Brown Girl Book Geek Favorite Reads of 2021


I read 115 books this year and some of those storylines were a whirlwind. Shout-out to all of the authors who got me through 2021. Check out my favorite reads of the year, these gems stood up and showed out!

Favorite New to me Author

Rilzy Adams was that chick for me this year! I saw her name a lot on Bookstagram and when I finally decided to check her out, I was hooked! I binged her catalog for about a month. She was hands down my favorite New to me Author of 2021.

Check her out here!

Favorite Series – Top 5

Four of the authors on this list were new to me authors. And they all put their foot in these series. Even the one’s that left me hanging from book to book.

Favorite Reads – Top 10

Book Review: You’ll Always Be My Baby by Ladii Nesha

Date Read: December 7, 2021
Published: October 2, 2021
Pages: 320

Book Synopsis:

Yana is fresh out of a dull three-year relationship and while she wants to focus on her, Yana’s best friend Jelly has other plans. After being dragged to a popular nightclub, Yana meets a man that makes her reconsider being single, the only problem is he comes with more baggage than she can carry.

Rex is the man of every woman’s dreams. He’s paid, fine, and knows how to treat a woman, but he can’t seem to keep one. It could be because the other women in his life refuse to stay out of his business. His big sisters Vickie and Nu-Nu are dead set on making sure no gold-diggers get too close to their baby brother. Then there is his mother, Linda. She doesn’t mind going to great lengths to prove that no one is good enough for her son. This overbearing mother gives meddling a new meaning, the only problem is this time around it might come back around and give her a taste of her own medicine.

Sit back and enjoy the ride, it should be interesting. After all, mama knows best right?

My Review:

I read this in one sitting when I should have been going to sleep for work in the morning. This story had me hooked. I liked Rex and Yana, but I’ma be real, they weren’t the reason I was so heavily invested in this storyline. The secondary characters gave me everything. The family’s in this book are something I had never come across in a storyline, and I loved every second. They had me wanting to fight them, fight with them, and fight for them. Special shout-out to Jelly and GiGi, we all need riders like them in our corner. While I definitely spent a lot of time laughing, I can’t not point out the light that was shined on the unfortunate toxic parent-child relationships that are out there in this world. Those storylines were grounding. All in all, I enjoyed this big time.

Series Spotlight – Waiting to Breathe by Love Belvin

Love Delayed

What happens when Zoey Barrett, an ingenuous Princeton scholar, meets NBA All-star rocker-boy, Stenton Rogers? Zoey has her life all planned out. She’s working hard at her degree and to help her family stay afloat financially.

Stenton’s at the top of his game on the court, but off, his life is out of bounds. That is until he happens upon Zoey, who represents something that he’s never had—family. Her world is spun completely out of control when they intersect. Could the lengths he decides to go destroy the future Stenton desperately desires to have with Zoey?

Love Delivered

His secret is uncovered and motives are disclosed. So now what?
Will Stenton get the favorable results he plotted years ago? Or will he have caused his own exile from Zoey’s love?
Her life charted an alternate journey because of unexpected circumstances. Now that Zoey has put together the pieces, how will she navigate Stenton’s obstacles?

Book Review: Before We Fall by Rilzy Adams

Date Read: November 14, 2021
Published: October 29, 2021
Pages: 408

Book Synopsis:

Tasha Dixon-Turner doesn’t need anybody to save her.
She’s going to save herself.
The man everybody warned her about marrying turns out to be just as bad as predicted. And then some. She’s determined to claw herself out of her situation without letting anybody in on her bitter secret.
Cole Mason threatens all of that when he witnesses a very public fight between her and her husband and Tasha knows can’t risk him revealing the secret she’s worked so hard to keep.
She doesn’t know what to expect when she confronts Cole to ask him to keep her confidence, but it definitely wasn’t him offering to give her the support she’s denied herself for so long.
She didn’t expect him to offer her a soft place to land.
She didn’t expect him… period.
But Tasha has been dancing with the Devil for so long that it’s almost impossible for her to trust the peace she feels when she looks into Cole’s eyes.
Will her desperate desire to be her own savior damn her to hell after all?

Before We Fall is the second book in the Unexpected Lovers series following up Xander and Navaya’s journey in Go Deep. The events of Go Deep and Before We Fall partially overlap but Before We Fall is a contained story and there is no need to read Go Deep before delving into it.

