Reader Favorites – Jennifer’s Best of 2016 list

by Maryse on December 19, 2016 · 16 comments

in Book Recommendations

It’s Jennifer’s turn!!! She’s been with our group since 2012, commenting and she’s a big fan (and supporter) of the reader favorites list, so I’m THRILLED she finally sent us hers!!

I love some of her choices, and am dying to read some of her others (incredibly diverse, and lots of “new-to-me” books!!), so you KNOW she’s right up our book-alley!! I can hear my TBR list groan as we speak. LOL!!! :P

Here’s a little bit about Jennifer (and her book-tastes) from over the years…

About her perfect day:

“Staying home, drinking wine, and hopefully getting some reading in….perfect day!”

About her favorite books….

“It takes some guts to share our favorite books because for those of us who love to read, what we spend our time with says a lot about us. I am very proud of everyone who has shared their lists…good for you. Just had to say that.”

“I love the variety…MM, Sci Fi, historical, so many genres so little time…and love soccer books…”

“I hadn’t read m/m romance before recommendations on your website….opened a whole new world!”

“I love badass heroines! … Love strong female characters with extraordinary abilities.”

“When I have long drive I love audible books. When I had a one-way 5 hour road trip I listened to Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Great refresher since I hadn’t read it in a while.”

“I also loved Johanna Lindsey….my first “adult” reads when I was a kid but still remember vivid details from these author’s books!”

“R Lee Smth book…automatic one-click for me! Bonus that it is described as another dark erotica story, can’t wait to dive in…. … R. Lee Smith was an amazing author find for me in 2015. … R. Lee Smith and her beauty and the beast stories. I love her writing and stories…all some variation of beauty and the beast and so complex, multilayered and hard… almost guaranteed 5* read…Cottonwood, Heat, Last Hour of Gann, Lamd of The Beautiful Dead…it’s what I do to get out of a slump…”

“I really like it when authors respond to readers and bloggers excitement about their books….very cool.”

“I was reading while my husband tried to nap…he kept telling me to be quiet because I kept giggling! I have to trim down my TBR list…at almost 400 books it’s getting ridiculous…still doesn’t stop me from reading this blog daily for any new “can’t miss” books though!”

A bit about her favorite “book boyfriends”:

“Barron’s from the fever series is my fantasy book boyfriend….HOT!”

“Caleb from captive in the dark. But oh how I came to love him!”

And about her TOP 2016 list, she says:

Hey Maryse! Thanks for the opportunity to post a list. I’ve never sent one before but enjoy reading others recommendations. I thought I read some good ones this year so I wanted to share so others may find a new read. Unfortunately, some of these great reads are the second or third books in the series- but so worth the reads to get to them!

1. A Man Called Ove: A Novel by Fredrik Backman <— This was a 5++++* for me. It was a brilliant book and character study. I went in completely blind and listened to the audio version. I grinned like a fool driving to work and riding the bike at the gym. The dry observations Ove had about his neighbors, the cat, and his rivals was laugh out loud humorous although Ove was taciturn. This is a rich story of a man’s life, beliefs, principles, and how he affects those around him.

2. Do Not Disturb (A Deanna Madden Novel Book 2) by A.R. Torre <— This is book 2 of a trilogy, although there now may be more… The main character’s innate humor in her psychotic thoughts are so compelling. She struggles with her desire to kill; she wants to be good and live a normal life but she also wants to take life. She is a sex-cam girl shut-in who keeps herself in her apartment (mostly) to keep those outside her doors safe from herself. She is a strong, engaging, humorous MC.

3. Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde <— This book had the feels! August’s son was killed in an accident 2 years ago and he desperately wants to go on a summer road trip he would have taken with his son. His RV has broken down and he finds himself the guardian of the mechanic’s two boys for the summer on his trip. This was a fast read with great character interactions.

4. When Nothing Is All You’ve Got by Kirsty Dallas <— The story was very compelling. It had a dystopian setting, a strong, kick-ass female lead who dealt with struggle, strife, violence, and an anti-hero love interest.

5. Cottonwood by R. Lee Smith <— This author never disappoints. Her characters are brave, idealistic, evil, strong, and incredibly resistant to pain, both mental and physical. If you have read the Last Hour of Gann, this is its opposite story line… where alien colonists accidentally come to earth and how humans react to them.

6. The King’s Men (All for the Game Book 3) by Nora Sakavic <— This was the third story in a trilogy and an incredible conclusion to the story line. The books in this series are hard to describe, they are dark, sports related, suspenseful, only overtly m/m romance in the later part of the trilogy, twisting and violent. This is about a college-age team of misfits who are trying to find their second chance at life and success. It is brilliant, imaginative, and fascinating.

