It’s Cristina’s turn and I am LOVING her list! I need to get onto her absolute favorite of the year (that one to the left) ’cause I LOVE this author and all I ever hear is how amazing this duet is. I NEED TO GET ON IT!!!
But first… some fun “comment highlights” by Cristina over the last year:
I’m still pretty busy finishing house projects before Thanksgiving so my reading time is limited for the next few days. I just cleaned out my pantry last night after a trip to Costco. That seems to be the catch all place for a LOT of stuff. I do love how it looks afterwards though 🙂
I loved Game of Thrones! I watched the series for the first time right before the last season came out, so I was late to the game too on that one. It’s definitely one I binged as much as possible!
My weekend was littered with house projects in preparation for Thanksgiving. We always host and we have a good amount of people coming this year and we’re so excited! Like you Maryse, it’s been a couple of years since we’ve seen some of our family, so were making overnight preparations for our out-of-towners. The amount of food we will have that day is going to be UNREAL. …My Thanksgiving preparations are taking priority right now, so my reading time has dropped dramatically, but I’m hoping to change that this week. 🙂
I’m currently reading book 3 the Playing with Monsters series by Amelia Hutchins. I loved the Fae Chronicles series, but stopped after Ryder and Syn’s story a few years back. Technically I jumped a little too far ahead of the series reading order, but Lucian peeked my interest. Amelia definitely excels at writing the alpha personality, but she does a great job of writing a strong heroine too. Last month I finished the 3rd book in the Legacy of the Nine Realms series, Ruins of Chaos. That series is awesome and I’m anxiously awaiting the next book! If you decide to read that series, have your favorite drink on standby! Knox and Aria are seriously on FIRE, and I mean that in a good and bad way. 😉
The cicadas here (Indiana) are getting worse by the day, but thankfully there aren’t trees by my house, so I haven’t come across them, UNTIL I drove 30 miles south to dinner on Friday. One landed on me and I about had a heart attack! I was literally frozen in place with my eyes closed yelling, “get it off of me! Get it off of me!” My fiance was dying laughing, but he did come to my rescue. Lol I don’t mind small bugs, but big bugs are a hard NO for me!
AND THIS SWEET MESSAGE FROM HER TO ME that I never want to forget ❤️
I’m so happy to hear that you got your “groove” back! Life can come at us pretty hard sometimes and we all falter because of it at some point, and that’s ok! I’ve been through some pretty rough times myself these past few years dealing with a family death, a divorce, and sending children off to college, so I’ve had to fight hard to find my “groove” again too. What got me through a lot of it was reading, and most of the books that I read came through recommendations from your blog, so THANK YOU! Thank you for creating this place for all of us to come to on a daily basis and find our next “boyfriend/husband” and for giving us a place to find like-minded people to share these adventures with! Thank you for all your hard work and dedication! This place matters! YOU ROCK and YOU GOT THIS!!
And now… time for Cristina’s Best of 2021
Hello everyone and Happy New Year!
2021 was an interesting reading year for me, but I guess I could say 2021 was just a weird year in general. I had a tough time getting into my reading groove last year. I did more re-reads last year than ever before which is very unusual for me.
I’ve never been a huge fan of re-reads because I always felt like I could never replicate that first reading experience. There are a few series that I absolutely LOVE and I’ve read those many times over, but for the most part, I only read a book once, so it was a lot of fun reading some of them again. It very much was like reading them for the first time because I came in with a difference mood or perspective.
Can any of you relate?
Here are my FAVORITES of 2021:
Playing with Monsters series by Amelia Hutchins – I’m a big fan of the Fae Chronicles series and this is one of the spin-offs from it. These books center on Lucian and Magdalena, but all of our favorite characters from the Fae Chronicles make an appearance at some point.
Amelia always writes a great alpha male and I enjoy watching the character development of her heroines too. Great series!
Blood and Ash series by Jennifer Armentrout – This series overall is just spectacular! There have been so many great reviews of this series and mine is no different. It kept me captivated the whole way through and I enjoyed every minute of it! A lot of sneak reads at work during this series ☺
Mixed Tape by Brittainy Cherry – She is one of my favorite go-to authors! Her ability to take some of the deepest human emotions and pen them to paper so beautifully is nothing short of an art form. I ALWAYS get deep into my feels when I read one of her books and this one was no different. Oliver’s grief was palpable and Emery was so warm and loving, not to mention how much I adored her little girl! Their love story was absolutely exquisite!! It pulled so hard at my heart strings!
