It’s that time of year when we sit back and reflect on what we’ve been reading and what we’ve loved! There’s certainly been a lot of good reads so far in 2017. Some unexpected ones for sure. We had our sights set on a few books to blow us away and that didn’t happen. But we’ve narrowed the best ones down to these 10. Did your faves make our list? If you haven’t read these books, they are MUST READ.
THE WAKING LAND by Callie Bates
Picking this Debut Novel by Callie Bates as one of my TOP Ten due to its remarkable world building. I soon as I started reading, I couldn’t get enough of what was going on. Bates has a great imagination to create such an intricate world of humankind’s connection to nature. It’s full of land magic, it’s history and how history works its self to present. If you like young adult fantasy books, I’d recommend for you to try this out.
by Callie Bates
Released: June 27th 2017
Published by Del Rey Books
Lady Elanna Valtai is fiercely devoted to the King who raised her like a daughter. But when he dies under mysterious circumstances, Elanna is accused of his murder and must flee for her life.
Returning to the homeland of magical legends she has forsaken, Elanna is forced to reckon with her despised, estranged father, branded a traitor long ago. Feeling a strange, deep connection to the natural world, she also must face the truth about the forces she has always denied or disdained as superstition powers that suddenly stir within her.
But an all-too-human threat is drawing near, determined to exact vengeance. Now Elanna has no choice but to lead a rebellion against the kingdom to which she once gave her allegiance. Trapped between divided loyalties, she must summon the courage to confront a destiny that could tear her apart.
BREATH OF FIRE by Amanda Bouchet
One thing I love about fantasy romance is that I get the romance I always want in my novels with equal amount of world building. Bouchet gives her readers from both worlds what they want in her King Maker Chronicles series. Breath of fire is full of action, magic, bits of mythos, and a good chunk of romance. If that’s what you’re looking for then, You might want to give this series a try.
by Amanda Bouchet
Released: January 3rd 2017
Series: Kingmaker Chronicles #2
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
SHE'S DESTINED TO DESTROY THE WORLD...
"Cat" Catalia Fisa has been running from her destiny since she could crawl. But now, her newfound loved ones are caught between the shadow of Cat's tortured past and the threat of her world-shattering future. So what's a girl to do when she knows it's her fate to be the harbinger of doom? Everything in her power.
BUT NOT IF SHE CAN HELP IT
Griffin knows Cat is destined to change the world-for the better. As the realms are descending into all-out war, Cat and Griffin must embrace their fate together. Gods willing, they will emerge side-by-side in the heart of their future kingdom...or not at all.
THE TURN by Kim Harrison
I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this book because it technically is a prequel to The Hollows series. It was obviously published after the finished has ended and I felt like I didn’t need this book. But, WOW, was I glad that it was published because it was so much fun to see how the “turn” happened, and also to get an insight into the personalities of the characters we came to love and hate in the series. I think this should be read in the order it was released and not as an actual prequel.
by Kim Harrison
Released: February 7th 2017
Series: The Hollows #14
Published by Gallery Books
#1 New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison returns to her beloved Hollows series with The Turn, the official prequel to the series that will introduce fans and readers to a whole new side of Rachel Morgan's world as they've never seen it before!
Can science save us when all else fails?
Trisk and her hated rival, Kalamack, have the same goal: save their species from extinction.
Death comes in the guise of hope when a genetically modified tomato created to feed the world combines with the government's new tactical virus, giving it an unexpected host and a mode of transport. Plague takes the world, giving the paranormal species an uncomfortable choice to stay hidden and allow humanity to die, or to show themselves in a bid to save them.
Under accusations of scientific misconduct, Trisk and Kal flee across a plague torn United States to convince leaders of the major paranormal species to save their supposedly weaker kin, but not everyone thinks humanity should be saved.
Kal surreptitiously works against her as Trisk fights the prejudices of two societies to prove that not only does humanity have something to offer, but that long-accepted beliefs against women, dark magic, and humanity itself can turn to understanding; that when people are at their worst that the best show their true strength, and that love can hold the world together as a new balance is found.
INTO THE FIRE by Jeaniene Frost
Can I just leave this at Vlad is SO HOT? Because it’s true! I’ve always loved Vlad but I wasn’t sure if I wanted another book about him, but he proves me wrong every time. I love his ruthless side and the action this series packs. This was a great finale!
by Jeaniene Frost
Released: February 28th 2017
Series: Night Prince #4
Published by Avon Books
In the wrong hands, love can be a deadly weapon.
