I think we can all agree that 2017 needs to be cut up into teeny tiny pieces, burned, buried, and the ground salted so it can NEVER EVER come back. Thankfully, we had some pretty impressive and fantastic books to comfort and offer us an escape from reality. From romance to fantasy to horror…below is my list of some of my favorite reads that helped to keep me reasonably sane this year.
Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas
Kleypas writes another swoony worthy winner as she builds a humorous reluctant romance between a man who has everything and a woman who wants nothing from him. Fans of Kleypas’ Wallflower series will cheer with abandon this couple, especially the hero once it’s learned he is the son of Evie and Seb from Devil in Winter.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Thomas’ debut is a powerful and striking portrayal of a teenager’s fight to save herself and her community when she witnesses the shooting of a friend by a police officer. Frank narrative addresses the racism and fear that exists inside law enforcement, our neighborhoods, and ourselves.
A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas
The 2nd book in Thomas’ exquisite and highly entertaining gender-bending homage to Sherlock Holmes is a delightful concoction of mystery, intrigue, humor, and agency that effortlessly engages as we follow our heroine, Charlotte Holmes, in her bid for independence and security while she puts her analytical mind against some the city’s best. (Review)
Wildfire by Ilona Andrews
Once again the Andrews bring their formidable writing skills to the table and deliver outstanding results as they take readers on a wild ride to the finish line in the third and maybe final book in their epic magical adventure trilogy series-Hidden Legacy. Set in an alternative version of Earth, the Andrews’ use of bold characterization, fantastical world building, and sharply honed wit draws you in and enthralls you from page one. (Review)
Bring the Heat by GA Aiken
G.A. Aiken brings back her irresistibly humorous, snarky, action-packed, violent and outrageously larger than life dragons and their human mates in the 9th book of her epic adventure fantasy series. She wraps up a long ongoing story arc and offers readers a hilarious and comfortable friends to lovers romance. Add in the Black Bear Riders of the Midnight Mountains of Despair in the Far Reaches of the Steppes of the Outerplains (God, I love these names) and you will belly roll till the very last page. (Review)
Act Your Age by Eve Dangerfield
Act Your Age is a sexy, humorous, and bittersweet opposite attraction erotic romance that places its focus more on the characters and their issues rather than the kink the storyline is built around. The erotic sexual components are exquisitely written and blend perfectly with the building romance and main storyline. Dangerfield has a fantastic voice that creates a sense of camaraderie between the reader and her characters. She writes about everyday people, with regular lives and problems who like kink with their sex. (Review)
The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
Such a fun and sexy marriage of convenience romance. I loved Dare’s take on the classic Beauty and the Beast trope. Looking forward to more from this author and this series. I do hope the series focuses on Emma’s friends each getting their HEA.
Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine
The first in an outstanding psychological thriller series whose twists and turns had me perched on the edge till the very end. I was thoroughly hooked from page one. Caine does an excellent job of keeping the story ripe with anticipation as she brings out the dark side of human nature and the lengths one woman will go to save her child from a predator. The pacing is steady, the narrative dynamic, and the characters bold in their quests.
Ivar’s Prize by Amy Penza
Ivar’s Prize is a short but full-bodied erotic romance with a strong suspense-filled sci-fi base. Strong characterization, witty dialogue, and a solid foundation open the door to endless arc possibilities as Pennza builds a world filled with aliens, sentient life forms, kleptocratic governments, and vast conspiracies. (Review)
The Kingpin of Camelot by Cassandra Gannon
Ilona Andrews touted this as the perfect bit of escapism and I agree 100%. A delicious confection of satire and snark, Gannon builds a delightfully entertaining story using her world building to cleverly manipulate our most beloved fairy tales and characters to create an action-packed adventure while addressing evergreen political and social issues with biting wit, engaging intrigue, incorrigible antagonists, and an unrepentant romance. (Review)
Lost Boy by Christina Henry
Fans of Disney’s or Barres’ versions of Peter Pan will be hard pressed to conjure up the usual feeling of nostalgia over their childhood favorite with this version. Though this is a story filled with the magic of childhood fantasies, it is also a story of murder, madness, and violence. Henry keeps the story fresh and energetic with diabolical twists and turns to keep us guessing. Dynamic characterization and narration held me hostage to the end (Review)
The Queen of Swords by R.S. Belcher
Once again Belcher lets loose the reins on his formidable imagination and skill, creating another undeniable winner with his whimsically horrific characters, unparalleled worldbuilding, stimulating narrative and a diabolical storyline teeming with magic, mayhem, and dark humor. Fans will cheer the powerful female protagonists who are indeed the queens of this world. (Review)
Blackwood by Celia Aaron
What would have happened if Little Red Riding Hood had met the Big Bad Wolf and decided being his dinner and dessert might not be such a bad thing? This intense and erotic romantic suspense pushes all your buttons and boundaries when a young woman’s need to know the truth about her family leads her to a man whose own needs will either break her…or set her free. Mystery, intrigue, suspense, and dark sexual desires await you at Blackwood.
Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai
This heart wrenching and emotionally charged erotic romance follows a forbidden relationship between a couple whose families are sworn enemies. This is no Romeo and Juliet part deux though. These individuals, with their strong sense of family, honor, and maturity, fight against incredible odds to give themselves the second chance they deserve. Gripping erotic scenes only serve to further heighten our knowledge of this couple’s love for one another.
Leave a comment letting us know what one of your favorite reads for 2017 was and be entered to win a prize pack of books (books are finished copies that we have collected the past few months. They are newer releases, not the ones shown above). Books will be given away all week so be sure to comment on each reviewer’s favorite books for 2017 post. Winners will be chosen at random on January 2nd, 2018 and books will be mailed out the second week of 2018.