Reader Favorites – MichelleS’s Top 10 for 2016

by Maryse on December 30, 2016 · 17 comments

in Book Recommendations

It’s MichelleS’s turn to tell us all about her 2016 favorites, and there’s a bit of everything for all of our romance tastes!! She says:

“As I look over my list of books for 2016, I find that, as usual, I am a PNR and Sci-Fi girl at heart. Most of mine fall within those genres. They just stay with me. That characters, the worlds, their struggles. There are a few non fantasy books on the list too.

I can’t wait for 2017 – so many of my “series” have new books coming out this year. And the few surprises here and there that are not series turn out to be the best reads sometimes. I found just about every one of these books here on your blog. Wait. I found ALL these books here on your blog! Wow. CHEERS to you. You make me a happy reader.”

The Last Hour of Gann by R. Lee Smith <— Okay, I admit, I read this at the end of 2015, but didn’t really start pushing it on everyone until 2016, so I am putting it at the top of my list for 2016 because I have pimped this book out to everyone I know this year. It’s just that good. And I found it on your blog! Your friend had recommended it to you and you mentioned it, so I thought, “why not?”. Sooooo glad I did. Will never ever forget this book.

Wolfsong by T.J. Klune <— Wow. Just wow. The very best shifter book I think I have ever read. Yes, it’s m/m…. But it hardly even matters. It’s so gentle and sweet and brutal all at the same time. This one blew me away. The way the characters interact feels the most authentic to me of any shifter book. The coming of age story follows Ox and Joe – Joe is just a young boy, destined for so much more. Ox (with that hideous name) is one of the best characters ever written, hands down. He is simple, and pure, and I adore him! Just read this one. You will not be disappointed.

Empire of Storms (Throne Of Glass Series Book 5) by Sarah J. Maas <— This series just gets better and better with every book. The secondary characters make this series a stand-out, and this book delivers on that in a big way. And there is a Fae prince that is TO DIE FOR, so, Michelle is a happy happy girl.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas <— I somehow skipped this one until the end of the year. Why? I am an idiot, that’s why. This series is just as good as her Throne of Glass series. Absolutely loved it. I adore her bad boys and her heroines are strong and smart, and the world building is top notch. These are both must read series for fantasy fans.

Beyond the Sea: LGBT Romance by Keira Andrews <— This is a non fantasy read. But I remember it like it was a movie, and for that reason it makes my list. So many contemporary romances just exit right out of my brain. But not this one. It’s m/m… and they get stranded on an island after a plane crash. Sounds so cheesy, right? But it ISN’T. It’s poignant and so authentic. I loved this one. And he’s older, and the pilot! And then there’s the boy-band younger man…. I know, I know, sounds so cheesy. Just try it. It will surprise you.

The Legend of the Bloodstone (Time Walkers Book 1) by EB Brown <— This one reminded me of Outlander so much. A girl gets tossed back a couple of hundred years and finds herself near Jamestown in the hands of a Native American warrior. Let the fun begin. Right? Except, it’s more than that. It’s not fun – it’s really serious. And, again, secondary characters did it for me.

Loverboy (Dartmoor Book 5) by Lauren Gilley <— I love this series, but this book was an amazing stand out. This is Tango’s story and it is BRUTAL. All those books I used to read about the hero who went through hell, they were okay because it was PNR. And that was just imagination, and not really happening to anyone, right? Zadist and Acheron… but then there’s Tango. And it is real. And it’s happening in my world? Oh no. No no no. Broke my heart.

Captive Prince: Book One of the Captive Prince Trilogy by CS Pacat <— Yes, okay another m/m (what am I turning into? Fabi?)… anyhoo… this was a stand out. It was painful and beautiful, and I just loved this story. I can picture them in my head, and that makes it a 5 star read – the ones that I don’t forget. I was scrolling through so many 2016 reads and couldn’t even picture who they were about. Then I came across Captive Prince, and hadn’t even considered it for my list, but their faces were right there in front of me – and one of the scenes from the book – so it deserves to be on the list!

A Promise of Fire (The Kingmaker Chronicles Book 1) by Amanda Bouchet <— This is another one of my new favorite series. The closest thing to Golden Dynasty I have found. Big ole’ warlord abducts feisty heroine. Oh boy! Loved it. What I like is that this has great writing and wonderful secondary characters. I am starting to sound like a broken record here, but I guess that’s my formula?