For nearly six hundred years, Vlad Tepesh cared for nothing, so he had nothing to lose. His brutal reputation ensured that all but the most foolhardy stayed away. Now falling in love with Leila has put him at the mercy of his passions. And one adversary has found a devastating way to use Vlad’s new bride against him.
A powerful spell links Leila to the necromancer Mircea. If he suffers or dies, so does she. Magic is forbidden to vampires, so Vlad and Leila enlist an unlikely guide as they search for a way to break the spell. But an ancient enemy lies in wait, capable of turning Vlad and Leila’s closest friends against them…and finally tearing the lovers apart forever.
WHITE HOT by Ilona Andrews
Ilona Andrews delivers another fast paced read with WHITE HOT. Fans of Urban Fantasy are sure to fall in love with their kickass characters and epic worldbuilding. We also love that touch of humor and snark that lines every book so there’s no surprise why this book is one of our favorites this year so far!
by Ilona Andrews
Released: May 30th 2017
Series: Hidden Legacy #2
Published by Avon
Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she's used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family's detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor "Mad" Rogan.
Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada's "talent." But there's no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice . . .
DEVIL IN SPRING by Lisa Kleypas
We’re all big fans of Lisa Kleypas here at UTC, so it’s no surprise to see this book making an appearance on this list. However, what makes this book so special is the fact that the hero is actually the son of one of our all-time favorite Lisa Kleypas couples. We had high expectations going into this one, but Kleypas once again reminds us why she is the best author when it comes to Historical Romance. Trust me, you’re going to fall for this hero like we all did with Sebastian.
by Lisa Kleypas
Released: February 21st 2017
Series: The Ravenels #3
Published by Avon
An eccentric wallflower…
Most debutantes dream of finding a husband. Lady Pandora Ravenel has different plans. The ambitious young beauty would much rather stay at home and plot out her new board game business than take part in the London Season. But one night at a glittering society ball, she’s ensnared in a scandal with a wickedly handsome stranger.
A cynical rake…
After years of evading marital traps with ease, Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent, has finally been caught-by a rebellious girl who couldn’t be less suitable. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him. But Gabriel finds the high-spirited Pandora irresistible. He’ll do whatever it takes to possess her, even if their marriage of convenience turns out to be the devil’s own bargain.
A perilous plot…
After succumbing to Gabriel’s skilled and sensuous persuasion, Pandora agrees to become his bride. But soon she discovers that her entrepreneurial endeavors have accidentally involved her in a dangerous conspiracy-and only her husband can keep her safe. As Gabriel protects her from their unknown adversaries, they realize their devil’s bargain may just turn out to be a match made in heaven...
ONCE UPON A SPINE by Kate Carlisle
Kate Carlisle has made it to my auto buy author list with this release. As a lover of Cozy Mysteries, there’s no surprise that this series has captured my heart. Maybe it has to do with the Alice in Wonderland references or the Romance subplot, but this series seriously has everything I could want in a Cozy Mystery series!
by Kate Carlisle
Released: June 6th 2017
Series: Bibliophile Mystery #11
Published by Berkley Books
San Francisco bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright stumbles through the looking glass in a tale of murder, rare books, and a quest for the perfect pie
Brooklyn's oh-so-proper future in-laws are traveling from England to meet her, and if that's not enough to set her on edge, rumors abound that the charming Courtyard Shops across the street may be replaced by high-rise apartments. Their trendy neighborhood will be ruined unless Brooklyn and her fiance, Derek Stone, can persuade the shopkeepers not to sell.
But with a rare edition of Alice in Wonderland causing bad blood at the Brothers Bookshop and a string of petty vandalism making everyone nervous, Brooklyn and Derek feel like they're attempting six impossible things before breakfast. Then the owner of the Rabbit Hole juice bar is felled by his own heavy shelves, and the local cobbler lies dead beside him. An accident . . . or something more sinister? Things get curiouser and curiouser when a second priceless copy of Alice is discovered. Will it stir up more trouble within the close-knit community?
As the Brits descend, Brooklyn learns they're not so stuffy after all. Derek's dad is won over with chocolate cream pie, and his psychic mum would kill to help Brooklyn solve this murder before another victim takes a tumble.
