Some swoon-worthy romance (that had me giggling like mad at times), some thrillers, some really deep and heartfelt growth/love stories, some crazy twists that had my jaw drop. All of them… unforgettable! 😀
Beautiful Savage by Lisa Sorbe <— 5 STAR SUPER FEMALE PSYCHO-STALKER ALERT! And it made a mess of my head. Right to the very end!!!! Here’s my 5-STAR review, and a little snippet from it, to give you a taste. 😉
…It kept me hooked from the very start, sucked me in, and spit me right back out when I hit the end of the book. And WHAT AN ENDING IT WAS!! HOLY MOLY. The heroine (or should I say villain? <— Yes… for sure that), was intense, devious, conniving, snarky, funny… but also so vulnerable at times, it HURT.
A master manipulator, but as her story builds, you see where she’s coming from, and why she’s become so obsessed about getting what she wants, and is no holds barred about it. But it’s not all “psycho-stalker”, I promise. Though many of you are going to just absolutely hate her, anyway. I think. 😏
Layla by Colleen Hoover <— 5-STARS AND INCREDIBLY CLEVER!!! TOTAL INCREDIBLE BLURB JOLT & it lived up!!! I didn’t see any of it coming, but it came full circle and totally made sense. You know… if you believe in this stuff. 😉 Here’s my 5-STAR review and a little snippet from it:
OMG my heart was in my throat so many times, and then I thought to myself… I AM SO CLEVER ‘CAUSE I JUST FIGURED OUT WHAT’S HAPPENING!!! And I was wrong. And then it went even crazier. I love when that happens!! And here’s the thing… Colleen mostly gives us sweet romance with plenty of angst, plenty of growth and a real deal HEA.
But sometimes, Colleen pulls the rug from underneath her readers (just a time or two, either in the middle of the story, or even a twisty jaw dropping ending that leaves me gasping… and she left us that way!!!) But you KNOW I love a book going either way so I’m always game to let the author take me on a ride
Pretend You’re Mine: A Small Town Love Story (Benevolence Book 1) <— I 5-STARRED THIS ONE SO HARD and devoured this long book, in just a few days. Here’s my 5-STAR review (and a little snippet from it below). 😉
…I went from wanting to sob halfway through the book to another moment of even greater “feels” where I gasssssped and gassssped and gassssssped! 😨😨😲 😩. I thought I wanted to cry at the 48% point?? HOLY MOLY wait until you get to THE PART that had my heart and tummy twisted up. Actually many moments, but this particular one.
I. FREAKED. OUT.
In Five Years: A Novel by Rebecca Serle <— THIS ONE SHOWED UP on a few “Best of” lists this year and truly was incredible. Another one that gave me an incredible blurb jolt (after the fact, since I went in blind), had me guessing the whole way, and was stunning and unforgettable!!! Here’s my 5-STAR review (and a little snippet from it, below):
I practically highlighted the whole thing. I can’t even describe to you how unique and clever it is (it kept me guessing the whole way through), and captured me right from the start and didn’t let me go. It will definitely be on my Best of 2021 list.
I’m so glad I jumped on it (price be damned, ’cause I paid the full price, LOL!!). The reactions from our book crew convinced me and it was SO worth it. THIS IS A MUST READ.
I’d say go in blind, like I did (I didn’t even read the blurb – I just went on the recommendations alone) but if you do read the blurb, it will give you a HUGE blurb jolt (and for good reason… you’ll see) and you will be DYING to read this.
Arrogant Officer: A RomCom Standalone by Lauren Runow & Jeannine Colette <— OH HOW I LOVE A MAN IN UNIFORM!! 😉 And this one had me laughing AND swooning (and also —> super-wanting-to-throw-my-Kindle at one point. GRRRRRR!!!!). Avoidant hero alert! Cocky cop (and that title works) but I absolutely LOVED him. It was exactly what I was in the mood for (no crazy detective/special ops stuff) just a cop in uniform infuriating the heroine. Tee hee!!! Here’s my 4.5 STAR REVIEW (and a small snippet from my review):
Sweet, sexy, steamy and infuriating. And just plain fun. And while it might be somewhat predictable (it is pure contemporary romance, after all) it still made me feel it the whole way through. The good and the bad, and that’s all I ask for.
