Angela: Hey y’all! It’s half way into 2019 and Goodreads says I’ve read 78 books. My goal is 125 this year, so at the moment I’m ahead of schedule. I’m trying to incorporate more books that have been sitting on my TBR shelf into my reading schedule, but I can’t seem to stop requesting review ARCs. I have willpower issues, I know this. Lol.
As you can see, I’m a genre jumper. I vary rarely read in the same genre two books in a row. I read a ton of fantasy, urban fantasy, science fiction, historical romance, contemporary romance, paranormal romance and steampunk. I feel like this year I’ve had a lot more fantasy and UF on my TBR shelf than usual.
My favorites this year so far:
Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik 2/05/2019– This is probably my favorite book of 2019 so far. I knew from the first scene in the first chapter that this was absolutely my jam. Even if you don’t normally read sci-fi romance please, please give this book a try. I’m super confident you will love it as much as Kini and I did. (It’s on sale for $1.99 right now, but I’m not sure how long that price will last.) My joint review with Kini.
Lady Derring Takes a Lover by Julie Anne Long 2/26/2019– I’m ashamed to say this, but this is my first book by this author. I know! I don’t understand how I let this happen. This is a book about two women, one a widow and one a mistress, who grasp their independence and create a future for themselves. Love comes along for one and a beautiful found family is formed with some wonderfully unique characters. I loved it. My review.
Any Old Diamonds by KJ Charles 1/30/2019 – I pretty much love whatever this author writes, but there was something about this couple that had me turning pages well into the night. Alec is the son of a duke and is out for revenge and he hires Jerry, one half of the Lilywhite Boys and a complete scoundrel, to help him get it. A plot twist and some gorgeous sexy times follow. My review.
Captive of the Horde King by Zoey Draven 3/26/2019 – Don’t judge a book by its cover, this sci/fi barbarian romance was so freaking good. I immediately went and bragged about it to whoever would listen. The hero is super alpha, but patient and protective. The heroine is strong, smart, and sensible. I loved them together. My review.
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren 5/14/2019 – I haven’t read a Christina Lauren book I’ve enjoyed this much in quite awhile. Probably since Beautiful Player, which also happens to be my favorite. This was a mix of tropes and it worked for me in almost every way. My review.
How to Wake an Undead City by Hailey Edwards 5/28/2019 – Hailey Edwards wasn’t even on my radar until the release of the first book in this series, now I stalk her on social media and buy every one of her books on release day. Yes, seriously. This is the last book in a truly awesome series and this author knocked it out of the park. So good. My review.
Vengeful by VE Schwab 9/28/2018 – This book and it’s predecessor, Vicious, have been on my TBR for awhile and I finally made time to read them in the last couple of weeks. YOU GUYS, HOLY SMOKES. They are both so good, especially Vengeful. The timeline is weird, the POV switches repeatedly, there are no true heroes, but I didn’t care about any of that, I loved this world and its characters. My review.
What I’m most anticipating in the last half of 2019:
Kini: As of this writing, I have logged 45 books in my notebook. Earlier this year I decided I would keep track the old fashioned way. I’ve tried Goodreads in the past and while it worked before, it just isn’t working for me now. I find the GR app so hard to use and don’t ever think about doing it on the computer. I tried to keep a spreadsheet but that was overwhelming to me. So pencil and notebook it is. I usually try to write a few key things (3-5 lines max) from the book to help me jog my memory if needed.
Of the 45 books, 9 were marked as DNF’s. I set my GR goal for 2019 at 50 books so I am pretty close to that. Currently my GR says I have read 4. I am not going to update it.
42 of the books are contemporary romances or contemporary adjacent. I doubt that will change over the rest of the year. And the majority of the books I read were ARCs, so huge thank you to authors and publishers for providing them.
Of all the books I’ve read so far, the ones I enjoyed the most usually had an underlying theme of sadness to them. Basically sad characters finding the love they want and deserve is 100% my jam.
My favorite reads so far this year.
Sinner by Sierra Simone. If you haven’t read this series, I highly recommend it. Simone weaves together a fantastic story of religion and faith and sex and healing. I couldn’t read anything else for several days after I finished it because I was in my feelings. I had some things that didn’t work for me but overall it is a wonderful story.
99 percent Mine by Sally Thorne. Thorne’s follow up to The Hating Game was so different than THG but it was exactly what I needed. Touching on themes of grief and chronic illness, Thorne delivered a story that I absolutely loved. My review.
Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik. As someone who has watched only one installment of Star Wars, space operas are not my thing. But I loved this book so much. The heroine is kick ass. The hero is grumpy and he doesn’t doubt her abilities. I am holding off on reading the next book until it gets a little closer to release date. (This is still on sale for $1.99 on all e-tail sites)
Teach Me by Olivia Dade. Dade’s story of two history teachers was everything I needed it to be. A fat heroine with great representation and a cinnamon roll/beta-y hero was an engaging read. My other notes to myself were- excellent (ex)in-laws and heavy & sweet emotions.
Trashed by Mia Hopkins. Much like Thirsty, this is a hero only POV. This will be released later this month and I will have a longer review closer to release date. The story centers on the hero finding the love that he deserves regardless of his past.
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren. I think I officially love them. They consistently deliver stories that work for me. This story features a fake relationship, a little forced proximity and a heroine who thinks the hero hates her. Spoiler alert, he does not.
Crazy, Cupid Love by Amanda Heger. This book is coded as Fantasy Romance but it is set in a contemporary times with fantasy elements so maybe it got overlooked. I said before that it was cute and silly and feminist AF. Definitely worth a read even for those that are strictly contemporary romance readers.
Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes. A great story of starting over and finding oneself. This is contemporary fiction with romantic elements with what I would describe as HEA/HFN. Highly recommend.
There are a ton of books that I am looking forward to in the second half of 2019. I will list the ones for August through December. This only includes ones that I know about because I saw them on Netgalley or Edelweiss. I am certain that there will be dozens more that get added to this list.
What books have you loved so far this year? What books are you looking forward to later this year?