DEADMEN WALKING by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Seems like the theme of my books this year is world building. Among the books, I’ve read and love is Kenyon’s Deadmen Walking. Boy, did she blow me away with this one. I’ve mentioned it before, that I’m not a big fan of pirates and Kenyon managed to hook me in. Yes, it’s about pirates. Yes, I totally loved it. It’s connected to her Dark Hunter Novels which is an automatic buy for me anyway. Though it’s the same world, it has its own epic vibe. Full of action, magic, evil villains, tortured protagonist and a romantic happy ending. Guys!!!! it was so good!
by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Released: May 9th 2017
Series: Deadman's Cross Trilogy #1
Published by Tor
#1 New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon debuts a sweeping new epic saga sure to appeal to her millions of fans!
Deadmen tell their tales . . .
To catch evil, it takes evil. Enter Devyl Bane– an ancient dark warlord returned to the human realm as one of the most notorious pirates in the New World. A man of many secrets, Bane makes a pact with Thorn– an immortal charged with securing the worst creations the ancient gods ever released into our world. Those powers have been imprisoned for eons behind enchanted gates . . . gates that are beginning to buckle. At Thorn’s behest, Bane takes command of a crew of Deadmen and, together, they are humanity’s last hope to restore the gates and return the damned to their hell realms.
But things are never so simple. And one of Bane’s biggest problems is the ship they sail upon. For the Sea Witch isn’t just a vessel, she’s also a woman born of an ancient people he wronged and who in turn wronged him during a centuries long war between their two races― a woman who is also sister to their primary target. Now Marcelina, the Sea Witch, must choose. Either she remains loyal to her evil sister and almost extinct race against Bane and his cause, and watches humanity fall, or she puts faith in an enemy who has already betrayed her. Her people over the totality of humanity― let’s hope Bane can sway her favor.
THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This book…. THIS BOOK! It’s a must read, seriously. It’s emotional and depicts all the intricate things about a person… Evelyn Hugo. This fictional character was so real and became a part of my life for the time it took to read it, and it’s stayed with me after. Amazing storytelling, beautiful words… you just can’t go wrong picking this one up. It’s my fave by Ms. Reid and that’s saying something.
by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Released: June 13th 2017
Published by Atria Books
From Taylor Jenkins Reid comes an unforgettable and sweeping novel about one classic film actress’s relentless rise to the top—the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.
Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?
Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.
Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
Filled with emotional insight and written with Reid’s signature talent, this is a fascinating journey through the splendor of Old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it takes—to face the truth.
FEVERSONG by Karen Marie Moning
*Cue applause* Yup, at the top of our list is KMM once again with the latest book in the Fever series. This series has come such a long way and it’s characters have grown and developed with it too. Mac and Dani have shown different sides of their personalities and despite the series wrapping up, there’s still many questions to be answered. That’s what’s cool about KMM’s writing. She always keeps you guessing. I love trying to decipher what’s going to happen next but KMM always keeps me guessing.
by Karen Marie Moning
Released: January 17th 2017
Series: Fever #9
Published by Delacorte Press
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In Karen Marie Moning’s latest installment of the epic Fever series, Mac, Barrons, Ryodan, and Jada are back—and the stakes have never been higher or the chemistry hotter. Hurtling us into a realm of labyrinthine intrigue and consummate seduction, Feverborn is a riveting tale of ancient evil, lust, betrayal, forgiveness, and the redemptive power of love.
When the immortal Fae destroyed the ancient wall dividing the worlds of Man and Faery, the very fabric of the universe was damaged, and now Earth is vanishing bit by bit. Only the long-lost Song of Making—a haunting, dangerous melody that is the source of life itself—can save the planet.
But those who seek the mythic song must contend with old wounds and new enemies, passions that burn hot and hunger for vengeance that runs deep. The challenges are many: the Keltar at war with nine immortals who’ve secretly ruled Dublin for eons, Mac and Jada hunted by the masses, the Seelie queen nowhere to be found, and the most powerful Unseelie prince in all creation determined to rule both Fae and Man. Now the task of solving the ancient riddle of the Song of Making falls to a band of deadly warriors divided among—and within—themselves.
Once a normal city possessing a touch of ancient magic, Dublin is now a treacherously magical city with only a touch of normal. And on those war-torn streets, Mac will come face-to-face with her most savage enemy yet: herself.
What’s your favorite book so far in 2017?