#Bestof2018 Smart Reads

This is truly one of my favorite categories. In a world where the romance genre is snubbed and deemed mommy porn, these authors showcase the romance can have a voice. These characters and their love can make readers reflect, think, and change their perspectives. Romance, like all forms of literature, can be didactic, and just like any other genre of books, there is value in the stories romance writers tell. These writers captivate me not just with their stories but with their prose as well.


Transcend Amazon

Synopsis:

“In another life, she was my forever.”

An unexpected tragedy leaves Professor Nathaniel Hunt a widower alone with a newborn baby.

He hires a nanny. She’s young, but well-qualified, with a simple life, a crazy name obsession, and a boyfriend she met at the grocery store.

Over time, he discovers she knows things about him—things that happened before she was born—like a hidden scar on his head, his favorite pizza, and how he cheated on a high school Spanish test.

She speaks familiar words and shares haunting memories that take him back to over two decades earlier when he lost his best friend in a tragic accident.

“I’m afraid of what’s going to happen when you realize I’m not her.”

Transcend is a sexy, mind-bending journey that uncovers possibilities, challenges beliefs, and begets the age-old question: is there life after death?

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BOOK ONE OF A DUET – EPOCH is BOOK TWO


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Synopsis:

Callum Welsh perfected the art of hating me when we were two kids who believed we’d be forced into marriage.

He thought I wanted it, but my only wish had been for him to leave me alone.

Then one afternoon, he stole my first kiss.

Despite all he’d done, everything changed after that.

As the years passed, our hearts thawed, and he no longer hated me.

In fact, he loved me enough to make me his wife.

Until I ruined everything with one stupid mistake.

That hatred returned in the form of cruel words and even crueler deeds.

But we weren’t kids anymore.

I could handle his brand of venom.

He would be mine again, even if it cost me the remains of my heart.

Warning: contains cheating and an anti-hero who might make you throw your kindle.

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Synopsis:

He’s a player.

He plays the bass with expert fingers. He plays women with intoxicating charm. And he’ll play me with the ease of a virtuoso.

Who better to teach me to play than the master himself?

I’m his model student, front row, pencil sharp. Pick up lines? I’ve got them. Free drinks? By the dozen. Kissing? Let me grab my chapstick.

But the most valuable lesson I’ve learned is that there’s so much I don’t know. Like why his touch sets off a chain reaction straight to my nethers. Or how I’m certain each kiss is the best I’ll ever have, until the moment his lips take mine again.

There’s so much I don’t know.

Like the fact that I’m only a bet.

But we are what we are. He’s a player, through and through.

And I’m the fool who fell in love with him.

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Synopsis

A FORBIDDEN LOVE SET IN THE EXPLOSIVE WORLD OF THE NBA…

Think you know what it’s like being a baller’s girl?

You don’t.

My fairy tale is upside down.

A happily never after.

I kissed the prince and he turned into a fraud.

I was a fool, and his love – fool’s gold.

Now there’s a new player in the game, August West.

One of the NBA’s brightest stars.

Fine. Forbidden.

He wants me. I want him.

But my past, my fraudulent prince, won’t let me go.

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Synopsis:

From the author who brought you A Thousand Boy Kisses comes the new emotional novel, A Wish For Us.
A story of music. A story of healing. A story of love conquering all.

Nineteen-year-old Cromwell Dean is the rising star of electronic dance music. Thousands of people adore him. But no one knows him. No one sees the color of his heart.

Until the girl in the purple dress. She sees through the walls he has built to the empty darkness within.

When Cromwell leaves behind the gray skies of England to study music in the South Carolina heat, the last thing he expects is to see her again. And he certainly doesn’t expect that she’ll stay in his head like a song on repeat.

Bonnie Farraday lives for music. She lets every note into her heart, and she doesn’t understand how someone as talented as Cromwell can avoid doing the same. He’s hiding from his past, and she knows it. She tries to stay away from him, but something keeps calling her back.

Bonnie is the burst of color in Cromwell’s darkness. He’s the beat that makes her heart skip.

