5 of my favorite books from 2018….

2018 flew by, at least for me.  It was filled with lots of change for me too.  Some good and some bad, it all worked out eventually.

My 5 favorite books from last year, in no specific order,

INK: A love story on 7th and Main

37540222It’s everything but business as usual.

Emmie Elliot hadn’t expected to come back to Metlin, California. She definitely didn’t expect to stay. She returned to her childhood home with a mission: Sell the building that housed her grandmother’s book store and moves on with her life.

But life doesn’t always go according to plan.

To reopen her grandmother’s book shop, Emmie will need a hook. She’ll need a strategy. She’ll need an… Ox?

Miles Oxford doesn’t have much interest in quiet bookstore owners. He’s a tattoo artist without a space to work, and the last thing he wants is to get involved with anyone after his last disaster of a relationship. Work and pleasure don’t mix for Ox, but since he doesn’t have any interest in the cute girl with the bold business proposal, he should be safe from any awkward complications, right?

She sells ink. He tattoos it. Unusual? Yes. But a book shop/tattoo studio might be the ticket for both Emmie and Ox to find success on their own terms. As long as they keep their attention focused on business.

Just on business.

Why this made my top 5.  One word – Ox.  One of the main characters of the book.  He was great.  Honestly, if I could meet a guy like Ox, I’d be in.  He was patient, he was kind, he was devoted to his family,  and much, much more.  Ox was an Alpha without being an asshole.  The story wasn’t too shabby either.   I fell into this book and didn’t want to crawl out of it.  If I could live in that book I would.

 

Speakeasy – 

Sometimes you fall for Mr. Right. And sometimes for Mr. Right Now… 


39900826May

Did you hear the one about the girl who walks into a bar and catches her live-in lover kissing someone else? No? You’re the only one in town who missed it.
Luckily Alec is there to wrap me up in strong arms and carry me out the door before things get too ugly. And that’s not all Alec is good at. Our unexpected chemistry makes him the perfect rebound guy.
Alec
I should know better than to hook up with my rival’s little sister, but the fiery look in May’s eyes really turns my crank. She needs cheering up, and I’m just the guy for the job.
It’s not like I’ll fall in love. Not even after a string of scorching hot trysts, and the realization that we’re good at the same things: wild nights and familial disappointment. I don’t do love, never have, never will. So this is the perfect arrangement, for both of us.
Nobody would approve, but nobody has to know…

This is on my list because of the struggle that May is going through.  She is struggling to find herself and what she wants.  All under the watchful eye of her family.  We, as a reader, get to watch her grow and change before our eyes.  With the help of Alec, she builds herself up.

 

Into The Wilderness

1292347In this ambitious and vibrant sequel to The Last of the Mohicans, Elizabeth Middleton, a well-educated spinster of 29, journeys from her home in England to her father’s lands in upstate New York in 1792. Her widowed father has promised Elizabeth that she can become the schoolteacher for the local children, but on her arrival at Paradise, her father’s property, she learns that he has brought her to America under false pretenses. It is his intention to find her a husband, preferably the well-respected physician, Richard Todd.

Though Elizabeth has no intention to marry, she is immediately drawn, not to Richard, but to backwoodsman Nathaniel Bonner, son of Dan’l “Hawkeye” Bonner, hero of the James Fenimore Cooper classic. Nathaniel’s connection to the Mohican (Mahican) people is a strong one; he considers Hawkeye’s adoptive father, Chingachgook, his grandfather, and his own wife was a Mahican woman who died in childbirth several years earlier.

Elizabeth learns from her father that her inheritance is a part of his lands, a mountain known as Hidden Wolf, to be granted to her when she marries. She soon finds herself caught between Nathaniel and the Mahicans, who want to buy back the mountain from her father as part of their hunting grounds, and Richard, who wants the land for himself and sees Elizabeth as the route to it. Her father, fearful that the sale of Hidden Wolf to the Mahicans will bring more Indians back to Paradise, favors Richard.

Knowing Richard’s main interest in her is her land, Elizabeth resists his attentions as she gets to know Nathaniel and his people. The backwoodsmen and their Indian friends accept her and respect her opinions, and she soon finds herself siding with their claim to Hidden Wolf. Meanwhile, the attraction between her and Nathaniel grows into a love that only adds to the conflict between the whites and the Indians.

Into the Wilderness is an intelligent and beautifully written historical novel that draws the reader into another world. Elizabeth and Nathaniel are well-rounded and intelligent characters, and the secondary characters are also strong, three-dimensional, and often entertainingly quirky. Although the book is long–nearly 700 words–tight pacing makes it an entertaining read. Fans of Diana Gabaldon will want to watch for a cameo appearance by one of the characters of Gabaldon’s stunning Outlander series. –Lisa Wanttaja

The description alone should explain why this book is on my list.  It speaks to the history nerd deep inside of me and also the hopeless romantic who is too excited for Nathaniel and Elizabeth to get together!  Ohhhh.  ❤   This was an epic story, sweeping through the upstate New York.  As soon as I finished this book, I picked up the second book – just haven’t started it yet.  I will!  I promise.

 

The War That Saved My Life 

20912424An exceptionally moving story of triumph against all odds set during World War 2, from the acclaimed author of Jefferson’s Sons and for fans of Number the Stars.

Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him.

So begins a new adventure of Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?

This masterful work of historical fiction is equal parts adventure and a moving tale of family and identity—a classic in the making.\

What a powerful story.  I could NOT put this book down.  Shock, horror, understanding, loyalty, love, this book has it all and then some.  The story of Ada and how her mom treated her, was just so cruel.  Susan didn’t want them either, but she took them in, loved them, fed them, and taught them – that was the big thing.  Yes, I’m aware that this is a kids book.  But sometimes those are the book you want/need to read to remember life sucks as a child too.

Pestilence

41831210They came to earth—Pestilence, War, Famine, Death—four horsemen riding their screaming steeds, racing to the corners of the world. Four horsemen with the power to destroy all of humanity. They came to earth, and they came to end us all.

When Pestilence comes for Sara Burn’s town, one thing is certain: everyone she knows and loves is marked for death. Unless, of course, the angelic-looking horseman is stopped, which is exactly what Sara has in mind when she shoots the unholy beast off his steed.

Too bad no one told her Pestilence can’t be killed.

Now the horseman, very much alive and very pissed off, has taken her prisoner, and he’s eager to make her suffer. Only, the longer she’s with him, the more uncertain she is about his true feelings towards her … and hers towards him.

And now, well, Sara might still be able to save the world, but in order to do so, she’ll have to sacrifice her heart in the process.

I stumbled upon this book and I’m so glad I did.  The only downside the entire series isn’t out yet.  Take what you know about the four horsemen and add love to the mix too.  Awe, love and a side of the plague!  SWEET!   I love how Sara is written, she could be you or me.

 

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