a relationship can’t be so simple. Being together means Trevor risking the last link he has to his son…leaving Jesse to wonder if he’ll ever be enough, or if Trevor will always be haunted by the past.

 

Read More

“Everything Changes” by Melanie Hansen

about

What happens when friendship catches fire?

Former Marine and lower-leg amputee Carey Everett keeps a grueling schedule of counseling fellow war veterans and their families. The injury he received in Afghanistan forces him to rely on a reserve of strength he didn’t even know he had. A much deserved vacation will let him reconnect with his best friend, who saved his life and has been there for him through devastating injury and painful recovery.

Part-time EMT and aspiring singer Jase DeSantis has been in love with Carey for years, but he’s come to accept that his straight friend will never be able to offer more. Jase fills his days with band rehearsals, ambulance shifts, and willing groupies, all while trying to cope with debilitating PTSD.

A week of sun, fun, and music in San Diego changes Jase and Carey’s lives forever when their relationship takes an unexpected turn. Jase has been longing for that change, but it leaves Carey reeling with confusion. As Jase fights to hold things together, Carey deals with doubts, fears, and his own preconceived notions about labels and the true nature of love.

 

Read More

“See My Words” by Melanie Hansen

about

Successful underwear model Scott Ashworth is lucky—his attack at the hands of an unknown assailant will leave no visible scars. His professional goals are still within reach, and best of all, his stepbrother Rylan Mahoney is back in his life, their teenage infatuation at last getting the chance to deepen into something more.

Thrown together by the circumstances of Scott’s injury, Rylan’s long-dormant feelings for him are quickly rekindled, though he’s haunted by the memory of Scott’s disappearance on the night of his eighteenth birthday and the six missing years that followed. Rylan pushes Scott for the truth, a firm believer in the maxim that secrets lose their power once they’re shared—but resurrecting old demons almost always comes with a price.

Before Scott knows it, his life is spiraling out of control, his toxic insecurities welling up to threaten the fragile relationship he’s building with Rylan. Learning to let go of the past and believe in himself will be Scott’s greatest challenge, or else he risks losing Rylan forever this time.

 

Read More

“Pieces of Me” by Melanie Hansen

about

Deep in the heart of the Florida Panhandle, Scott Ashworth’s bleak life stretches out before him with not much hope for the future. His hardscrabble days are brightened by the arrival of a new stepbrother, Rylan Mahoney, who quickly becomes the friend Scott so desperately needs. Their relationship has just started to deepen into more, when during the course of one terrible night, what Scott overhears sends him fleeing from his home, never to return.

Flash forward six years, and Scott is now the hottest club host on the Phoenix gay scene. He takes what he wants, does what he wants, and does whom he wants. It’s a good life, but the journey to local popularity and fame wasn’t an easy one. For all that Scott’s looks are a blessing, at the same time they’re a curse—the source of his alcoholic mother’s inexplicable hatred.

Rylan dreams of photojournalistic glory. He’s in Phoenix looking for the story of a lifetime, but the project isn’t coming to fruition. Needing rent money, he accepts a gig at Phoenix Pride hawking lewd lollipops and edible condoms…all while wearing gold lamé hot pants and a matching bow tie. When Rylan’s house keys and street clothes go missing after his shift, he’s desperate, until a stranger in a convertible stops to help.

The man is absolute sex on legs, and Rylan is jolted when he recognizes him—his stepbrother Scott Ashworth, long missing but suddenly larger than life. Reunited after six years apart, Scott and Rylan are determined to put their past behind them, but fate intervenes and leaves their future in jeopardy once again.

 

Read More

“Unquiet” by Melanie Hansen

about

Loren Smith has been in love with Eliot Devlin almost his entire life. During their turbulent childhood and teen years, Loren didn’t always understand Eliot, and sometimes he could be a challenge, but Eliot was the only one to ever truly ease Loren’s deep loneliness and accept him. When Eliot’s increasingly erratic and self-destructive behavior culminates in a suicide attempt at seventeen, Loren is devastated.

Upon meeting again by chance nine years later, Loren is enjoying a successful career as a police officer while Eliot’s life has been a constant struggle for stability. In and out of mental hospitals, with a rap sheet a mile long, he continues to be buffeted by the twin storms of mania and depression. Loren’s love and protectiveness for Eliot are deeply ingrained in him, however, and their feelings for each other are quickly rekindled.

Loren has issues of his own he’s dealing with, and trying to understand and cope with Eliot’s bipolar disorder isn’t easy. They believe they’re meant to be, and Eliot brings a fulfillment to Loren’s life that no one else will ever match. But as they both come to realize, love by itself can’t cure all.

 

Read More