Book Reviews, Contemporary Romance, Features, This and That

2018 The Year in Review

The end of the year is right around the corner and I enjoy taking the time to reflect on what has transpired over the past year not only to dip my toes in the memories, but also to gain insight from any errors in chances of improvement.

For as long as I can remember I have always written down the books that I read. This is long before the invention of Goodreads or any other such app for said use. I actually used this little invention called a notebook and whatever writing utensil I had at my disposal when I finished a book. Back when I used said notebook, I wrote down the books by what year I read them, I kept track of my favorite authors, the series they wrote, and of course if I loved the book by doing what…by placing hearts beside the title (not stars-sorry goodreads you missed out on a stellar idea there). Back in the day I also recorded if I actually owned the beloved book as well since the local library was my friend and I was a broke teenager that eventually grew into a broke adult (okay, I eventually got a job to support my reading habit because I have this obsessive need to own the books I read. I like to read and then reread books, especially when a new book in the series is releasing). Needless to say, my bible of reading was a godsend on many occasions years ago (how many times have you wondered if you’ve read a book before 🙋🏼‍♀️), which is why I know the apps are so popular now-a-days.

Sooooo, this is why I continue to pull out the best of the best. It’s not an easy task and here’s my reason why; I thoroughly enjoy reading – I know if you are even reading this article you probably do too, but seriously I really do. Once again, I take you back to a time I can barely remember and my bookshelves were overflowing with books. From that time they were filled with Dr. Seuss and The Berenstain Bears to now my ereader is filled with every troupe of romance possible (and my bookshelves are still filled with many of my childhood favorites along with lots of my first romantic paperbacks – I refuse to part with so many wonderful reading memories,you did catch the part where I’m obsessed-right?).

But, back to the matter at hand, it has been a pleasure and an honor to read every book I have this year. A pure joy to help spread the news of cover reveals, new releases, teasers, excerpt reveals, blog tours, any and all of the above that helped spread the word of the authors hard work. I seriously enjoy the blog work I do, so if you have time, or missed out on anything from this past year:

Please check out all the books released this past year New Releases

OR

Feel free to read all the reviews for books released in 2018 Reviews

The Best Of 2018

There were a lot of strong contenders for the best book in 2018. I had a difficult time narrowing it down. Seriously. I was even debating on making honorable mentions, subcategories and so on and so forth I didn’t want to leave out any excellent books. This has been, so far, the toughest year to make a clear cut choice. So, back to what I saying up above; job well done to all of the authors for making this a tough call because every year should be this difficult.

So, without further ado the choices for 2018….

*Every category is totally and completely picked by Kay Daniels Romance and all opinions are my own*

1. The Best Romance Novel of 2018:
The Good Samaritanby R.C. Boldt

Like I said, I had trouble picking a book for this category, but once I really began to think about the books I was circling, here’s the questions that kept popping up in my mind and after I thought about them then the answer was easy. What book moved me once I was done reading it? What actually made a difference in my life? I love reading to escape, that’s a given, and I love, love, love a good romance story, but what transcended beyond the pages?

The winner for the Best Book of 2018 is The Good Samaritan. It had me thinking locally, nationally and hopefully globally. This book had me thinking of the “pay it forward”, “be kind to your neighbor”, “pass a smile”, etc… You name it, my mind constantly goes to the kindness concept because of this book. You never know what a stranger is going through and you never know where you may end up next and may need a strangers help. We should all treat others with more respect and kindness and the world would be a better place. We all know this concept and should practice this concept and yet, I know many of us don’t. Read The Good Samaritan and it will not only change how you look at others, but will also have you thinking about how you treat your fellow man.  Perhaps 2019 will be the year we can all be good samaritans.

Here is the synopsis:

Jude is living on the streets, a homeless man by choice. Why? That is something I’ll let you discover, but he feels the necessity to atone for his sins. While living among the lowest of the low, he secretly and selflessly helps those in need. His good deeds are picked up by the news who want to know who “The Good Samaritan” is, he has no desire to ever let his identity be discovered. He has no intention of ever returning to his former life, but when he meets Faith he may have no choice in hiding who he is anymore.

“Some might think I’d feel whole again by now, that I’d have gained some semblance of closure, but it hasn’t happened. Though the grief has lessened, the guilt remains. I haven’t paid enough for my wrongdoings.”-Jude

Faith thought she was a dead woman, that was until someone saved her life. She never thought she’d get to thank the man who rescued her, but he came back to check on her. The one snag in thanking her rescuer, her boss wants his story and she can tell he doesn’t want it told. Something about the homeless man calls to her, she should be freaked out by where her thoughts take her, but something says there is more to the man than what he portrays. Will getting to the bottom of who he really is push away the one man she really feels a connection to, but perhaps shouldn’t?

“I vow to do everything in my power to keep this woman safe. Even if it’s from myself.”-Jude

When someone actually likes you for you, flaws and all, you feel ten feet tall. It doesn’t take a lot to feel a connection, it just takes a spark and when you know a good person, you know. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes that person a while to believe it themselves because when you have nothing, you have nothing to lose, but when you begin to form attachments that’s when things change and begin to mean everything.

