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: Just a Friend by AshleyNicole

Date Read: September 27, 2021
Published: July 2, 2021
Pages: N/A

Book Synopsis:

Oh baby, you…
Being the only girl in a group of guys is hard work. It’s the equivalent to having multiple fathers who think they can dictate every detail of your life.
Harlowe’s been dealing with it for years, but as of late, she’s been wanting to venture out and find love. As expected, the guys think this is a terrible idea. That’s all well and good, but Harlowe is going to do it anyway.
Before she can, one of her guys starts looking at her differently, and she can’t help but look back.
Will they transition into lovers, or will he remain just a friend?

My Review:

I’ve had this on TBR list for so long and I’m so upset it took me this long to get to it! I loved everything about this book and the characters. The dynamics of each relationship was more than enjoyable to read. I loved the way they loved each other, for the most part lol but I don’t do spoilers so you’ll have to read to see what I mean. I highlighted all up and through this read, because there were so many great moments of laughter and pure affection woven into each page. I will say, I’ve never been so affected by the word “yo” in my life 😂

Book Review: A Sweet Heart: a Hale girls novella by Ashley Nicole

Date Read: June 9, 2020
Published: February 23, 2020
Pages: 100

Book Synopsis:

Showing up to a meeting late is the easiest way to get on her hit list. Insulting his masculinity is the quickest way to get on his. They both come out swinging, but get hit with something neither was anticipating: Love

My Review:

Well damn. I feel like I can’t say what I want to say because it’s too inappropriate lol. I will say Ashley did that! Enjoy this quick read and hopefully you have someone to take the enjoyment out on hint hint. 😂

10 Black Romance Books That’ll Have You In Your Feelings

Am I the only one that has those moments when all I want to do is read a book that I know will take me on an emotional rollercoaster? But the thing is, reading the synopsis you’ll never guess how much of a toll the story will have on you. But once you finish it, you know it’s a story you’ll never forget. And when you’re having those days when you want to feel all the feels, you go back to that book. 

We’re captivated by these stories because we easily connect with the characters and their lives make such a deep impact.

Check out 10 books guaranteed to make you feel. Really feel.


Author Highlight: Meet Ashley Nicole

Author Biography: I’m a lover of black love. On the screen. In your face. And especially, on these pages… Black love isn’t always framed in the best light, and I’m doing my part to put it dead center of the spotlight.

Website: https://linktr.ee/alwaysimpatient

Have you checked out Ashley’s work? What’s your favorite thing she’s written?

Follow Her Social!

Favorite Book by Author

10 Boss Chicks in Black Romance

Black girls. Black women. We are magic. We are strong. We are some of the fiercest bosses out there. I usually tend to gravitate more towards the male leads, because let’s be real, they make your mouth water. But every now and then I come across a boss chick who makes her presence known, like “Blaw Tadow, Watch Out Now” in the words of the Original Queen Bee.

Kat

Malinda

Charadee

Akila

Asha

Zora

Baylee

Rayna

Nia

Cole

7 Eye Popping Book Covers That Caught My Attention

Yes, sometimes I commit that readers sin. I judge books by the cover, but sometimes you just can’t help it! Some covers are just so bomb that you can’t help but to pick it up. It could be the model, the bright colors, the pretty font, or all of the above. Check out my list of bomb covers below. 

Okay so this cover definitely had me hot and bothered. Like 🤤
Who Santa laying hands on though?? Those boxing gloves definitely made me stop, because Santa ain’t violent!
That red! Red is a statement color. Every time you see it, you can’t help but to stop. But duh, stop sign. But then the hair! This model slayed this cover.
The pregnancy stick. The title. Listen, you couldn’t not stop for this book.
This chocolate man would make any red blooded woman stop because damn he fine.
The colors of this are really sensual. They set a mood.
These bright vibrant colors had me clicking immediately. I couldn’t even tell what was happening in the photo but the pretty colors drew me in.