But when a shadow falls over Bonnie, it’s up to Cromwell to be her light, in the only way he knows how. He must help her find the lost song in her fragile heart. He must keep her strong with a symphony only he can compose.

A symphony of hope.
A symphony of love.
A symphony of them.

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Blurb:

I’m not a good man, and I’ve never pretended to be. I don’t believe in goodness or God or any happy ending that isn’t paid for in advance.

What do I believe in? Money. Sex. Macallan 18.

They have words for men like me—playboy. Womanizer. Skirt chaser.

My brother used to be a priest, and he only has one word for me.

Sinner.

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Image result for desolate autumn greyBLURB

There are angels and demons at war inside my head.

I had it all figured out: finish high school, attend seminary and finally answer my calling of becoming a priest. What I hadn’t counted in the equation was her.

Grace Miller.

The girl who was always out of my reach. The girl who still makes me lose my breath with just a look.

Little did I know she would become my temptation and vice, and quite possibly, my ruin.

Now I’m standing at a crossroads, and my head is a battlefield. How do I choose sides when it means losing a part of who I am?

 

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Fresh Catch_ebook coverSynopsis:

Take a vacation, they said. Get away from Silicon Valley’s back-stabbing and power-grabbing. Recharge the innovative batteries. Unwind, then come back stronger than ever.

Instead, I got lost at sea and fell in love with an anti-social lobsterman.

There’s one small issue:

Owen Bartlett doesn’t know who I am. Who I really am.

~~

I don’t like people.

I avoid small talk and socializing, and I kick my companions out of bed before the sun rises.

No strings, no promises, no problems.

Until Cole McClish’s boat drifts into Talbott’s Cove, and I bend all my rules for the sexy sailor.

I don’t know Cole’s story or what he’s running from, but one thing is certain:

I’m not letting him run away from me.

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MOI copy

Synopsis:

There are three things you need to know about Kat Tanner (aka Kathleen Tyson. . . and yes, she is *that* Kathleen Tyson): 1) She’s determined to make good decisions, 2) She must get married ASAP, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Being a billionaire heiress isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it sucks. Determined to live a quiet life, Kat Tanner changed her identity years ago and eschewed her family’s legacy. But now, Kat’s silver spoon past has finally caught up with her, and so have her youthful mistakes. To avoid imminent disaster, she must marry immediately; it is essential that the person she chooses have no romantic feelings for her whatsoever and be completely trustworthy.

Fortunately, she knows exactly who to ask. Dan O’Malley checks all the boxes: single, romantically indifferent to her, completely trustworthy. Sure, she might have a wee little crush on Dan the Security Man, but with clear rules, expectations, and a legally binding contract, Kat is certain she can make it through this debacle with her sanity—and heart—all in one piece.

Except, what happens when Dan O’Malley isn’t as indifferent—or as trustworthy—as she thought?

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Synopsis:

Each day I prayed for my husband to love me again.

After fifteen years together, he walked away from me, and into the arms of another.

I didn’t know how to cope. I didn’t know my worth. I didn’t know how to exist without him by my side.

All I wanted was for him to come back to me.

Then, Jackson Emery appeared.

He was supposed to be a distraction for my mind. A summer fling. A confidence boost to my bruised heart.

We were perfect for one another, because we both knew we wouldn’t last. Jackson didn’t believe in commitment, and I no longer believed in love. He was too closed-off for me, and I was too damaged for him.

Everything was fine, until one night my heart skipped a beat.

I didn’t expect him to make me laugh. To make me think. To make my sadness somewhat disappear.

When our time was up, my heart didn’t know how to walk away.

Each day I prayed for my husband to love me again, yet slowly my prayers began to shift toward the man who wasn’t right for me.

I prayed for one more smile, one more kiss, one more laugh, one more touch…

I prayed for him to be mine.

Even though I knew his heart wasn’t destined to love.

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Happy reading,

5 Comments

  1. I agree wholeheartedly! These include some of the best books that I’ve read all year, and they’re not just an “average” romance novel; these made me reflect and will stay with me for many years to come.

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