books

Top 10 Book I Read in 2018

black woman reading books-3454398_1920.pixabay

Here are the top 10 books I read in 2018 in the order that I read them. I gave all of them 5 stars as they were well written, held my attention through to the end and I think the authors are all awesome.

An Extraordinary Union (The Loyal League, Book 1) by Alyssa Cole

an extraordinary union by alyssa cole
Elle Burns is a former slave with a passion for justice and an eidetic memory. Trading in her life of freedom in Massachusetts, she returns to the indignity of slavery in the South—to spy for the Union Army.

Malcolm McCall is a detective for Pinkerton’s Secret Service. Subterfuge is his calling, but he’s facing his deadliest mission yet—risking his life to infiltrate a Rebel enclave in Virginia.

Two undercover agents who share a common cause—and an undeniable attraction—Malcolm and Elle join forces when they discover a plot that could turn the tide of the war in the Confederacy’s favor. Caught in a tightening web of wartime intrigue, and fighting a fiery and forbidden love, Malcolm and Elle must make their boldest move to preserve the Union at any cost—even if it means losing each other . . .

A Hope Divided (The Loyal League, Book 2) by Alyssa Cole

a hope divided by alyssa coleFor all of the War Between the States, Marlie Lynch has helped the cause in peace: with coded letters about anti-Rebel uprisings in her Carolina woods, tisanes and poultices for Union prisoners, and silent aid to fleeing slave and Freeman alike. Her formerly enslaved mother’s traditions and the name of a white father she never knew have protected her—until the vicious Confederate Home Guard claims Marlie’s home for their new base of operations in the guerrilla war against Southern resistors of the Rebel cause.
 
Unbeknownst to those under her roof, escaped prisoner Ewan McCall is sheltering in her laboratory. Seemingly a quiet philosopher, Ewan has his own history with the cruel captain of the Home Guard, and a thoughtful but unbending strength Marlie finds irresistible.
 
When the revelation of a stunning family secret places Marlie’s freedom on the line,  she and Ewan have to run for their lives into the hostile Carolina night. Following the path of the Underground Railroad, they find themselves caught up in a vicious battle that could dash their hopes of love—and freedom—before they ever cross state lines.

Scoring with the Wrong Twin (WAGS, Book 1) by Naima Simone

scoring with the wrong twin by naima simoneShy, awkward Sophia Cruz has a hard time telling her vivacious identical twin “no.” But when her sister begs her to swap places for a modeling shoot, she caves … again. Then Zephirin Black walks onto the set. The brooding, aloof, and gorgeous tight end for the Washington Warriors. But she can keep it professional… She has to. Because the adorkable Cruz twin has no luck with guys once they compare her to her sister.

After a bad break-up, Zeph hasn’t been big on second chances—and even less with trust. But he finds himself giving please-call-me-by-my-middle-name-Sophia both. The woman he’d dismissed as a spoiled cover model is different from the first time he met her. Quirkier. Funnier. Definitely sexier. What started as one night turns into another…and another…and another…

Still, Sophia can’t go on keeping her secret from him. But telling Zeph the truth will mean losing him for good.

Judgement Road (Torpedo Ink, Book 1) by Christine Feehan

judgement road by christine feehanA brutal education in a Russian training facility for assassins has taught this group of men one thing: It’s a long road to redemption...

As the enforcer of the Torpedo Ink motorcycle club, Reaper lives for riding and fighting. He’s a stone-cold killer who turns his wrath on those who deserve it. Feelings are a weakness he can’t afford–until a gorgeous bartender gets under his skin…

Near Sea Haven, the small town of Caspar has given Anya Rafferty a new lease on life. And she’s desperate to hold on to her job at the biker bar, even if the scariest member of the club seems to have it out for her. But Reaper’s imposing presence and smoldering looks just ratchet up the heat.

Anya’s touch is everything Reaper doesn’t want–and it brands him to the bone. But when her secrets catch up to her, Reaper will have to choose between Anya and his club–his heart and his soul.