Pick Your Poison (Trope): 15 Black Sports Romance Novels

Reading books and sharing the great reads I find are my hobbies. However, working in the world of sports is my day job. I love sports; I am a huge sports fiend. I was a three-sport athlete in high school. I have two degrees in sports. As I said, I love them. And I LOVE books centered around romance in the sports world. There are a few authors who DOMINATE this list for me, and those ladies are beasts in the sports romance world. Check out my list below! Oh! And as a bonus, most of these belong to series! Boom. You’re welcome.


Starting Forward for the Tennessee Trojans Nikolas Verette hasn’t always lived the golden life. After personal setbacks placed barriers in his path to professional basketball superstardom, he took to approaching life with the motto “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. Following his passions leads him to an opportunity of a lifetime, but he is in need of a slight bit of assistance to achieve his goal.

Enter Jayde Turner, a smart-mouthed, straight shooter who is grappling with her own set of roadblocks that are in her path as she tries to achieve her childhood dream of becoming a popular country singer. Moving from her tiny hometown in rural Tennessee to Nashville was supposed to be the major key to her success, but instead she consistently faces narrow-minded individuals and stereotyping based on her appearance.

A common interest and shared goal eventually causes Nikolas and Jayde’s paths to converge. Both of them are operating with a single-minded focus that is consistently detoured by the underlying current of…undeniable chemistry between them. The further along the road they travel, the more their individual goals morph into a singular focus—maintaining their sanity and connection in a world that constantly threatens both.

Set in “The Athens of the South” Nashville, Tennessee, The “Nymphs & Trojans” series is a sports romance collaboration by Nicole Falls and Alexandra Warren that follows two fictional professional basketball franchises – the Nashville Nymphs Women’s Team and the Tennessee Trojans Men’s Team.


As a professional basketball player, Selena “Sharpshooter” Samuels seemingly has everything going in her favor. Playing for her hometown, playoff-bound team, the Nashville Nymphs. Playing under a knowledgeable coach who she adores. Playing for a franchise that’s well respected and family-owned. But the potential dynasty she’s trying to build comes under threat when a new assistant coach is hired; an assistant coach who she may or may not have had a huge crush on growing up.

DeAndre “Dre” Leonard hasn’t had it easy. After being banned from the league as a player for violating the drug policy, his world came crashing down. But now he’s back and ready to rebuild his reputation, starting with a coaching opportunity with the sister team of his beloved Trojans that includes one of the best women’s players in the game; and arguably the finest woman he’s ever seen.

Selena and Dre both want the same thing; to have a successful season. But as they spend more time together chasing a championship, that shared goal slowly begins to change from a title… to each other.

Set in “The Athens of the South” Nashville, Tennessee, The “Nymphs & Trojans” series is a sports romance collaboration by Nicole Falls and Alexandra Warren that follows two fictional professional basketball franchises – the Nashville Nymphs Women’s Team and the Tennessee Trojans Men’s Team.


With his entire career ahead of him as the starting point guard for the Tennessee Trojans, Kage Steele is feeling on top of his game. He’s got the talent, he’s getting the attention, and most importantly, he’s raking in more than enough money to have the entire world at his fingertips. But after a Summer spent enjoying the fruits of his labor, basketball isn’t the only thing on his mind coming into his second season since he can’t seem to forget about the gorgeous sports reporter he shared a moment with back in Sin City.

Bleu Taylor is living out her childhood dreams. As the offspring of a radio personality and a professional football player, using her voice to talk sports was practically what she was born to do. But naturally, that also means coming into contact with a lot of athletes, including the slightly younger, sinfully sexy point guard out of Nashville who she’d tried to forget about after breaking her own rule of not fraternizing with active players.

