It’s coming to the end of year and it’s a brilliant time to reflect on our favourite reads of 2017. Unfortunately there isn’t enough room to list all the books we have liked and would recommend. So, we are each doing a post with the cream of the crop, the books that have stayed on our mind all year and that we’re dying to share with you.
Annnnnd with no further ado *cues drum roll* here are my favourite books of 2017…
This was a category I struggled to pick because there were SO many great books that released this year that touched my heart and it was hard to narrow it down to only one. However, UNDESERVING is a book I’ve been waiting years to read. I was worried that this wouldn’t live up to my expectations. I was also worried about the fact that this isn’t a romance book, there’s no HEA, but it’s part of a romance series. There were so many ways that this could’ve gone wrong. And instead, Madeline Sheehan gave us my favorite book in this series. This delivered all the feels. It’s a beautiful, heartbreaking story and it’s told in the best way possible. I really couldn’t find it in my heart to pick another book over this one. So, get the Kleenex ready if you pick it up and then have a comedy handy to read or watch right after you finish it. You’ll need it.
by Madeline Sheehan
Released: July 2, 2017
Series: Undeniable #5
Published by Self Published
Warning: This isn’t a romance, but instead a tale of love between two despairing people, from two different worlds, both aching for something more.
Debbie Reynolds is a runaway, New York City-bound. Living on the road comes with many challenges—fighting for her next meal, seeking safe places to sleep, and dodging men with less than honorable intentions, all while searching for meaning in a life she finds painful and pointless.
Damon “Preacher” Fox, vice president of the Silver Demons Motorcycle Club, has been in prison for club-related crimes. As his release draws near, he begins to reevaluate his choices in life, realizing that if he stays with the club, this won’t be his last stint behind bars. Suddenly Preacher finds himself doubting everything he’s ever known, wishing for a life beyond the club.
When Preacher and Debbie’s paths cross, they find in each other a sense of peace they had been lacking. But life is about to catch up with Preacher, and Debbie, desperate to keep the one person who’s ever shown her any kindness, finds herself caught between forces far deadlier and more powerful than she could have ever imagined.
This is Debbie and Preacher’s story.
At the end, we should all go back to the beginning,
if only to remind ourselves that we once lived.
This was a great year of exploration and taking risks on authors I’ve never read before. Some were a big success, others not so much. Some lived up to my expectations and others tanked. Honestly, with all they hype around this series, I was expecting to hate it. And instead, I ended up falling in love with Kerri Maniscalco’s writing, world and characters. I wish there was already more to read and I’m anxiously awaiting the next one in this series.
by Kerri Maniscalco
Released: September 20th 2016
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper #1
Published by Jimmy Patterson
Presented by James Patterson's new children's imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion...
Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.
Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.
The story's shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling, #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.
There’s only one book out in this series but I’m dying to read more! Tessa Dare starts off a new series with a bang! I mean, I was expecting exactly that because I love her writing and style. THE DUCHESS DEAL, book one in the Girl Meets Duke series, was everything I wanted from Ms. Dare and then some. It was simply magical and I can’t wait for the next one.
by Tessa Dare
Released: August 22, 2017
Series: Girl Meets Duke #1
Published by Avon
When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…
Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.
His terms are simple:
- They will be husband and wife by night only.
- No lights, no kissing.
- No questions about his battle scars.
- Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.
But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:
- They will have dinner together every evening.
- With conversation.
- And unlimited teasing.
- Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…
I read about some pretty awesome characters this year and a lot of them have stayed with me. But none had quite the impact on me as Evelyn Hugo did. Maybe it’s my fascination with old Hollywood. Maybe it’s how imperfect and screwed up Evelyn was. I loved every flaw, every virtue, every strength, every weakness…’til the end. This was one of those books that made me sit back and think. And it also broke my heart.
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.
This is the last installment in the Vlad saga and he’s been a favorite hero and character of mine for many years. Certainly from before we started this blog. I couldn’t get enough of Vlad. In this last book he shows more of his ruthless side and let me tell you… I loved it! Vlad Tepesh is, quite possibly, one of my favorite heroes… EVER.
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.
I wanted to pick a beautiful cover that was also tied to a book I enjoyed this year and really few books would hold that spot. Then I remember this one. The cover is gorgeous but the book inside tells a great story. Maybe a little less romance and a bit more womens’ fiction. There is an HEA in this story but I find that the romance wasn’t the main message here. And I loved that about it. It was eye opening on serious subjects, it felt very relevant and current to today’s issues. The setting was just as powerful as the beautiful words, and I think the cover reflects that.
by Leylah Attar
Released: January 29th 2017
Published by Self Published
Once in Africa, I kissed a king...
"And just like that, in an old red barn at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, I discovered the elusive magic I had only ever glimpsed between the pages of great love stories. It fluttered around me like a newly born butterfly and settled in a corner of my heart. I held my breath, afraid to exhale for fear it would slip out, never to be found again.”
When a bomb explodes in a mall in East Africa, its aftershocks send two strangers on a collision course that neither one sees coming.
Jack Warden, a divorced coffee farmer in Tanzania, loses his only daughter. An ocean away, in the English countryside, Rodel Emerson loses her only sibling.
Two ordinary people, bound by a tragic afternoon, set out to achieve the extraordinary, as they make three stops to rescue three children across the vast plains of the Serengeti—children who are worth more dead than alive.
