2016 has been a fabulous book year for me. This year, due to too many competing interests, I wasn’t able to keep up with the blog as much as I did the previous years. I decided that to keep enjoying reading and blogging, I’d have to be more selective with my reading. I now have go-to authors and occasionally, I knew author will come out of nowhere and wow me.
Anyway, without further ado… the best books I read this year, in no particular order:
RK Lilley makes my list every year she publishes – one of my absolute favorite authors.
Breaking Him – I honestly cannot imagine any way this book could be more perfect! It was everything I wanted and needed it to be…and then some. It’s not just the storyline (which is unique and amazing), it’s how its written. It’s the emotions I felt reading it, everything umped to the n-th degree. I was one huge ball of emotion from start to end. I read it fast because I couldn’t put it down. Then I read it slow because I couldn’t bear the thought of it being over.
Breaking Her – And maybe the reason I got so invested in these characters’ happiness was because of how deeply they suffered. How they clawed their way to each other despite the odds.But more than that, it’s the author’s voice, that is so uniquely hers, that makes this book one of the best I’ve read in a long time.
I discovered Mercy Brown in 2016 and I’m in love! I want to read everything she writes. So witty, so sexy but also, so so real.
Loud is How I Love You – It was incredible how I felt part of the whole Jersey music scene. And that takes talent. I mean, it’s one thing to identify with the characters but it’s quite another to feel like you’ve climbed inside a book and you now live with these people. Like I said, a very refreshing author voice.
Stay Until We Break – Everyone needs to read book! EVERYONE. It needs to top that NYT list because it is so very deserving. So yes, another one for my ‘favorite of all time’ list, and another author crush solidified.
Elle Kennedy is the queen of New Adult. It’s not my favorite genre but she draws me in every single time.
The Score – What a perfect perfect book! The best one in the series yet! And definitely brings back faith in the New Adult genre.
2016 was also the year I re-discovered my love for thrillers like Jessica Knoll‘s Luckiest Girl Alive:
By the end of the book my heart went THUD. I’m not sure I can explain why. I was blindsided by some things, sure. But most of them were not new things. Yet… the storytelling. That’s it. It’s how the events and the reveals happened. It’s how well it’s done that got me. In the end I thought, wow, brilliant.I’ll be thinking about this one for a long time to come.
And Jewel E. Ann‘s Dawn of Forever:
(NB: This is the third book in a series.)
What a stunning conclusion to this dangerously different trilogy! Jewel E. Ann definitely struck gold with this story. It is so outside the norm, I wasn’t even sure how to classify it but it hit all the right notes.
And continued my obsession with paranormal romance/urban fantasy. From Joey W. Hill whose series I could not put down! I read about 7 books in a row.
A Vampire’s Claim and Beloved Vampire were my standouts of the year.
After book #1 I knew I’d finally found one of those series that you can’t let go of till you finish the last book. I’ve had that once or twice before and definitely remember Joey W. Hill’s Nature of Desire series giving me the exact same feeling.
The writing is poetic, just draws you in. Some words too sweet yet they still feel right. The characters are unlike those you’ve met before… it’s not just because the women are dommes, it’s how well we see their sensitive side yet know they’re the strongest heroines. It’s how sexy and strong and gentle the heroes are. It’s the storyline – different, engaging, so erotic… it’s basically the first to the last page of just pure magic.
To Thea Harrison‘s Elder Races series.
Serpent’s Kiss – The thing about this series is that it’s clever. While I love that there’s a lot of romance and steam, I also love the world building, the politics, the detail. I was worried that like with some PnR books, I’d eventually get bored but nope. The world building just keeps getting better and better.
And my biggest discovery of the year: Sarah J. Maas!
A Court of Mist and Fury – Wow, hands down favorite book of 2016! Everything about it is pure brilliance – the story, the story telling, the characters, the surprises… just… stunning. And the best thing about it? 600+ pages of it! 5 stars! Infinity stars! And a love affair between me and Sarah J. Maas is born.
And now to my other favorite genre: Dark Erotica!!! Two authors stood out for me: Nina G. Jones –
Take Me With You – What a book! Some characters deeply flawed, others totally messed up. But here’s the thing, you will be hooked from the beginning. Once you enter their dark depraved world, you become involved in their destiny. You root for the monster, you empathize even as his depravity sickens you. It’s everything dark erotica should be.
and Callie Hart.
Blood and Roses Series – The writing. It flowed. It was beautiful and it was witty. The thing with serials is that most of the time you read them one by one with some weeks going in between the next release. The biggest problem for me as a reader and as a reviewer is having to remember where I left off. This was the first time I read a full collection of serials all at once. My biggest worry then became that I would notice the disconnect. That the author would veer off the plot between one serial and the next, or forget a crucial detail and leave it unresolved, but not this author. It read as a complete novel. And that, I commend Callie Hart for. That she also tied in those lose ends, that she excited me from begin to end. It’s no mean feat.
And to my ultimate guilty pleasure: MM Romance 🙂 This year I discovered and immediately fell in love with Adrienne Wilder.
In the Absence of Light – Best MM book I’ve ever read. But even more than that, definitely top two of my favorite books ever. Ever. I’m not even sure where to begin describing how this book made me feel. I read it in two weeks while I normally read a book in 3 days max. Thing is, I put it down because it made me feel so many emotions all at ones – things I haven’t felt before. It made me re-evaluate myself in a way I haven’t done before. And while I put it down, it never left my mind. I had discussions with my husband about this book. With my friends. With myself. Thought provoking and perfect.
And finally, my two go to authors. Megan Hart who has penned two of my favorite books of all time – she just knows how to write Erotica.
Beg For It – Man, the sex scenes in this one! I mean, its Megan Hart, so the writing was beautiful and the characters are everything, but I have to start with the sex scenes because wow! I’ve always loved a good BDSM story and it has never mattered to me who tops and who bottoms. But books where the man is the submissive are so few. Or maybe I should say GOOD books where the man is a submissive are few. I’ve read less than 5 and I’ve loved much much less than that. It has to be well done for me to love it. I love Alpha males so for me to be turned on by a male sub takes some time. This one was perfect. The first scene and I was lost – hot hot hot.
And my other go to author: Anne Calhoun.
The Muse – Just like any other Anne Calhoun book I’ve read, this one had me from the first page. I not only love her stories, I love the way she tells them. The way they draw you in slowly… the way you understand why they fall for each other. And the writing. God the writing was so beautiful!