From the moment they locked eyes, Kage knew Bleu was something special. From the moment they kissed, Bleu knew Kage was a problem. But when they both find themselves on separate downward spirals regarding their lives and careers, the ability to rebound from those individual events becomes a lot easier once they finally decide to stop relying on self and instead choose to turn to each other.

Set in “The Athens of the South” Nashville, Tennessee, The “Nymphs & Trojans” series is a sports romance collaboration by Nicole Falls and Alexandra Warren that follows two fictional professional basketball franchises – the Nashville Nymphs Women’s Team and the Tennessee Trojans Men’s Team.


With her professional basketball career seemingly in her rearview, Micaiah Kennedy is trying to figure out what the future holds for her. Despite working tirelessly through her adolescence and adult years, she’d never quite accomplished the one thing in life that was the highest on her bucket list – playing for the Women’s National Basketball Association. Dreams of hooping in the W dashed, she instead set her sights on playing professionally abroad, going on to excel and make a name for herself outside of the States.

Victor Covington is a full-time single father and professional athletic trainer whose only concerns are making sure his baby girl is doing well and that the players within his care remain healthy and active. The looming unknowns of the pandemic however keep both of these precariously hanging in the balance, compounding his stress.

A serendipitous call from the Nashville Nymphs and an opportunity to check the last item off her bucket list sends Micaiah off to Florida where she reconnects with Victor, a former childhood crush. All grown up and still feeling the draw of attraction from their youth, Micaiah and Victor get reacquainted with one another in the confines of the WNBA bubble. Learning how to navigate in an unprecedented environment while getting closer to one another, Micaiah and Victor embark on a journey and discover that the road to getting what you’ve always wanted isn’t always the easiest.

Set in “The Athens of the South” Nashville, Tennessee, The “Nymphs & Trojans” series is a sports romance collaboration by Nicole Falls and Alexandra Warren that follows two fictional professional basketball franchises – the Nashville Nymphs Women’s Team and the Tennessee Trojans Men’s Team.


Train. Fight. Repeat. 

That’s been Princeton “The Prince” Lattimore’s life for as long as he can remember. But when an interruption to his heavyweight champion world comes in the form of an alluring journalist who sees well beyond his undefeated stature, he quickly learns there’s a lot more to life outside of the boxing ring.

Write. Submit. Repeat.

As a budding journalist, Bella Stevenson is determined to solidify her place as one of the best writers in the game. But when she’s assigned to cover a boxing match – a sport she knows nothing about – she realizes that it’s going to take a lot more than just a good write-up to do so. And once chasing a good story turns into meeting the man of her wildest imagination, her world is quickly turned upside down in more ways than one.

Falling for each other proves to be an easy feat. But going the distance becomes the biggest challenge either of them has faced, especially as Princeton discovers who’s really in his corner…


In order to find love, you have to take a chance. You have to open yourself up to the possibility of being hurt. You have to expose yourself in a way that you usually wouldn’t; allow others to see vulnerabilities that you try to hide.

Journalist Aria Smith tried that three years ago and it ended in disaster. Now, she’s just trying to focus on moving up the ladder in her career. She’s just been handed the most coveted interview in sports writing, so it looks like she’s well on her way.

Basketball star Tory Barker is fresh off of a championship season and is in high demand right now. He’s riding high off of his success, avoiding drama as he does so. His usually introverted and stress free lifestyle is upset when he comes face to face with Aria. She’s everything he never knew he wanted and everything he plans to get.

Aria’s not sure she’s ready for the likes of Tory. Yes, he’s a sweetheart. Yes, he’s easy to talk. However, living life in the limelight was never her dream. Nor, was dating a basketball player. She’s throwing up strong blocks every time he makes a move. Tory knows she’s worth it and is more than ready to play for her love. Can he win is the question…


Nasir Valentine has one thing on his mind: winning a championship title in his first year as head coach of the boys basketball team. But when his team captain’s father is murdered just before the start of the season, he quickly learns coaching high school basketball in the inner city is a lot more than just drawing numbers and arrows on a dry erase board.