But even if they beat the odds, another challenge looms at the end of the line. Can they survive yet another loss—this time of a love that’s bound to slip through their fingers, like the mists that dissipate in the light of the sun?
“Sometimes you come across a rainbow story—one that spans your heart. You might not be able to grasp it or hold on to it, but you can never be sorry for the color and magic it brought.”
A blend of romance and women’s fiction, Mists of The Serengeti is inspired by true events and contains emotional triggers, including the death of a child. Not recommended for sensitive readers. Standalone, contemporary fiction.
I have no words. I think the biggest let down is the fact that J.R. Ward made this list in the let down category! By this, I’m in no way saying it’s the worst book I read this year because honestly anything J.R. Ward writes is well done. But I seriously think this took a turn in the wrong direction. It missed the mark on other things I was expecting. And quite frankly all the characters were throwing a Terrible Two’s tantrum. I won’t say anything more than that and I’m going to forget this book ever happened and hope for the best in the new installment. Fingers crossed that Ward won’t lose me.
by J.R. Ward
Released: April 4h 2017
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #15
Published by Penguin
A scorching forbidden love threatens to tear a rift through the Black Dagger Brotherhood in J. R. Ward’s newest novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.
Xcor, leader of the Band of Bastards, convicted of treason against the Blind King, is facing a brutal interrogation and torturous death at the hands of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Yet after a life marked by cruelty and evil deeds, he accepts his soldier’s fate, his sole regret the loss of a sacred female who was never his: the Chosen Layla.
Layla alone knows the truth that will save Xcor’s life. But revealing his sacrifice and his hidden heritage will expose them both and destroy everything Layla holds dear—even her role of mother to her precious young. Torn between love and loyalty, she must summon the courage to stand up against the only family she has for the only man she will ever love. Yet even if Xcor is somehow granted a reprieve, he and Layla would have to confront a graver challenge: bridging the chasm that divides their worlds without paving the way for a future of even greater war, desolation, and death.
As a dangerous old enemy returns to Caldwell, and the identity of a new deity is revealed, nothing is certain or safe in the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, not even true love . . . or destinies that have long seemed set in stone.
Do I have to say a whole lot more than this? I mean.. It’s Lisa Kleypas! Not only that, this was one of my most anticipated reads of the year because the hero is the son of one of my beloved Wallflowers couples. And Lisa Kleypas delivered such a beautiful story. These two complemented each other so well. Both lovable characters and even more lovable together!
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...
The title of this book says it all, people! I’m not even going to break this down to one scene. If you want hot, get this book! This was one of those hot as hell reads and every scene just revved up the steam factor up another notch. It’s an enemies to lovers story and that element made this even better. Even when it wasn’t a sex scene, the sexual tension was sizzling. Probably the hottest in this series and one of the hottest I’ve read this year. Now I need more like it.
Released: June 2nd 2017
Series: Cyberlove #4
Published by Megtino Press
My life plan is to be brutally honest all the way to the bank. Don't believe me? I run a popular YouTube channel called TrashyZane, and my claim to fame is oversharing about every aspect of my personal life. Sometimes while tipsy. Not everyone loves my style, but I have a long history of icing out people who can't handle me. I have no time for judgmental foolishness.
Except, apparently, when it comes to Beau Starr. His channel is the polar opposite of mine, and so is he. Wholesome, inspirational, and clean-cut. Everything about him should turn me off, but when we hook up following a confrontation at a convention, my world flips upside down. Not only does Beau Starr turn me on, he uses the exact combination of dirty talk and roughness needed to turn me out.
But we still hate each other. I think.
So this year for author of the year I decided to go with the author I read the most. I discovered Santino Hassell last year and this year I read 8 books by him (including some he co-wrote). I love the grittiness of his writing and how real I find his stories. And yeah, the hot sexy times help as well. While I definitely have my faves and some I enjoyed more than others, I can honestly say I always look forward to reading a book by him.
What are your favourites of 2017?
Day 7 Prize Pack
THE OPERATOR by Kim Harrison
SIGNED copy of WILDFIRE by Ilona Andrews
COLD REIGN by Faith Hunter
DANGEROUSLY DIVINE by Deborah Blake
SLAVE TO SENSATION by Nalini Singh
A SPOONFUL OF MAGIC by Irene Radford
DRAGON BLOOD by Eileen Wilks
One winner will receive the bundle of books pictured
Open internationally, sponsored by Under the Covers
Winners for all 12 Days of Christmas prizes
will be selected December 26, 2017
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I get easily distracted by pictures of sexy guys and have tons of book boyfriends.I keep all my alpha males chained to my basement and guard them fiercely.*Back off bitches*I like to see Jason Momoa as a lot of those boyfriends, because ….. mmmmmmm JASON.MOMOA!
I’m a part time graphic designer (yes, everything you see on UTC has been done by me), run my husband's business from home and on a good day I’m a self appointed superwoman (she who can do it all).I love blogging with my girls and I couldn’t do it any other way!My first love is everything paranormal, but in the past few years I’ve re-learned to love contemporary romance.Every once in a while I like to mix things up with a historical romance, a steampunk or an LGBT book.Because I need variety to avoid book slumps.I don’t always need an HEA although I prefer one, and I love authors that can rip my heart out and make me ugly cry.