Reader Favorites – Antonella’s 2016 Top Ten

by Maryse on February 4, 2017 · 9 comments

in Book Recommendations

It’s Antonella’s turn and she’s been with us for a while!!! Since 2013 in fact. I’m thrilled that she’s a part of our crew, and now, she has sent over her favorites.

But first! Let’s get to know her, a little, shall we?

First: She’s from Sydney, Australia.

Antonella likes a dirty-mouthed hero. ;)I can’t get Matt out of my head and find myself going back re-reading bits. Maybe it is his dirty mouth LOL!

She does “accents” while reading. “Did anyone else put on an Irish accent when reading Declan’s lines? Maybe it’s just me.”

She’s anti “Cheesy cover” ;)…I know you aren’t meant to judge a book by it’s cover but….can’t help it.”

A few fun tidbits about her Australian Christmas!

“My family are coming to have Xmas at my place for a good old Aussie BBQ (yep prawns and snags). And then hopefully the rest of the hols I can just read…..”

“My 4 yr old telling me he has 165 things on his xmas list and that Santa will know what he wants because he can read his writing (at 4 yrs old he can’t write well, so the page is a series of scribbles). It was very cute.”

And a bit about their favorite book:

“Santa’s Aussie Christmas. Great kids book where Santa comes to Australia for a holiday and goes surfing and meets all the animals. My kids love it.”

She’s a “can’t-put-it-down” late night reader…

Finished this last night (or really this morning) at 2.30am as I could not put it down…

…I can’t put it down but it’s 12.30am, I’m going to be a zombie tomorrow me thinks…

…I’m also 50% in and loving it, I couldn’t put it down but eventually had to when the clock said 2am…

…I wish I had more hours in the day too. I go to work and my eyes are popping out of my head as I am so tired. Hard to explain that it’s self inflicted because i just had to read the next chapter in my book or I had 10% left which couldn’t wait until tomorrow…

She was a reluctant “Dark Romance” reader once… but it appears she’s enjoying them now!

“I just read Keep Me Safe as I wanted to see what a dark erotica novel was all about and I’m a bit lost for words. The story was gripping enough to read to the end and you did feel for the characters but it’s just left me feeling empty. Guess it just wasn’t for me…”

“Tears of Tess by Pepper Winters is another great dark read/kidnap. I never thought I’d be into them but I am a convert.”

“Debt Inheritance by Pepper Winters, it’s brilliant if you aren’t afraid of a little darkness.”

One that always sticks out for me was Wanderlust by Skye Warren. I read it a while ago now but I still remember it being dark/taboo and wanting them to get together even though it was so wrong.

Her theory about TBR lists:

TBR lists are always going to be long is my philosophy, there are always going to be more super bargains to one click than I can get through. (I think I’m at 50, I tried to organize and it lasted 2 weeks).

I need to pick my next book to read and I have so many recommended ones on my TBR list that I might need to do eeinie meenie Minnie moe (not sure how u spell that)…….

About her 2016 “Best Of” list, she says:

“I know i’m not a regular contributor, being in Australia with the time zone differences I’m out of whack with the night conversations which happen when I am at work. But love reading your blog, reader comments and recommendations – it was the first blog I came across (and am still following) when I started reading a few years ago when I got my iPad and got into indie authors. I love finding a great book at a bargain price and am still swayed by a book’s cover.

In 2016 I set myself a goal to use Goodreads to catalogue/rate everything I read and write comments, so I remember what I was feeling when I read the book – although I leave my comments marked to private. Looking at the 75 books (both new and from the long TBR list) that I read in 2016, I had 10 that I rated as 5 stars which is perfect for a top 10 list! In no particular order……”

1. It Ends with Us: A Novel by Colleen Hoover <— Don’t need to say much with this one given it has popped up on quite a few lists. Ms Hoover knows how to pen a story.

2. Black Swan Affair by KL Krieg <— There were so many good reviews for this and was worried it wasn’t going to live up to the hype but it definitely did. This love triangle made me do an all nighter to know how it ended.

3. The Paper Swan by Leylah Attar <— This was a beautifully written book. It had a great plot with a complex hero that I am so happy got his HEA.

4. Lick (Stage Dive Series Book 1) by Kylie Scott <— The dialogue between the 2 leads was great, characters that talked and said what they were thinking. Can’t wait to meet the author at a book signing event later this year and read the rest of the series – which others have said are better than the first.

5. The Mason List by SD Hendrickson <— This was the first 5 star read for 2016. Another book that I could not put down as so much happened to them and got a little teary as well. I just wish the epilogue was a longer than 2 pages after the journey they went through.

6. Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward <— Well, we all like something a little taboo and this one did not disappoint. Right amount of angst and build up with a good little twist.

7.Gemini by Penelope Ward <— After reading Stepbrother Dearest, I realised I had another Penelope Ward book in a book collection that had been on my TBR for a while. Wow – why did I wait so long?. I think Penelope Ward is becoming my new fav author. Another page turner with the right amount of chemistry between the H and H.

8. Hearts of Blue (Hearts Series Book 4) by LH Cosway <— This is the 3rd book from this series that I have read. Whilst the other 2 also rated highly, I think I liked this more because he was a bad boy and she was a cop – and when it’s wrong, it can be so right. There were some great lines in there about life – to make the most of it and do what you need to do in order to survive.

9. The Last Hour (The Thompson Sisters Book 5) by Charles Sheehan-Miles <— I had a box set for the Thompson Sisters and this was the last one I read. I balled my eyes out at the end of this one. I gave this 5 stars as it made me feel so much and I couldn’t put it down. Was in a bit of book fog after finishing it.

10. King: KING SERIES, BOOK ONE by TM Frazier <— This book hooks you in from the beginning. It is gritty and raw. King is the strong dominant alpha. Storyline is a little dubious, felt like an episode of Sons of Anarchy. Some of what goes on is a little wrong but entertaining in a perverted way. Ends on a cliff hanger, so buy the book bundle.

So many others that need a mention as highlights for the year – my first Kristen Ashley with The Will, the erotic Neighbors by Stylo Fantome, the funny (laugh out loud) The Substitute by Denise Grover Swank, The Off Campus Series by Elle Kennedy (we need some ice hockey players here in Australia) and the sweet Kick Push series by Jay McLean.

Thanks and looking forward to sharing in 2017.


Antonella (Ant)


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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen C February 5, 2017 at 2:03 AM

Great list! I have loved a few of these (IEWU, Black Swan Affair (omgggg read that a couple of weeks ago SO GOOD I was up all night finishing it too), The Paper Swan) and have a few sitting in my TBR list (4, eek) – going to bump them up now!

bev February 5, 2017 at 10:59 AM

King has been on my tbr for awhile now. I should get to it.
Loved the Stage Dive Series, but still need to read the very last one.
Wonderful list. :)

MichelleS February 5, 2017 at 11:46 AM

1, 3,, 5, 10… not too shabby…. I loved these books too, so I’m going to check out the rest of your list. So many I’ve had my eye on!

Fabi February 5, 2017 at 12:13 PM

Maryse I loved your synopsis of our Antonella!!!

Yes Antonella, your ours, even if you didn’t know it. :-) But I don’t think I have you on my GR list, please please friend me so I can see what you’re reading. I love your top ten list.

Robyn February 5, 2017 at 12:41 PM

Great List! I’ve read almost all these books. I just bought Kick Push and Maryse just reviewed it…..maybe I should read it next?!

Thanks for sharing…I love when we all read and love the same books.

Maryse February 5, 2017 at 12:52 PM


I JUST LOVE searching out funny little tidbits that are in the comments that let us “into” one of our fellow book-lovers… their lives, their thoughts, their preferences, things that make them giggle.

One comment here and there might not look like much, but once I sort through them, I can gather up a fun “picture” if you will. ;) That’s one of my favorite things. Learning about you guys, and compiling all the best “learny-parts” together into a list. :P

Kristen O. February 5, 2017 at 3:16 PM

Love this list and descriptions! I’m always happy to hear I’m not alone with the late night reading compulsion, lol. Thanks for sharing (and adding to my own giant tbr list, ha!)

Leslie M February 5, 2017 at 7:57 PM

Antonella, I just LOVED Stepbrother Dearest and I feel like that one might not get the attention it deserves. If you haven’t read Roomhate yet, I’d recommend that one too.

Great list!! :)

Antonella February 5, 2017 at 10:24 PM

OMG, reading all those old comment posts is quite funny. Thanks for putting them up with my top 10 list – that’s quite the introduction.

Leslie M – I will check out Roomhate, I have seen that around
Fabi – I will friend you on GR…although I have never done it before so hopefully I can figure it out.

Bev – the last Stage Dive novel is quite good. And you hear about the other characters as well, so it ties up the series rather nicely.

Whilst i’m melting right now in this sweltering heat, i’m going to go read me some more Tillie Cole, with “It ain’t me, babe” in the airconditioning.

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