The end of the year is here, which for me means too much good food, lots of bubbly and a time for reflection. I always look forward to taking a few moments to pause and remember the highlights from the last twelve months. Books are a huge part of my life. They bring me great comfort; my kindle is almost like a security blanket and certainly one of my most prized possessions. Even when I was unable to read for a few weeks, it never left my side. I am forever grateful for the brave authors in this world. Providing an escape, whether it be fluff and smut or angst-ridden and tearful, is a priceless gift. So, thank you! I treasure my book time and I would be lost without you. I had the pleasure of discovering new authors and found myself in new trope territory too! I couldn’t stay away from the angsty reads again this year and melted into a few beloved series from the year before. All in all I was quite fortunate and it was another stellar year of books.
Let’s get this book party started,
Here are my most cherished books from this past year…..
“The Layover” by Roe Horvat – Whoa. This novella left me thunderstruck. I was drawn to it for some reason when the review request list came along and I’m beyond thankful I took a chance on it. A shiny new author rocked my world and left me gobsmacked. As I declared in my post-read daze, it is real, it is raw and it’s remarkable. The last time a novella left such an impact on me was when I was flying high with “Skybound” from Voinov. Truly powerful writing is the only link between the two books. Every word has a purpose in an impressive and compelling manner. Believe me, this is phenomenal and worth reading if you haven’t. AMAZON
“Misfits” by Garrett Leigh – I was introduced to Leigh near the end of last year and I’ve quickly become a devoted reader. She is fearless and takes us on hellacious rides. This particular adventure was not one I would have sought out before I began reading everything she has penned. Three? Ménage? Throuple? I would politely decline and move along. Because….I didn’t get it. And then Garrett opened my eyes and my heart to three awesome men I will never forget. I understood how two people can fit together perfectly and yet they still require one more piece to bind them in place. A secure connection that doesn’t interfere, simply locks them. Gorgeous story that I think everyone should experience. AMAZON
“Kidnapped by the Pirate” by Keira Andrews – *blink* This was…..another blindside. I don’t read historical romance. I’ve tried before and just couldn’t find the appeal. Until now. Andrews takes us back, wayyy back, and I couldn’t get enough. A naughty pirate and a naive young man pulled me into their turbulent world of forbidden love and I longed to stay. It was sassy, sweet and of course, sexy. Keira has become one of my auto-buy authors for good reason. If you haven’t jumped on this “juicy” journey, you are sorely missing out! AMAZON
“Arrows Through Archer” by Nash Summers – I don’t think it’s necessary to disclose I’m friends with the author but I’ll put it out there. Yes, I think Summers is an awesome person but she’s also an awesome author. I’ve had the pleasure of watching her grow and this book is her best work in my opinion. This story is a tsunami of feels and I willingly threw myself into the storm. It’s not often characters stick with you but I have no doubt Mallory and Archer are with me for the long haul. If you haven’t read Summers yet, this is a marvelous place to start! AMAZON
“True Colors” by Anyta Sunday – I don’t read a lot of YA but I DO read a lot of Anyta Sunday. This was a tragically beautiful second chance story of true love. This book hurt…but it hurt so good. Two best friends were ripped apart in the most agonizing manner and then reunited years later. The damage was severe and the time apart has not been kind. Sunday delivers a powerful first love, true love, only love story that should make the cut of all YA readers. And hey, even if you’re not, I bet you’ll agree this story is worthy of all the colors of the rainbow. AMAZON
“Be My Best Man” by Con Riley – This book!!! Sensational spellbinding storytelling at its best. Yet another new-to-me author that blew me away. A complex love story that requires patience from the reader but will reward you in the most astounding fashion. Prepare to endure real life oppressions, adversity, and afflictions. The storm clouds are dark and heavy but when the sun comes out, it will take your breath away. This story needs to make it to the big screen. I just KNOW it would kill it as a blockbuster. Con Riley, I’ve got my eye on you and I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us in the upcoming year. AMAZON
“A Worthy Man” by Jaime Reese – If you know me at all, you know I’m proud to be Jaime Reese’s number one fan. I know I’m not alone (check out all the gushing reviews!) but there are valid reasons why I am obsessed with her stories. The Men of Halfway House are all unique and equally dreamy in their own imperfect ways. But Vann And Drayton? I think they are my favorite. But don’t tell Julian. Or Cole. Or Ty. Or…okay, I can’t pick a favorite. Clearly, they are all impressive for different reasons. Vann and Dray are soul mates. They have been separated for nearly two decades and are finally reunited. Reese demonstrates the stark difference between a lover and a soul mate and if you believe in eternal love, you need this book. Seriously, go get it…. AMAZON
“Play Dead” by Avery Cockburn – The Glasgow Lads knocked me off my feet last year and I was thrilled we had the chance to slip back into their world again. Things pick up from the moment the previous book left off, so it’s important to know their story before you begin this one. All of the couples in the series are fantastic but I really enjoyed the continuation of Andrew and Colin’s story. This novella felt deeply intimate and I couldn’t deny the powerful emotional pull. This is as serious as it is sensual. The balance was brilliantly done. Sexy Scots are apparently my weakness and I hope Avery continues to gift us with more of their powerful plays! AMAZON
“Rule Breaker” by Lily Morton – Another new-to-me author! Such a wonderful year, meeting and adoring new authors. I was instantly smitten with this grouchy boss and charming assistant. Their rocky and rough road was full of broken rules and I was utterly and completely engrossed in their story, I couldn’t put it down. Morton won me over with her sharp writing, witty characters and forbidden passion. It’s not often I experience story quicksand (where you can’t leave the pages and sink deeper and deeper) but this was one sticky fight I was content to lose. It’s clear to see Lily loves her guys because she continues to add bonus scenes (free on her website!) just because she wants to. I appreciate and respect this act of love. These wonderfully wicked men are not to be missed! AMAZON
“Bitten By Desire” by Annabelle Jacobs – Paranormal romance is still my all-time favorite trope and Jacobs remains on top with her superior wolves. This series is my most anticipated for 2018 and this story is best of the best for 2017! SO GOOD. I was on the edge of my seat and squealed and sobbed as I read. Jacobs presents an impressively intricate storyline driven by deeply emotional characters. It was INTENSE. If you are a shifter fan and haven’t met The Regent’s Park Pack, stop what you are doing and race your fingers here… AMAZON
“Lickety Split” by Damon Suede- I gotta give props when they’re due and this is one story that shouldn’t be overlooked. I have tremendous respect for Suede’s writing and this story is a prime example of why. When Damon creates a story he pours himself into the pages. There’s nothing wrong with the powerhouse writers that churn out several books a year but there’s something to be said for the careful and cautious crafters. Suede’s words are magical, powerful and full to the brim. This cowboy and his pup took me on a (scorching hot) ride I won’t soon forget. Reckon you’ll feel the same. AMAZON
Well, that’s it! This concludes my best of 2017 but I can’t go without shout outs to: “Heart” by Garrett Leigh, “The Perils of Intimacy” by Rick R. Reed, “Snowblind” by Eli Easton, “Leo Loves Aries” by Anyta Sunday, “Lucky Man” by Garrett Leigh (as you can see, I’m kinda addicted to Leigh) “Off the Beaten Path” by Cari Z., “Summer Heat” by Jay Northcote and “Married for a Month” by Cate Ashwood. It wasn’t easy (which I think is kinda great) to narrow down my top ten…or eleven this year…but ha, who’s counting?
2017 seemed to fly by, I still can’t believe it’s over! I made some amazing and unforgettable memories with my family, friends and of course, my books. I hope 2018 brings you lots of laughter, love, and books that will…. shake any funk.