“As if sensing my attention, she glances up, and I stiffen in response. Because I’m me. Homeless. A guy with nothing to offer.”-Jude

Jude and Faith have nothing and yet everything to risk. Their story will inspire and move you in a way that I can hardly begin to explain, but I hope you enjoy and feel inspired like I did.

2. The Best NA Book I read in 2018:
No Tomorrow by Carian Cole

No Tomorrow is another book I read this year that left me gutted for days. It is also a book that has transcended the pages. I found myself referencing it in conversations, thinking about it while lost in thought, and knowing there are people who could be comforted by reading this story, but also who weren’t ready to read it given their emotional state of mind. 

What is No Tomorrow about? I hate giving too much away, but in this circumstance I will say this…In a time where anxiety, depression, and mental illness seems to be at an all time high, a book like No Tomorrow can seem hard to read, but for those of us who live with or know someone or love someone who suffer from any of these illnesses this book wrapped around me and comforted me like nothing ever has in my entire life.  I can only imagine the author as she wrote the book and how it had to have affected her. Writing this kind of gut-wrenching-emotional read. It had to be taxing because it was emotional to read. The story was well crafted, well written, and I enjoyed reading it immensely. 

Here is the synopsis:

No Tomorrow is not a typical love story. Carian Cole tweeted that you may get to a point where you will feel like tossing the story across the room. She isn’t exactly wrong, but the story is so compelling you’ll run right over and pick the story back up because you have to know what happens to these two people, so keep the book close by after you toss it.

Piper, in her youth, naivety, and belief in love is drawn to Evan “Blue” over and over again. The light that shines in him is a belief that continues to bring her back, even when he is filled with darkness. In her naive youth she wants to “fix” him and never gives up hope that he can be the man only she seems to see he can be.

Blue doesn’t believe he can be fixed, but if one person can do it it’s Piper. It’s the one time he feels normal, unfortunately that feeling never lasts for long. With the road calling his name he knows he can’t drag her down with his problems. If only he didn’t always mess up the good things in his life.

No Tomorrow will take you on a journey of life, love, and its tribulations. No life is perfect. No love is either. But perhaps we can find someone to share it with that makes life worth living through all of the tomorrows.

3. My new favorite-discovered-author-to-keep-watching (or reading) in 2019:
Heather M. Orgeron

Like picking a best book, I also had trouble narrowing down a favorite new author. I know, what trouble to have (not).  In 2018 I was introduced to several new authors that I rocked my world, but like picking a best book, I used similar qualifications to pick a winner and Heather came out on top. How? First, I looked over all the new authors that graced my shelves this past year and then counted up how many books I read by that particular author. It made sense that if I loved a new author I would read them often, right? Sure. As I scaled down my list I also used other qualifiers like content and ratings, etc…then I finally had to pick my winner.

Overall, I only read two of Heather’s books. Of all the new authors I had to choose from she seemed like the most unlikely candidate since I did read others more. But of her two books, it came down to; she impacted me the more than other authors whom I read more frequently. Heather displayed a huge writing range, full of emotional talent and she is only at the beginning of her writing career. Her ability to write a sidesplitting romcom and also expertly write a deeply gutwreching, emotional contemporary made me recommend both of her books repeatedly throughout the year.

 

I read Dopplebanger early on in 2018. I was LOLing so hard through this book I immediately recommended to a friend who said she needed a good laugh. She buys everything in paperback, bless her heart, but once she was done, she loaned the book to another friend because she loved the book as well!!

Heartbreak Warfare tore me up, chewed me up, spit me out and then slowly glued me back together. I cannot remember reading anything like this book ever. If you are looking for a life changing read, pick up this book. I promise it will change your life as well.

I look forward to reading what Heather brings to the reading world in 2019 because I will continue to recommend her writing to anyone looking for excellent books.

Find her on Amazon, Goodreads, Twitter, and  www.heathermorgeron.com

4. The Sexiest Cover of 2018:
Make You Mine by Tia Louise

So many books and so much sexiness. There were so many to gawk at…I mean choose from. It was a hard, yummy, eye-drying-out process, but I did it all for you (and maybe for some wallpaper ideas, but mostly for you). I’m such a good friend.

So thank you once again to all the models that rock these photo shoots. Thank you for all of the hard workouts and denying yourself sweets so we could enjoy your sexy abs and those mouth watering notches in the sides of your abdomen that point down to the real hidden treasure that is underneath your beltline.  You are the MVP’s who light up our dreams.

So without further ado….

The beard scruff, the intense stare, the pecs, the arms, and the way he’s holding his woman. Yes, please! Make me yours. Thank you Tia Louise for the sexiest cover of 2018!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As 2018 ends and I move forward into a new year. I close out my records and open a clean slate. It’s been fun reflecting over what I read this past year and for many of the books I feel like the comic below…

However, I’m looking forward to the many new adventures I get to take and the new friends I will meet as I open the covers of new books (okay I really open the app on my electronic device, but you understand the meaning).

2019 book hangover here I come…

To everyone have a wonderful holiday season and thank you for tuning in.

Keep Reading, Keep Writing and Keep Dreaming!

*Every category is totally and completely picked by Kay Daniels Romance and all opinions are my own*

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