Here’s my favorite books from 2016. I looked back at my post from earlier this year and included a few of those in my top from the whole year. When you read so many books, it is hard to pick the best/favorites. My biggest wish for 2017 is more books that feature characters that are over 30.
Brutal Game by Cara McKenna– The conclusion to Willing Victim that I didn’t know I needed. It was great to see Flynn and Laurel again even if it left me emotionally raw. We did a group review for this here.
Burn Down the Night by M. O’Keefe– Third in this series, we get to see Joan and Max have their story. They aren’t perfect, far from it in fact. They are kind of horrible to each other and themselves. But to see them develop a love for each other was great. Tiffany and Blake, I’m waiting for you.
Chase Me by Laura Florand– This is possibly my favorite by Florand. Incredibly fast-paced and witty, an enemies to lovers set up. Of course it features Paris and chocolates, but the banter in this was top notch.
Due South by Tamsen Parker– I ADORE Lucy and Evans. Awkward and sexy all rolled up together. This book is part of her Personal Geography series and has no BDSM and was perfect for me. Parker is now one of my favorite authors.
Never Sweeter by Charlotte Stein– Stein at her best. Gritty and emotional, heroine was once bullied by the hero. Something only this author could make me tolerate and then fall in love with the hero.
Offensive Behavior by Ainslie Paton– Hero is a virgin and beta-y. Heroine is a stripper. They get together and he wants her to show him all the things about sex. It develops into much more for both. Another emotional read, but not angsty. Just real people with real issues trying to find love.
Perv by Dakota Grey– When the blurb says, “You want to experience the best oral orgasm of your life, don’t pass go and collect two-hundred dollars. Eating you for dessert is my specialty.”, you have to read the book. Told from the hero’s POV, this book was about way more than I expected. The hero fell hard for the heroine and she made him work.
The Good Fight by Julianna Keyes– Another story from the hero POV. Oscar was flawed in all the ways that I love my heroes. And Susan was so prickly and unlikable, I loved it all. I need everyone to discover how wonderful Julianna Keyes is. Find my full review here.
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne– Everyone was talking about this on Twitter so I felt like I had to read it. It was definitely worth it. An office romance with enemies to lovers. Their banter and hatred/love was fun to read.
The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata– The slowest of slow burning romance, but this book is really good. Heroine is the personal assistant of the hero, a taciturn football player. He proposes a fake marriage so he can stay in the US. I LOVE the fake marriage trope and seeing the MCs fall for each other.
True North series by Sarina Bowen– To date there are three books in this series, Bittersweet (grumpy hero), Steadfast (ex-con, recovering addict hero), and Keepsake (virgin, previously part of a religious cult hero). Bowen writes stories that feel real, but not quite as gritty as Cara McKenna. Each hero deals with his self worth and ability to love. I’ve mentioned by love for flawed heroes, Bowen writes them so very well. She also does a marvelous job with her secondary characters and making me interested in them.
Although not my absolutely favorites or desert island keepers, the following authors wrote stories or incorporated themes that really made me think about romance and what I want in them.
Amber Belldene wrote a series where the main characters are priests. This was neither inspirational or taboo, just a large part of these characters lives. I liked this a lot. I am not religious, but it seems like one of the things that doesn’t show up in romance often.
Jen Doyle her debut Calling It was really good. Regular person meets famous sports star. The heroine wants to be her own king. Review Here
Kelly Jamieson brings very heavy topics into her books and addresses them with realism. In No Obligation Required, the hero lost his first wife rather tragically. At first I was upset with it and felt like, I don’t want that much realism in my romance books. But when I settled down, I realized that I do. Sometimes. Shut Out was another book by Kelly Jamieson that really pushed the boundaries of realism. Review Here
Nicole Jacquelyn’s Change of Heart had a hero that pissed me off like no other. He had no redemptive qualities as far as I’m concerned, yet 6 months later it is a book I think about. Review Here