My Review:

This story was the true definition of “it’s a marathon, not a sprint”. Tasha’s journey, much like a big race, was a mental rollercoaster. That feeling of being unstoppable for miles, and then, out of blue your legs stop working. The highs and lows. The times when you’re just cruising on by, passing people and smiling, but also those points of wanting to pull out of the race altogether. We learn quickly that the actual race was only a very small part of the entire process. It’s about the training put in before, and following the plan. That’s the journey we witness throughout the pages of this story. And it’s a beautiful one, filled with pain, triumph, fear, and the greatest soft place to land you could hope for in any given situation.

Book Review: Go Deep by Rilzy Adams

Date Read: November 14, 2021
Published: June 26, 2020
Pages: 121

Book Synopsis:

It was all supposed to be so simple.
Navaya Howard is an erotic writer in a rut. Her readers are fed up of her stale plots and Navaya can’t blame them. She’s been celibate for over a year and a half since finding her now ex-boyfriend’s side chick’s positive pregnancy test on her bathroom counter. How can she write steamy romances if she can barely remember which body parts go into the other?
Navaya enlists the help of her best friend, Xander, to revive the inspiration that used to have her sitting comfortably at the top of her game. What happens when the sex hits deeper than either of them expected and the tender emotions can no longer be denied?
Navaya and Xander’s arrangement has gone far deeper than intended.
Will their friendship and their hearts survive the fall?

My Review:

Friends to lovers is without a doubt one of my favorite reading tropes. And this one knocked it out of the park. I’ve been seeing Rilzy Adams on my bookstagram timeline for forever, and I couldn’t tell you why it took me this long to finally get to her work, but babyy. I’m glad I did. This story, a few pages in, already had me in the mindset that I’m about to binge her whole catalog. This was beyond hot, had me pulling out my phone to text my guy type of hot. I loved the chemistry between Nav and Xander. What I loved most though was how Rilzy got them to that point. She didn’t brush over any awkwardness as if it shouldn’t have existed when a relationship with a bond that deep transitions the way it did. As I make my way through more of her catalog I hope to see a story for my favorite second place best friends, because sis, I need that tea 👀

Book Review: The Piece I Needed by A.S. Wilson

Date Read: November 12, 2021
Published: October 2, 2021
Pages: 92

Book Synopsis:

Khaleef and Danai are engaged and madly in love—until Danai finds evidence of betrayal. Khaleef is driving home when she calls to break off the engagement and tell him not to return home. When his car spirals off the road and crashes, leaving him with a brain injury and amnesia, Danai finds herself torn between the love and the pain she feels.

Having put her career on the backburner, Danai sees the opportunity to get back to her old self and the dreams she had before she fell in love, but she puts her dreams on hold again to help Khaleef recover and attempt to restore his memories. Determined not to jeopardize his recovery, Danai vows to wait until he can handle hearing that their relationship is over. However, as they spend time together, trying to recover memories and building new ones along the way, Danai realizes that their relationship might just be the piece she needs to put together the life of her dreams.

Can she forgive and forget, or will she find herself moving on?

My Review:

I couldn’t fathom being in the shoes of either main character in this book. Couldn’t imagine my life being flipped upside down, twice, in a matter of minutes and then being left with making life altering decisions. On the flip side, I couldn’t imagine waking up to a life I couldn’t remember and feeling in your gut that the person you’re being told you chose to spend the rest of your life with can’t stomach being near you but is doing everything in their power to care for you. All while trying to piece your life back together mentally. I wanted this couple to win, despite their circumstances. I couldn’t help but root for them. I thoroughly enjoyed this short read from beginning to end. Definitely one I’d recommend.

Book Review: Wicked: A Sexy Halloween Short by Té Russ

Date Read: October 31, 2021
Published: October 28, 2021
Pages: 56

Book Synopsis:

It’s Halloween season. The time of year when inhibitions are a little lower and boldness is a little higher. The perfect time for Annecia and Xane to be a little…wicked.

My Review:

Miss Té. Girl. This gave me so much life. It was sexy as hell and left me wanting more. The chemistry between the main characters was scorching. And when they acted on that chemistry, babyyyy. Let’s just say, I was inspired 😂