Struck by the tragedy of her father’s murder, Carmen Wellington is faced with the tough decision of keeping her life away from home or coming back to her hometown to support her little brother through his senior year of high school. It’s a decision that will change her life in more ways than one, especially with her brother’s handsome basketball coach in the picture.

Carmen is supposed to be focused on what’s best for her and her family. Nasir is supposed to be focused on what’s best for him and his team. But with those two worlds colliding and an undeniable attraction developing because of it, the two can only hope for more wins than losses…


Ava knows that she’s the best girls basketball player in the country at the collegiate level.
She knows that she’s going straight the pros once her senior season comes to an end.
And she knows that finding a man is the least likely thing to happen while she’s chasing that dream.

That’s until she meets Miles.
A freshman phenom who has no idea what college life is like but is in for a red-headed surprise with a mean crossover.

Their chemistry is a given, but will age be more than just a number?
Or will the PreGame Ritual be enough to even the score?


Bryson is a ladies man by nature.
And why wouldn’t he be?
He’s young.
He’s single.
He’s sexy.
And he’s fresh off of a record-breaking second year of professional basketball with his whole career ahead of him.

So when he meets Kennedy while interviewing for a new stylist, of course he wastes no time going after her.
Until he finds out she’s engaged.
And even though he knows how wrong it is to be so damn attracted to a taken woman – has already learned his lesson when it comes to taken women – he can’t help but be drawn in by her captivating persona of innocence mixed with a hint mystery.

But when Kennedy finds herself in the same predicament, caught completely off-guard by Bryson’s charm and sex appeal, the line between attraction and distraction suddenly becomes a blur.

Who’s really the distracted one?


Can you tell the difference between a distraction and a blessing? It should be simple, but sometimes what we think is a distraction can actually be a turning of the tide required to bring life full circle, to a place of blessing.

Meet Trent Bailey, who is fighting for the right to continue his stellar professional football career after enduring striking legal woes in the recent past. Trent cannot and will not blow his second chance for anyone; after all, this is the blessing he’s been praying for. After receiving confirmation that staying focused is all he needs, it’s what he aims to do. No distractions. That’s until he bumps into two unexpected overnight guests.

Jade Matthews is doing everything she can for herself and her young son, Kyree. After journeying through her own bumps in the road, she’s finally getting it together. She’s doing what she has to do to make sure her family of two stays afloat. Life’s setbacks won’t stop Jade from providing for her little one, even though she fumbles each pass thrown at her.

What starts out as a temporary favor turns into rapid passion. There’s one agenda here, but getting to the same meeting point has never been more difficult. Fighting their way through trust and self-esteem issues, the two must meet in the right zone; the red zone, where you may think you’re safe, but life has a way of intercepting blessings and…turning the tide.

Love Belvin and Christina C. Jones collaborate on a series of football romance, staring two football greats who so happen to be in for the biggest play of their lives: for their hearts. Quarterback, Trent Bailey, and wide receiver, Jordan Johnson, give their all out on the green. But what happens when the two friends encounter true love?

Take on Connecticut Kings’ finest and journey through their discovery of developing themselves as men, and exploring love.

***Book one of the “Connecticut Kings” series***

First impressions don’t have to be everything.

But second, third, fourth impressions create a reputation, and those are hard to break. In the public eye, where everybody is tuned in to your every move, and behind the scenes, where certain people are privy to the real you… or at least what they perceive you to be.

Jordan Johnson is a man under pressure – from his teammates, fans, family, and the one person who wants to see him succeed as badly as he wants it for himself. He’ll do whatever he has to in order to not let anyone down… and maybe find an unanticipated connection along the way.

Nicole Richardson is a woman with a purpose – prove herself worthy of her place in a male-dominated field. Fiercely competitive, wielder of tough love and motivation, and terrible at dealing with things outside of her control. Between making sure the players are thriving, and coping with a changing family dynamic, a relationship isn’t even on her radar.

