Reader Favorites – Lisa’s Top Books 2016

by Maryse on January 4, 2017 · 25 comments

in Book Recommendations

Lisa’s TOP 2016 list is up, and I see quite a few of my OWN favorites listed here!! And I love the details she provides with each one, in regards to WHY she picks it.

She says:

I am wishing you and all of the beautiful book lovers on your blog, season’s greetings. I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the wonderful community you have created in 2016, and I am thankful for the lovely online friendships that I have developed here. In a busy and sometimes demanding world, finding time to read is such a luxury, but finding so many people who share my love of reading and make me smile almost every day is a blessing.

Thank you for all of your hard work in keeping us abreast of the new releases, author news and providing us with excellent book reviews….my tbr thanks you too…as does my Amazon credit card bill!!

I have put together my favourite books for 2016, in no particular order:

1) I have to start my list with the best Marmie books I read this year…because generally I steer away from the tummy twisty, heart shredders, but every so often I pull up my socks, roll my shoulders back and tackle something I know will hurt. Loverboy (Dartmoor Book 5) by Lauren Gilley and Random & Rare (Lock & Key Book 2) by Cat Porter. Both of these books HURT but Dig’s story in Random and Rare completely undid me. The most astounding and wonderful skill of Cat Porter, in writing this book, is the reader already knows Dig is dead and he narrates his tale from the grave. A little piece of my heart was left behind in the pages of this book. PS: It’s really hard to read when you can’t stop crying.

2) I adore a contemporary romance/comedy romp that has the ability to both make me swoon and laugh out loud. This year I read a few books that could slot into this category. The best…The Hating Game: A Novel by Sally Thorne had me laughing from the beginning, so smart and witty but sexy too. What’s not to love in an enemies-to-lovers book? And Max Monroe’s Banking the Billionaire (Bad Boy Billionaires Book 2) with crazy Cassie and Thatch the Jolly Green Giant. Had me quite literally laughing so much, even though I thought I’d struggle with Cassie’s constant language, it was a bit like watching Walking Dead…I became de-sensitized the further into it I went and the laughs outweighed the course language. Genius.

3) I am always a fan of a rock star Hero and this year I fell hard for Killian in Idol (VIP Book 1) by Kristen Callihan. The meet-cute scenario at the beginning was unique and funny and hooked me immediately. And Dylan in Blur (Changing Colors Book 2) by NA Alcorn just had me reminiscing about Kellan from Thoughtless, so damn hot. Loved the music references throughout too.

4) I love a sports themed contemporary romance too and I read some awesome ones this year… The Score (Off-Campus Book 3) by Elle Kennedy (I’ve loved the entire series). The Play by Karina Halle, The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata, Moonshot by Alessandra Torre and Ginger Scott’s Hold My Breath all got 5 stars for me but there were so many others with a solid 4 stars. A good year for hot sports stars.

5) New to me authors (who have become ‘must-read everything they write from now on’ favourites). This is easy and I’m sure a few will agree, Undecided by Julianna Keyes, hands down. Loved this book from beginning to end, Nora and Crosbie are adorable. Clever writing.

6) I don’t read much paranormal/ fantasy anymore but occasionally all the reality gets a bit much and this year I loved escaping to BDB-ville with The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 13) by JR Ward and the courtyard with Written In Red: A Novel of the Others by Anne Bishop.

7) All-time favourite author who didn’t let me down this year was Bounty (Colorado Mountain Series Book 7) by KA. Loved it, beginning to end and Deke is quite possibly my most loved KA hero.

8) The books I have been drawn to more than anything else this year have been gritty Motorcycle club books (I think last year was hockey players…this year bikers) and the best books I have read all year, ahead of everything else have been Lauren Gilley’s Dartmoor series and Susan Fanetti’s Night Horde series. In fact of my 34 five star books this year ten of them are from these authors. Faultless.

9) Best YA fiction. We Were Liars by E Lockhart. A dark twisted cross between Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and F Scott Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby. Tragic and beautiful. Loved it! A very good reminder of why I should read more YA fiction.

I had a great reading year in 2016 and stuck to my Goodreads Challenge to read and write a review for 150 books. I took on and met the NaNoWriMo challenge…something I have wanted to do for a couple of years now. And, finally my real life Book Club celebrated 10 years together.

I hope everyone in Maryse Land has a safe and wonderful Christmas and New Year. Lisa x

Check out more of Lisa’s favorites:


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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

bev January 4, 2017 at 7:35 PM

Lisa, great list.
I like how you divided them up. There are some authors I believe I have buried in my tbr that I must pull out and try this year.
WiR….love seeing that book.

Jan January 4, 2017 at 7:57 PM

Loved your list Lisa. I’ve been really getting into Susan Fanetti lately, and I’m a big Lauren Gilley fan, although Loverboy was too confronting for me. But I love her other stuff.

Tessa January 4, 2017 at 8:24 PM

There’s a few here I love. First, thank you recommending Forget and Blur. It’s on my list too. Loved Hating Game and The Score. I liked Wall of Winnipeg too. We’re is pure awesome.

Robyn January 4, 2017 at 8:29 PM

Lauren Gilley and her Dartmoor series is the BEST!