Tempest (Old West, Book 3) by Beverly Jenkins

tempest by beverly jenkinsWhat kind of mail-order bride greets her intended with a bullet instead of a kiss? One like Regan Carmichael—an independent spirit equally at home in denims and dresses. Shooting Dr. Colton Lee in the shoulder is an honest error, but soon Regan wonders if her entire plan to marry a man she’s never met is a mistake. Colton, who buried his heart along with his first wife, insists he only wants someone to care for his daughter. Yet Regan is drawn to the unmistakable desire in his gaze.

Regan’s far from the docile bride Colton was expecting. Still, few women would brave the wilds of Wyoming Territory for an uncertain future with a widower and his child. The thought of having a bold, forthright woman like Regan in his life—and in his arms—begins to inspire a new dream. And despite his family’s disapproval and an unseen enemy, he’ll risk all to make this match a real union of body and soul.

A Princess in Theory (Reluctant Royals, Book 1) by Alyssa Cole

a princess in theory by alyssa coleBetween grad school and multiple jobs, Naledi Smith doesn’t have time for fairy tales…or patience for the constant e-mails claiming she’s betrothed to an African prince. Sure. Right. Delete! As a former foster kid, she’s learned that the only things she can depend on are herself and the scientific method, and a silly e-mail won’t convince her otherwise.

Prince Thabiso is the sole heir to the throne of Thesolo, shouldering the hopes of his parents and his people. At the top of their list? His marriage. Ever dutiful, he tracks down his missing betrothed. When Naledi mistakes the prince for a pauper, Thabiso can’t resist the chance to experience life—and love—without the burden of his crown.

The chemistry between them is instant and irresistible, and flirty friendship quickly evolves into passionate nights. But when the truth is revealed, can a princess in theory become a princess ever after?

Scoring off the Field (WAGS, Book 2) by Naima Simone

scoring off the field by naima simoneTennyson Clark is getting a life. First step: quitting her job as assistant to Dominic Anderson, star quarterback for the Washington Warriors, her best friend…and the man she’s been secretly in love with for years. But since the gorgeous, if overprotective playboy has only ever seen her as his BFF, she’s finally ready to relinquish her tattered fantasy and move on. Enter steps two and three: new job and new man.

Football is Dominic’s life, and with his contract soon up for renewal, all his focus needs to be on the game. But Tennyson—dependable, logical Tennyson—is making that next to impossible with her mysterious new job and her sudden interest in online dating. He doesn’t do relationships. But the thought of another man touching her sexier-than-hell curves has him suddenly wanting more from his best friend.

Indulging in hot, dirty, what’s-my-name sex with no strings and lots of benefits is simple, uncomplicated…until it’s not.

Shadow Keeper (A Shadowriders Novel, Book 3) by Christine Feehan

shadow keeper by christine feehanThe paparazzi can’t get enough of infamous bad boy Giovanni Ferraro. But unknown to them–and the women he beds–he’s just playing a role. Keeping the spotlight on himself keeps it off the family business. And if this lethal shadow rider can’t hunt in the dark, he’ll find his pleasure elsewhere…

Sasha Provis grew up on a Wyoming ranch and thought she knew how to protect herself from predators. But in the nightclub where she works, she’s fair game–until one of the owners steps in to protect her. Giovanni is gorgeous. He’s dangerous. And his every touch takes her breath away.

The devil at her heels may have finally met its match…

Scoring the Player’s Baby (WAGS, Book 3) by Naima Simone

scoring the player's baby by naima simoneAfter a divorce from her cheating football player ex, PR whiz Kim Matlock would rather drive a pine tree through her walled-off heart than work at the Seattle Wedding Expo. And the last thing she expects is to be grabbed and kissed breathless by a hot giant of a man looking to fend off a stalker. She doesn’t want emotional entanglements, but she can’t say no to one scorching night with the sexy stranger.