Denying their chemistry would be a waste of words, but giving in isn’t an option.

A season on the line.

Reputations at stake.

The threat of seeing their personal lives played out on the evening highlights.

With all of that swirling around them, Jordan and Nicole have to decide if it’s worth the effort to make the play… or take a knee.

Love Belvin and Christina C. Jones collaborate on a series of football romance, staring two football greats who so happen to be in for the biggest play of their lives: for their hearts. Quarterback, Trent Bailey, and wide receiver, Jordan Johnson, give their all out on the green. But what happens when the two friends encounter true love?

Take on Connecticut Kings’ finest and journey through their discovery of developing themselves as men, and exploring love.

Good decisions don’t always leave you unscathed.

Sometimes, the best choice might be the one that leaves you vulnerable. The one that forces you to face a not-so-distant past that hurts, or go through with something you never thought would come to fruition. The one that makes taking a risk your only viable option.

Wilhelmina “Wil” Cunningham is no stranger to pressure. The child of an Olympian and a title-winning boxer, and a former Olympian herself, Wil has gained an “America’s sweetheart” sort of reputation – a high pedestal to fall from when her world gets rocked by betrayal and deceit, from more than one direction.

Not that long ago, Ramsey Bishop dominated the field, as one of the best running backs the league had ever seen. Personal tragedy drew him away, but he made a promise he can’t take back, and no one will let him forget. Keeping that promise though… much easier said than done.

But Wil believes he can. And Ramsey believes Wil can and will bounce back from the misfortunes that have the potential to destroy her if she lets them. Their supportive, motivational back and forth is just one element of what has grown into a friendship neither of them would choose to do without. But could it be… more?

With their recent pasts littered with baggage and sorrow, and both of them facing uncertain futures, Wil and Ramsey have enough stress on their hands, but they’ll have to make a choice – continue their friendship as it was before, or risk it all for the possibility of something amazing?

After losing an improbable opportunity at the Super Bowl, Trent Bailey still has something to prove. He’s come out, not only as America’s favorite redemption story, but also a married man; a marriage not yet known to the public. He’s trusting more, finding his home more comfortable and befitting a Connecticut King.

Jade’s a new woman now. Her insecurities are under control at Trent’s side. No more violent fits around Trent’s female admirers, she’s understanding the fanfare attached to her husband’s returning celebrity. She’s found her place in the big world, and is content figuring out the rest.

The Baileys survived the red zone, that place where failure is unlikely, but still possible. But with old cast members resurfacing, can their secure love prove successful in this new position on the field?

“We’re in the end zone, and I’m dragging everything I got to score.” ~TB

Let’s see if after the review, the ruling on the field still stands.

The league didn’t believe in me. I was the last pick of the first round.
The Kings didn’t believe in me. They low-balled my contract and mandated therapy to begin immediately.
My coach didn’t believe in me. But I get it; she’s a female.
The General don’t halfway believe. He keeps threatening violence if I blow this opportunity.
This chick I bagged at the first team event… Well, let’s say she’s listening.

I’m a black, educated, and self-made man. I have no kids, and was rich and established before draft night. The odds are stacked against me, but I’ll show them all. They’ll understand my name before it’s all said and done.

I was born a king, and now I am a King.

Note: Love’s Ineligible Receiver is book 5 of the Connecticut Kings series and is a completed installment.

My bio might speak for itself, but I still have everything to prove.
Everything to gain.
Everything to lose.
On the field, and off.

I’m here for a reason, and Nate Richardson isn’t one of them… except, he won’t let me relegate him to a non-factor. Even knowing what’s at stake, he won’t let me pass him off.

So I’ll adapt.
Open myself up.
Dominate my position.
Defend my right to be here.

Who says a woman can’t have everything?
Or, better yet… who says a woman can’t be a King?