7. Jezebel by K. Larsen <— Wow….just wow!! Mind blowing story. So many clues, I though I was paying attention, I knew there was a twist…brilliant and cold.

8. The Golden Dynasty (Fantasyland Series Book 2) by Kristen Ashley <— Finally read this in 2016 after having it sit on my iPad for two years. The interactions between the H and h are endearing, real, sexy, and delicious. I got lost in their world (#2 in the series but not necessary to read #1 first).

9. The Book of Life: A Novel (All Souls Trilogy, Book 3) by Deborah Harkness <— Number 3 in the All Souls Trilogy. This has witches, vampires, time-travel, history, adventure, romance, what’s not to love?!

10. Isadora (Masters Among Monsters Book 2) by Ella Frank <— This is book 2 of a trilogy and the third has not been published yet but this was erotica that I love and expect from Ella Frank. This is more a 3-part story that is separated rather than a trilogy with interrelated characters. This is a sexy vampire story with m/m and m/f pairings.


P.S. If you’re ready to send your list to be featured on a “Reader Favorites Saturday” (email it to me here)

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Theresa Parsons December 19, 2016 at 9:45 PM

Fantastic list Jennifer…very diverse…I read a couple ( Jezebel, The Golden Dynasty, and Book of Life)…loved all of them…looking forward to trying some of your other recs…thanks for sharing!

bev December 19, 2016 at 10:29 PM

Great list. Read Cottonwood this year, too. I still need to read The Book of Life. I’ll have to check out some of the others.

Fabi December 19, 2016 at 10:40 PM

Fantastic list Jennifer. So diverse. Right up my alley. And since I’ve only read one of these so far, I have great choices to add to my 2017 tbr. Thank you for sharing your favorites.

Jean December 19, 2016 at 10:46 PM

Great list Jennifer! I’ve only read 7 and 8, but love seeing your favorites. The Man Called Ove is very high on my TBR!

Rebecca December 19, 2016 at 10:55 PM

Loving these lists, so diversely read, I’m exactly the same. Adding heaps to my wish list for next year. Xxx

Jennifer December 19, 2016 at 11:56 PM

Thanks guys…it was fun putting it together. Looking forward to more lists and more great finds!

Lisa December 20, 2016 at 12:35 AM

Oooh, Jennifer you’ve reminded me of the Book of Life (All Souls Trilogoy) I read the first two but never got back to that series. Loved all the history in the second one. TBR add.

D.G. December 20, 2016 at 7:01 AM

Awesome list Jennifer! I have only read the Golden Dynasty so definitely a lot of new ones to check out.

Grey December 20, 2016 at 11:08 AM

I’ve read Jezebel and Golden Dynasty…but a couple of these others sound right up in my wheelhouse! Thanks so much for this list!

And love to Maryse, as always, for being awesome and letting us do this!!

Diana December 20, 2016 at 12:41 PM

Woah! How is it that I’ve only read ONE of the books on your list? I LOVE Golden Dynasty. IMO her Fantasyland series is her best and that might be my favorite book from the series. (Maybe…it’s a tough call ;P Was I the only one who didn’t Love book 4? I mean, I’ve read it at least 4 times, but there’s something about her being his dead wife’s doppelganger that creeeeeeeeeeped me out. It made their love feel disingenuous somehow.) Followed by her 3 series (although I was kinda bored with book 3, tbh)

Maryse December 20, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Oh this is absolutely my pleasure Grey. I LOVE finding out about the best of the best. And since you guys have awesome book-taste, it gives me more “sure-thing” reads to put on my list. :D

MichelleS December 20, 2016 at 4:04 PM

I’m with Grey – read Jezebel & GD. Need to move Cottonwood up – I love her writing!

Cheryl December 20, 2016 at 9:30 PM

Wow, awesome list Jennifer and made even more so by your fantastic descriptions. I’ve read Jezebel and Do Not Disturb, in fact the entire Deanna Madden series. I heard its going to be made into a movie. ;)

Ann-Theres December 25, 2016 at 8:02 PM

Soo happy to see someone else who loves “The Kings men!” It made such a huge impact on me; I`ve felt like I have been in a book fog ever since I read it( The first time, lol!)

Amy January 1, 2017 at 4:08 PM

Great list, Jennifer! :D

I’ve read Jezebel and Golden Dynasty (which are a couple of my all-time favorites!!) and recently read When Nothing is All You’ve Got, which was really, REALLYgood and would be great for those who like a gritty dystopian read!

Jennifer January 1, 2017 at 9:20 PM

I am loving these lists… all the great new finds and those like Ann-Theres who love my favorite finds. I LOVE BOOKS!!!! And experiencing new worlds.

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