– 2017 –
Without Merit by Colleen Hoover
The last book I read by Colleen Hoover reignited my love for her writing, so I didn’t hesitate to pick up WITHOUT MERIT even when I saw that the main character was a teenager in high school. YA Contemporary is not usually my thing but IF I read it, it has to be with a meaningful topic. Colleen Hoover is really good at digging into her characters emotions and by way of that making us think about a situation from different points of view. I believe she achieved that with this book. Without Merit made me think about the importance of perspective, how things are not always necessarily how one thinks, or how they appear, and that we should learn to weight that in when we allow outside circumstances to rule our emotions. It’s a light approach to the subject of mental health, and I think it was done in a way that will be accessible to readers both young and adult. And as a bonus, the writing is addictive! You won’t want to put this one down.
YOUNG ADULT | MENTAL ILLNESS
Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas
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!
HISTORICAL ROMANCE | BEST COUPLE | FAVE AUTHOR
Mists of the Serengeti by Leylah Attar
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.
CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE | POIGNANT
Into the Fire by Jeaniene Frost
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.
PARANORMAL ROMANCE | BOOK BOYFRIEND | ALPHA MALE
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
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.
WOMEN’S FICTION | FAVE HEROINE | EMOTIONAL | TEARJERKER
The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
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.
HISTORICAL ROMANCE | BEST NEW SERIES | FAVE AUTHOR
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
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.
YOUNG ADULT | GOTHIC HORROR | FAVE COUPLE
Undeserving by Madeline Sheehan
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.
CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE | NO HEA | TEARJERKER