P.S. Bonus? It was almost ENTIRELY from her POV so from start to almost finish, I only saw him, and got to know him, through HER eyes. His issues, his reactions… all of her concerns, and questions… I FELT them as my own. What the heck was HIS problem? Ahhhhh… you know how that goes. 😉
…trust me, while it seems like it will be a sweet and steamy contemporary romance (and it is), there’s a HUGE twist (a few… in fact) that slowly come to reveal themselves each step of the way. AND IT WAS SO WORTH IT!! So much OMG NO WAYYYYYYY *ooooomph!!!* I thought I saw something coming, but what it was… was so much bigger!
4.5 STARS!!! <— It was funny, it had that wonderful slow burn tension, and it had just that touch of jealousy that made me swoooooon. Hudson has my heart, you guys. This is a must read. I read it with a smile on my face the whole way through… well that is, until it got crazy and my heart was in my throat.
Beautifully Cruel by J.T. Geissinger <— SO OFTEN RECOMMENDED TO ME & I took the plunge and agreed!! I wasn’t thrilled with the cover (too much facial hair for my taste) but the Hero was AMAZING! Here’s my 4.5 STAR REVIEW (and a small snippet from my review):
OMG ALL OF YOU WERE RIGHT!! Screw the cover! That story, the writing, the slow burn, and the eventual romance-angst (ohhhh the pain!!!!) was all consuming.
And it was when his protector-side came out and then the reaction of some in her entourage when they realized exactly who he was (even though she still didn’t know)… that was when I was ALLLLLL IN!!!! OMG everyone was FREAKING OUT…
My Husband’s Daughter by Emma Robinson <— Really interesting and not at all what I was expecting. Was it a thriller? A love triangle? A scam? But it moved me, and it had to make my list! Here’s my 4.5 STAR REVIEW (and a little snippet from it):
From the start, it have a one-way feel… almost seemed like a possible domestic psych-thriller, but with that “title” I couldn’t quite go with the flow and be surprised.
That said… I was TOTALLY surprised!!!! 😂😂 Not where I thought I’d be surprised (though that was a great reveal too), but there’s a definite twist in the mix that I didn’t see coming, and I ended up so connected to it.
Sorrow by Tiffanie DeBartolo <— DEEEEEEP & pretty painful at times, the “avoidant heroes” really give me a run for my money in these books, but that’s kind of what I love. IN BOOKS!! Always and only in books!! 😂 😆 I love the slow burn and the angst (and in this case, he really had his reasons). P.S. Incredible twist!! Here’s my 4.5 STAR REVIEW (and a small snippet from it):
That said… this author has a way of pulling the rug right out from underneath me, ’cause she explores love stories in all of their glory and heartache. This is not a romance, but that said, this is a HUGE love story (a few in fact – in different ways) and one to feel with your whole heart. If you let yourself go… you will feel the incredible energy on all levels.
Wide open trust and love, loyalty and potential betrayal and hurt, and yes… definitely a certain sorrow (though I’ll let you explore that part). 😉 But in the end, even though I found the beginning slower, the last third of the book had my heart on edge and I was so fully invested.
Five Years Gone by Marie Force <— SO OFTEN RECOMMENDED & while it’s been on my TBR list for years, it took me forever to finally jump in. Even though I had a few reservations for some parts of the story, it still absolutely tore my heart out. I’m hearing book #2 is even better, but I’m not sure I’m ready to move on yet. 😉 Here’s my 4-STAR REVIEW (and a snippet from it):
A military hero that’s been gone for five years (deployed), and the love of his life having NO contact from him whatsoever after he left, and she has no idea if he was safe or where he was?
YES. PLEASE. And OMG!!!! I knew I was in for heartache. And boy did it deliver!!!
Usually I like a slower burn (not really insta-love), but hey… this one worked for me BIG TIME. But then again, I’m a sucker for uniforms, so I went with it. 😉 Immediate attraction, constant connection, moving in together in record time… and relationship bliss. Pure love and devotion, and forever.
And then one day, he gets a call…
Like my book style? 😉 Take a look at all of my past “Best of” lists:
➔➔➔ Looking for more of our favorite recommendations? Browse our “Ultimate Favorites Lists” here. Are you in the mood for a certain kind of story? Browse our favorite “genre/trope categories” here and our reader favorites lists too.