Lisa January 4, 2017 at 9:07 PM

Thanks ladies! I love looking at all of our Best of lists. Great fodder for adding to tbr lists that’s for sure.

I have been on a huge Susan Fanetti binge already this year…non stop reading that is driving the hubs insane.
Fanetti is such a sneaky writer. Her books feel like a KA romance, all safe and swoony, and you get drawn in to loving her alpha-with-a-heart Heroes. And then she goes and kills a main character and rips your heart out.
Robyn, if your a Lauren Gilley fan give the Night Horde a go.

Jan January 4, 2017 at 10:18 PM

I’ve started reading Susan Fanetti’s Pagano family books (mafia) and I’m liking them. I’ve had to skip over a few pages with violent scenes, but apart from that, so far so good. Yep Lisa, ‘alphas-with-a-heart’ aplenty, but also quite gritty.

Maryse January 4, 2017 at 11:04 PM

Jan I hear hers are the best MC books.

Amy January 4, 2017 at 11:18 PM

Awwwww Lisa…I’m glad you found this place, too!!! :D Loved your list.

And I’m so happy to see We Were Liars made your list! That one had a bit of a sucker-punch in it, right? Fellow YA lovers (I’m lookin’ at you, bev and Fabi ;) ) should give it a shot.

Julie o January 5, 2017 at 5:37 AM

Great list! Lots of my favorites are on there. Did you read the sequel to Idol called Managed? I absolutely loved it even more than Idol. Be sure and give it a shot if you haven’t.

Ann Cole January 5, 2017 at 5:49 AM

Yes! “We Were Liars” made someone’s list! That was my ugly cry book of 2016. Like you, Lisa, I tend to stay clear of the “hurty” books. But once in a while I let one thorough, and damn if it WWL didn’t kill me. There I was cruising along, enjoying a nice little YA read, until BAM! Biggest twist ever.

I cried.

Like a child.

Lisa January 5, 2017 at 7:38 AM

Julie O I did and loved it too.

Ann it was a great book. I could have easily put it in with the heart shredders. And there is no where near enough love for this book. *side eyes everyone* you all should read it.

Fabi January 5, 2017 at 8:16 AM

Love your list Lisa. I’ve already read several and have a few still burning up my tbr.

Leslie M January 5, 2017 at 9:37 AM

Blur made you think of Kellan?!? I need to bump Forget/Blur up on my TBR stat!!!

Grey January 5, 2017 at 4:54 PM

Lisa, so far, I correlate the closest with you. I have read 8 out of 18. Not too shabby! The Hating Game, Banking the Billionaire, Idol, Blur, Moonshot, Undecided, The Shadows and Written in Red.

Great list! I love it… Thank you for your hard work putting it together, and your Nanowrimo win, too!!

And, of course… Much love to Maryse, thank you for taking the extra time to do edit, insert the links, etc., for us.

Theresa Parsons January 5, 2017 at 7:42 PM

Thank you for sharing your amazing list…I have read a few and now just added more to my TBR.. thank you:)

MichelleS January 5, 2017 at 7:46 PM

Loved the Dartmoor series! I’m an MC nut too.

Tasha J January 5, 2017 at 9:55 PM

What? We Were Liars is an ugly cry?? Yikes I’m reading that one now and I’m already too invested to stop. I have ideas though, here’s too hoping I don’t get punched! Lol. Loved The Hating Game, The Wall of Winnepeg and Me, Undecided, WIR, Bounty, and The Score. I see a couple more up there that I need to add to my list too!

Maryse January 5, 2017 at 10:29 PM

What what whaaaaaaaat?? How come I’ve never heard of We Were Liars until Lisa’s list? AMY!!!!

Jan January 5, 2017 at 10:41 PM

Yep Maryse, Susan Fanetti’s MC books are good but pretty gritty and full-on, so if you read them, be prepared! I love Lauren Gilley too! (Her ‘Tastes Like Candy’ is my current fav – was in my top 10 for 2016).

Amy January 6, 2017 at 1:18 AM

Er…ummmmm…crap, Maryse. I didn’t mention it before because…because…*sigh* I don’t know why. *shrug* I thought I had? Here, have a lemon meringue martini!!! *pushes martini into Maryse’s hands*

It had a nice sucker-punch but didn’t make me ugly cry. It kind of had a Jellicoe Road feel to it (not the same plot, just the same kind of melancholy and “what happened”), and fortunately the way it played out actually worked. It could have been a disaster had it not been written well, but it WAS written well so I can honestly say it’s a rec. ;)

R. Renee January 6, 2017 at 1:19 AM

Did someone say lemon meringue?

Lisa January 6, 2017 at 3:29 AM

Did someone say Martini??

Lisa January 6, 2017 at 3:32 AM

Its 41 degrees here….that’s blast furnace hot in your scale peeps. I’ve floated in the ocean doing my best Dugong impersonation all day, and I’m still hot.
Martini’s it is!

Amy January 6, 2017 at 11:08 AM


You guys are awesome. ;)

Cheryl January 7, 2017 at 5:56 PM

Love your list Lisa. Several to add to my ever-growing tbr!!

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