Best of.....part 2


My top reads list included all series related books.  But, I felt like these 6 authors were worth being added to my list.  Not only were their books well written, they also left a mark on my heart.  The romance was wonderful but the social message became more impactful wrapped up in the story of the lead characters lives.  


GRIP  and STILL  
by  Kennedy Ryan


It’s taken me awhile to put into thought all the feelings this book brings. We have met Bristol and Grip as part of the Soul Series by this author. This book can be read as a stand-alone but much of dynamics around Bristol and her family read better if you have read the history in the Soul books. That history layered with such poignant words about acceptance and equality, make this book one to read in 2017.

The book stands on its own as the story of second chance love. There isn’t much need to rehash things here. Music once again, unifies the characters. Brings them to life. Carries the message of their pain.

What stands above all of those things in the writing, is the very real awareness of race equality, white privilege, and discrimination. Kudos to the author for bringing that time relevant message to the readers. This is a romance, and you will get some really hot scenes between Bris and Grip. But I hope you take away the message that we are all worthy of love. It doesn’t matter where we live, what color our skin is, how much money we make or who our parents are. We might play different notes, but we are all on the same musical score. It takes everyone playing together to make the rhythm of humanity sing.

Great book!



Damn you Kennedy Ryan! Gah!! I have not cried this hard reading a book in such a long time. You brought out ALL the feels for this one and I love you for it. Reading is an escape and should not only transport us to a different world, but it should also allow us to be placed in someone else's shoes. Your writing allows us to become part of Grip and Bristol's lives at an intimate and visceral level.

This book picks up shortly after GRIP and continues the relationship that Grip and Bristol are developing. We meet their friends and family again. We get glimpses at the music world from both their perspectives. And we get some all consuming LOVE pouring out of each of these characters. Sweet baby Jesus, you cannot read this story without feeling that love ripped up, tumbled around, and molded back together. *sigh*

No spoilers for this review. You have to read it. LOVED the epilogue. Thank you for wrapping things up and not leaving the reader hanging.

Perfection!

Amazon


LIVING OUT LOUD   
by Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn 


Honestly, it blows me away every time an author takes a previously villainized character and makes me fall in love with them. I was not a fan of Ben when he pops up in Ezra's story "Paint the Stars." Ben broke Ezra's heart and he didn't deserve to be treated that way. Let me tell you. You need to read about ol' Mr. Ben and your heart is going to break in a million pieces before it sewn back together. I am always a champion for the underdog and underprivileged. Ben has suffered so much in his life. As I was reading, it almost seemed unbelievable that there are still humans all over the place who function like Ben's parents and the folks in his hometown.

Of course, Ben's journey to discovery would not have happened without his second chance at romance and s3xual guru Xavier. Perfect balance to Ben and so happy that X took the leap and let his heart open up to the possibility of love. The two of them together along with Ben's self discovery---super steamy HAWT!

I just need to add that I loved Penny. She needs her own story I think. I'd read that for sure. Loved all the love she gave to X. She fit in his life when he needed her the most and I loved that relationship between the two of them.

As always, these two authors bring the powerful message of "Love is Love" anytime they get together to put words on paper. Hopefully people listen to the message. Just be kind always. It goes a long way.

Amazon


THE HARD TRUTH ABOUT SUNSHINE 
by Sawyer Bennett  


** 2017 Kindle Book Awards WINNER - Literary Fiction **

I am a HUGE Sawyer Bennett fan! This book was so uniquely out of character for her but at the same time so perfectly written. I will forever look upon her words as Before THTAS and After. Sawyer stretched her writing chops with this one. I could not be happier for her!

I want to say this is a coming of age story. We have some young characters who have yet to experience a life that may be changing sooner than they want. But it is really more than that. This is a journey. A huge life changing event for the main character Christopher. The story from his POV gives us insight into the development of friendship of four unlikely individuals. The group is thrust together because of the therapy/support group they attend. The group leader suggests they help Connor, dying from cancer, knock off an item or two from his bucket list. They embark on a road trip to see the sun set on the west coast.

What starts out as a reluctance on Christopher's part to even participate in this group, ends up being a time for self reflection and ultimately acceptance. There is burgeoning love happening with Jillian but this is not a romance story. It is filled with anger, tears, laughter and overwhelming sadness. But my goodness, it will make you FEEL all the things. I walked away from this one, not sad but more content. This book is LIFE. It's what we make of it that affects what we get out of it.

Read this one with an open heart. I guarantee you will be able to feel the sunshine even in the darkness.

Amazon
 
DELAYED CALL , Assassins #13 
 by Toni Aleo


I have not read a bad book in this series. I have my favorites (Jordie and Benji…well and Shea…), but honestly, Toni Aleo just does not put out a bad story. Delayed Call is no exception. However, fans of the series may notice some difference with this one. I was blown away by the dialogue. Wonderful banter and humor not only between Vaughn and Brie but between Vaughn and his “family” and between Brie and Rod. Just a great flow to the story and a very entertaining read. It just had a little something MORE than I have read in the other books.

We have seen Vaughn and Brie on the sidelines in other books. Brie works for the Assassins in the marketing department and often interviews the players. It’s a classic tale of she doth protest too much! There is underlying heat to their banter. Both have hidden pasts that have shaped their view on relationships. Trust will be difficult. Vaughn needs to decide if he is all in before it's too late to call.

The other highlight of the book is how the author handles persons with disabilities. There is a beautiful side story to the HEA in this book. I was not prepared for the depth and breadth of understanding of adults with disabilities that this author brings to the story. The romance ends up being pretty run of the mill, but it is all the EXTRA that the author gives us that makes this story priceless. NateWay is truly remarkable and I have spoken about it to numerous people since I finished the story.

And of course, the best part of an Assassin’s story is we get HOCKEY! This is a true sports romance in that we get to see the action. I found myself having to slow down and re-read so I would make sure to get the whole picture on the ice. Great tribute to the game.

Always ready to read more by this author.

Amazon
 

WHEN LIFE HAPPENED  
 by Jewel E. Ann



I know that I should not be surprised anymore but what this author sends our way. But this book....yeah....did not expect this twisty turny angsty read AT ALL! That's a good thing, right?? As readers, we don't want to keep reading the same old trope over and over. Jewel E. Ann brings us UNIQUE like you don't read every day.

Honest---not a fan of cheating. Don't like to read about it. Don't want to experience it. Neither does our heroine. But what happens when our heart or even worse, our hormones lead us down a path we wouldn't normally see for ourselves. Are we in control of who we fall in love with? I will argue no. And it takes the characters in the book a long time to settle that in their heads.

The story of Parker and Gus is just the beginning. Hang in there. Love is healing, love is eternal, love is love is love <3 No matter what the world or our families may think, we can only follow our hearts and hope for the best. God love Parker for being strong and coming out a better person in the end. Perfectly written heroine for this tale.

Fantastic read! Grab this stand alone NOW! 

Comments

What Blog readers are OBSESSING over