To her shock, she finds out afterward that a) he’s a pro football player, aka her kryptonite, and b) she’s pregnant.

But nothing could have prepared her for his response…

A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals, Book 2) by Alyssa Cole

a duke by default by alyssa coleNew York City socialite and perpetual hot mess Portia Hobbs is tired of disappointing her family, friends, and—most importantly—herself. An apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland is a chance to use her expertise and discover what she’s capable of. Turns out she excels at aggravating her gruff silver fox boss…when she’s not having inappropriate fantasies about his sexy Scottish burr.

Tavish McKenzie doesn’t need a rich, spoiled American telling him how to run his armory…even if she is infuriatingly good at it. Tav tries to rebuff his apprentice—and his attraction to her—but when Portia accidentally discovers that he’s the secret son of a duke, rough-around-the-edges Tav becomes her newest makeover project.

Forging metal into weapons and armor is one thing, but when desire burns out of control and the media spotlight gets too hot to bear, can a commoner turned duke and his posh apprentice find lasting love?

If these authors appeal to you, please check out their websites for more of their books. For 2019, I will be joining the Goodreads Reading Challenge and starting my list with 35 books.

What did you read in 2018? What will you be reading in 2019?

Source: Photo of woman with a book from Pixabay.com

 

Favorite Things, MFRW 52 Week Blog Hop, writing

Favorite Thing I’ve Written

2018 is here and I’ve joined in again with the MFRW 52 Week Blog Hop. Hello to returning authors and welcome to new authors.  I hope everyone had great holiday celebrations. This week’s topic is ‘Favorite Thing I’ve Written.’ You can check out other favorite stories here.

I have a few WIPs that I like. Nothing else is published yet other than this blog, but the first story I ever wrote will always be special to me. I ‘self-published’ it when I was 8 years old using cardboard cut in the shape of a hardcover book (it even had a spine), green construction paper to resemble a book jacket and a magazine photo of a young girl glued to the front. I stapled the story pages together and glued them inside my book.  I had dreams of being a writer at that age and had already written plays that family was duty bound to act in.  Back then I had no fears of bad grammar or story rejection because I made good grades in English class and considered myself brilliant. The story was based on Michael, my first crush and a classmate of mine, who was the most beautiful boy in the world. Both of our last names began with the letter C, so we sat near enough to each other for me to gaze at him all I wanted without me getting caught. I finally understood why my older cousins got all sappy over some of the boys at church.  I developeafrican-american-children-black-boy-and-illustration_csp45219222d plans for me and Michael that involved him noticing me, us smiling at each other, saying hi, passing that all-important note asking if I liked him, getting married and living happily ever after. See how simple life and love was when I was 8 years old.

Michael’s name became Charles in the story so he would never, ever know I wrote about him. My main character, Amanda, lived on a farm in the late 1800s with her parents and her cousin Abby.  Since Amanda had to be older than 8 years old to marry Charles, I placed her age at 18 years. The family had been invited to a dance in town. Everyone dressed in their Sunday best climbed into the wagon Amanda’s father used for hauling supplies and lumbered to town. The music was loud and lively at the livery stable where the dance was held. Charles stood at the door with his dad greeting people. He saw Amanda and promptly fell in love. He smiled at her, went over to her family, asked her dad could they dance. Her dad agreed. They danced, fell deeper in love and married a week later.  The end. That’s so dreamy and wonderful, right?

Five years later at our 8th grade Valentine Ball when we were 13 years old, Michael asked me to dance. We danced to three songs. *Sigh* Dreams do come true. We had a happy for now ending because, at the end of the school year, Michael’s family moved out of state. But our love will forever be immortalized in my very first romance story.

Tell me about the favorite things you’ve written.

holiday, New Beginnings

Happy New Year!

New Year Celebration by digitalart-ID-10043345

Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous new year by believing. Believe in yourself. And believe that there is a loving Source – a Sower of Dreams – just waiting to be asked to help you make your dreams come true.

Sarah Ban Breathnach