The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa– You know that feeling of frustration you get when you are reading a really great book and you are in the middle of a part where you can hardly take your eyes off the page because you need to know what happens next and suddenly life interrupts? That was me reading The Worts Best Man. I did not want to put it down and stuff kept happening that forced me to. Ugh. A fabulous mix of laugh out loud funny, sweet, and sexy. This book had it all and I get a kick every time I recommend it and someone new comes back gushing. Read my review here.
Beach Read by Emily Henry- This book was not on my radar at all until Kini read it and enjoyed it and Berkley kept sending me ‘you know you want to read this’ emails. So I read it and I loved it. I would call it kind of a mixture of WF and Contemporary Romance. The dialogue is top-notch and I really enjoyed this new to me author’s voice. Can’t wait until her next release. Read my review here.
You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria– If I’m being honest it was the cover that first caught my eye and had me itching to find out what this book was about. Then after reading the blurb I was all “yes, please”. Set in the world of telenovelas, subscription television, and the tabloids and featuring predominately Latinx characters this romance had everything I could have asked for. It was fun, sexy, and with a sweet HEA. See my review here.
How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams- This was one of my last reads of the year and I’m glad I got it in so I could include it in this best-of round-up. It features a university professor who needs to get out of her boring routine, so she sets out to have little fun and do a little flirting. And meets Mr. Right on the first try. This romance was perfectly balanced between the sweet and sexy, and more somber real-world issues. It worked for me in almost every way. I mean… I read this in one sitting and could have read another 100 pages. See my review here.
Daring and the Duke (The Bareknuckle Bastards #3) by Sarah MacLean– As much as I love this author and the two previous books in this series, I had a bit of anxiety going into Daring and the Duke? Why you ask? Because this was Grace and Ewan’s book and Ewan has been a bad, bad boy. But I should have kept the faith. Sarah MacLean never lets me down. This couple was *chef’s kiss. Read my review here.
The Sugared Game (The Will Darling Adventures #2) by K.J. Charles- This is the second book in the series and my favorite of the two. Although, who am I kidding? I’m a K.J. Charles fangirl, they are all my favorites. LOL. Anyway, getting back to Will and Kim, their relationship is finally becoming a bit more defined (thank goodness) and getting to a place where they can trust each other. They are still getting up to their fair share of shenanigans and adventures, and a whole lot of intrigue. Good stuff. Read my review here.
The Murderous Relation (A Veronica Speedwell Mystery #5) by Deanna Raybourn– I don’t know how it happened, but I innocently picked up the first book in this series some months ago, looking to expand my historical mystery reading library. Next thing I know I am CRAVING every consecutive book like an addict. Veronica and Stoker are like my book crack. I love them. I am in love with them both as individual characters and together as a couple. The mysteries are really secondary, although they are interesting, it’s really these two characters and their relationship that keeps me coming back for more. If you haven’t read this series, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Read my reviews for this series.
A Heart of Blood and Ashes and A Touch of Stone and Snow ( A Gathering of Dragons #1 and #2) by Milla Vane- Okay, I will admit it. I am a sucker for barbarian romance. I AM! I am also a huge fan of Milla Vane aka Meljean Brook. But even after admitting these two things I can honestly tell you that this new series is one of the best I’ve read in years. The worldbuilding has depth and complexity, with characters so unique and fascinating you won’t want to stop reading. This author can tell a story like no other. There is a reason one of her past releases (The Kraken King) is on my all-time favorites list. Read my reviews here and here.
House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J Maas– Be forewarned, this book is looooooong. Like 800+ pages long. And the beginning has a huge info dump that just felt a bit overwhelming at first. But as I kept reading, it got better and by the end, I could take a deep breath and honestly tell you that I really loved this first chapter in a new series. It had all the things that keep me coming back for more from this author and it’s set in a more contemporary world. Read my review here.
The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune– I’m pretty sure this is the most charming found family story I’ve read this year. It was just lovely… and funny at times, and sweet and endearing at others, and it left my heart feeling full like it was about to burst with happiness at the end. I recommend it to everyone I meet. Truly a special read. Read my review here.
Chaos Reigning (The Consortium Rebellion #3) by Jessie Mihalik– This was the final book in the Consortium series and I enjoyed it just as much as I did the first book in the series, Polaris Rising. And I loved Polaris Rising. I have a thing for competent protagonists and this series is jam-packed full of them. There is something to be said about a couple who kicks ass and takes names together as a team and then is all set to get down to the sexytimes. Catarina and Alex are the shit. Read my review here.
Emerald Blaze (Hidden Legacy #5) by Ilona Andrews– This is technically the fifth book in the Hidden Legacy series, but only the second to feature Catalina as the main protagonist. This book picks up about 6 months after Sapphire Flames and brings Alessandro back into Catalina’s life. And WHOO BOY these two together are 🔥🔥🔥🔥. It does leave off in a cliffhanger, but these two do become more settled and that makes me happy. Ilona Andrews can do no wrong in my eyes. Read my review here.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab– This is one of those books that I will think about for years to come. It tells the story of Addie LaRue and her 300-year journey in life after she makes a deal with the devil. And gets exactly what she asked for, but not what she expected. Read my full review here.
Archangel’s Sun (Guild Hunter #13) by Nalini Singh– Is it any surprise that Ms. Singh is once again on my favorites list? Archangel’s Sun is Titus and Sharine’s story and it lifted my reading year up just by having them on my to look forward to. This story focused more tightly on the romance, and after all the fighting and world-ending fear of the last few books, I appreciated that quite a bit. Read my review here.
Gothic Mystery/ Horror:
The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James– I had never read a Simone St. James book before picking up The Sun Down Motel , but I can honestly tell you that I’ve now read them all. This book was so good it sent me on a quest to read this author’s entire backlist. Alternating between a young woman in 1982 and the events leading up to her disappearance and her niece trying to discover what really happened in 2017, this book is so tightly paced that I literally could not put it down.
The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher– I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that was alternately horrifying and laugh out loud funny. It was actually kind of weird. But I mean the book takes place in a museum named The Glory to God museum of Natural Wonders, Curiosities, and Taxidermy. I mean…. I should have expected it. This book was pure creepy goodness and it further solidified T. Kingfisher as an auto-buy author for me. Read my full review here.
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno- Garcia– Here’s a quote from my review:
The pacing is slow as this author sets the stage for her big reveal at the end and I gotta tell you… it worked for me. From the moment Noemi steps foot in High Place in all it’s dark, musty, decaying glory readers have an idea that she’s in for trouble. The setting is spooky and atmospheric, I kind of felt like I had jumped inside a well-drawn 1950s horror movie.
Read my full review here.
More about my reading year:
I mentioned above that I read the entire Veronica Speedwell series and fell in love. If you are a fan of historical mystery or romance, I highly recommend.
I’m not sure if you know this but, Megan Erickson started writing a fun new science fiction series under the name Ella Maven and I managed to fit ALL of them into my reading schedule. LOL, The Drixonian Warriors are blue, horned, and fabulous.
I don’t know if you could tell by my favorites list, but I read a ton more fantasy than I have in previous years. I don’t know if it was the need to escape from 2020 and to get to a different world altogether, or what, but I enjoyed myself. Goodreads says I read 134 books as of this evening, so I had a much more successful reading year than I expected. Maybe I can fit a few more in before 2021! 😉
I would love to hear what you loved this year! What should I add to my TBR?