SIDE NOTE FROM MARYSE: Here’s a fun comment after she read it:
Cristina: I finished “The Mixtape” by Brittainy Cherry, and as usual, she took my breath away! Every time I read one of her books, I learn something new about myself. She just has a way of writing emotions that bring you all the feels! I feel everything that her characters go through the entire way through. She is simply amazing! Don’t miss out on this one!
Oliver will tug at your heartstrings and I want Emery as a best friend! And her daughter is just hilarious and adorable! “Every person in this world has a mixtape of sorts, a collection of tracks that defines their lives. Each memory is a song, and they all come together to create a masterpiece. So, tell me your story. What lyrics, what melodies, live on your mixtape?”
The Aristocrat by Penelope Ward – This book contains just the right amount of humor, angst and romance, and I mean, it’s Penelope Ward, so you can’t go wrong! It’s an incredibly well written second-chance romance. I absolutely adored Leo and Felicity! Their “meet-cute” is positively hilarious and their chemistry was off the charts! This book was exactly what I needed when I read it. I read this entire book in a day.
The Rose Gardner Mystery series by Denise Grover Swank – “It all started when I saw myself dead.” This series has been out for quite some time and I just happened to find out about it in 2020 and immediately added it to my TBR list.
In late 2021, I was in the mood for a fun, light-hearted mystery/romance series and this one delivered! I am still working on finishing it as it is nine books long and there’s another complete series after this entitled, “Rose Gardner investigation series” which carries Rose into the next stage of her life.
There are so many wonderful things I could say about this series. What I enjoyed most was the character development of Rose herself. She starts off as a shy, complacent, young woman living with an emotionally abusive Mother and as the books progress, she begins to find her strength and her own sense of identity. Each book contains a mystery that Rose must solve, along with the help of her pesky “visions” and some fun, hilarious, and at times aggravating side characters. AND there’s romance to boot! ☺
These next two are my absolute FAVORITES of 2021:
The Fisherman series duet by Jewel E. Ann – She is another one of my favorite go-to authors! It’s really hard to find the words to describe my feelings for this series. I was completely hooked from beginning to end! I did sneak readings during work, I read late into the night and I read at every available minute in between until this series was done, and when it was… WOW the book hangover was REAL!
Reese and Fisher’s story was so captivating and heartfelt. I rooted SO HARD for these two! To watch Reese grow throughout this series was absolutely beautiful! And Fisher?!?! *sigh* I would like one of him PLEASE! This is one of my favorite romantic duets of all time. Jewel E. Ann knocked it out of the park with this one and if you haven’t read it, stop what you are doing and pick this series up immediately!
Cristina: I just finished Jewel E. Ann’s The Fisherman duet…. UTTER PERFECTION! I want to say so many wonderful things about these books, but I don’t know where to start! Maryse… buckle up! You’re going to love it! And when you finish the first, go right into the second. You absolutely must and you’ll find out why when you finish the first. The first book is wonderful, but the second one makes the first one even better! Happy reading! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it!
Cristina: I’ve been in a reading slump since The Fisherman Duet. That series left me with a serious book hangover so I’m desperate to find a replacement.
The Legacy of the Nine Realms series by Amelia Hutchins – What can I say… this woman hit it out of the park again with this explosive new series! Again, a strong heroine, a hot and infuriating alpha male, an intriguing story line, and a fantastic group of side characters make up this new series. What more can you ask for?
I have such a love/hate relationship with Aria and Knox. At times, I’m rooting so hard for them and at other times, I just wanted Aria to knock him OUT and move on! I was so completely immersed in these books that I completed all three in less than three days.
What makes it one of my top two for 2021 is due to the LARGE amount of visceral emotions that this series erupted in me and it isn’t even done yet! It was such rollercoaster ride! I am eagerly awaiting for the next one which is due out at any time!
SIDE NOTE FROM MARYSE: Here’s a fun comment after she read it:
I just finished the third book, Ruins of Chaos, by Amelia Hutchins and I’m DYING for the next one! This series is blowing my mind! Each book just gets better and better! It’s bringing out all the emotions in me which is a good sign of a great series! It’s just agony waiting for the next installment, especially when you get on a roll of reading one book after another. It’s like a movie I never want to end and then I’m forced to hit “pause.” I read on her Facebook page that she’s got a lot going on in her life right now, so I’m sending good vibes her way! 🙂
That series is awesome and I’m anxiously awaiting the next book! If you decide to read that series, have your favorite drink on standby! Knox and Aria are seriously on FIRE, and I mean that in a good and bad way. 😉
MARYSE’S NOTE TO OUR FELLOW READERS: Have a Best of 2021 list for me? Send it to me here. 🙂
➔➔➔ Looking for more recommendations? Browse all of the reader favorites lists here on the blog. 😀