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell <— This last spot was hard to fill. I looked over my lst a dozen times. I went back to this one, because it made me feeeeeeel something. It was supposed to be just a mention in another book (Fangirl) – so that readers understood her obsession with the Harry Potter-like character. But she wrote their story (Simon and Baz) and it is just unforgettable. This one is the odd ball of my list… it’s Simon and Baz that did it for me.

P.S. OMG. Major book fog! Why did I submit my Best of list to Maryse already? THIS BOOK! It needs to be added. Walking Wounded : A Novel, by Lauren Gilley.

The feels? Oh gah!! They’re so REAL. And FABI. Drop whatever you’re reading cause this is the m/m book you MUST READ. I can’t stop thinking about it. I read it straight through. I miss Hal & Luke already. Lauren Gilley is such a talented writer. Add it to my list, Maryse, because I give it 5 big stars. What an amazing surprise. Touching & authentic. Yippee!!

And here are even more MichelleS recommendations:


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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Jan December 30, 2016 at 8:21 PM

Hah hah!! I’m the first to comment! Yes Michelle fantastic choices. Gann, yes, what can I say? Must read. And Wolfsong. And the captive prince books. Gah! I can feel some rereads coming up in 2017. But I struggled with Loverboy. I love the Lean Dogs books but that one was just too brutal for me. I wimped out on that one. Ah well. And I haven’t read anything by Sarah J Maas (yet). I know, I know. But I plan to :D

bev December 30, 2016 at 8:33 PM


Great list MichelleS.
You are Fabi. ;)
Last Hour of Gaan is one of my favorites this year too. Don’t you think Maryse would love it?
The Captive Prince trilogy is so good. It had my mind racing, would love more books like this.
Promised Fabi that Wolfsong would be my first new read of 2017. I need to read the Lauren Gilley book I’ve had in my tbr for forever this year too.

Jennifer December 30, 2016 at 11:14 PM

Great list MichelleS!!!! Love your choices…especially your M/M and fantasy recs.

Fabi December 30, 2016 at 11:25 PM

MichelleS, as always, I’m reading (and loving) most of the same books you are. I’d read 100% of your 2015 favorites. In 2016 you threw me a few curve balls with mid-series favs that I haven’t gotten to yet. But still, I’ve already read and loved 6 of your favorites and had already scheduled reading one more in Dec (yes tomorrow) and another in January.

High five lady bird. You know how to pick ‘em. :-)

Maryse December 31, 2016 at 10:25 AM

Fabi and MichelleS are definitely book-twins!!!

Maryse December 31, 2016 at 10:29 AM

bev… I have no DOUBT Maryse would love that one for sure. ;)

It’s just how LONG it is that is daunting for me. I squirrel sometimes (with blogging and reviewing and then all the new ones that comes out), but if it’s as good as you guys say it is, I’ll likely be totally sucked… right?

bev December 31, 2016 at 12:19 PM

Sacked in? Lol, yes. Completely. I was never once bored or wanted it to end. In fact I would of been happy with a bit more. But it is like coming out of a vivid dream when done, the kind you can’t completely shake off by waking up. And not necessarily a happy dream.

Fabi December 31, 2016 at 12:22 PM

bev, that’s exactly how I felt when I finished reading it. After 1,000 pages I still wanted more. Plus, I looked up and had to try hard to refocus on the real world again. Totally absorbing read.

Jan December 31, 2016 at 5:34 PM

Yes I felt the same about Gann. You just go into another world, completely sucked in, and you care so much about the MCs. It’s not an easy read, but it’s an unforgettable one. Completely different from any other book I’ve read. When you get to the end, you just feel, wow…….

I say go for it, Maryse.

Leslie M December 31, 2016 at 7:03 PM

Beyond the Sea sounds awesome!!! I am definitely reading that one in 2017.

Tessa December 31, 2016 at 9:42 PM

Two of my favorites are up there. Court of Thorn and Roses and Promise of Fire. I’m so glad you liked Court as much as I did. It was beyond words, right? Also, thank you for recommending Promise of Fire. It was so good. :D I only picked Court, not Empire, because I wanted to pick only one. lol Still, you know I loved both. I did get Legend of Bloodstone based on your rec, but that will have to wait to be read next year. :D

MichelleS January 1, 2017 at 3:27 PM

Maryse – just dive into Gann. You will never feel the 1000+ pages. It will leave you wanting MORE not less. I will NEVER forget that one and compare so many books to it.

Jan – hop on board with Sarah J. Maas. I just adored them all. They get better with each one. Hard to do in a series, but she manages it. Tessa talked me into ACoTaR andI kick myself for waiting.

Bev – “You gotta smell him and then tell me why it’s all candy canes and pinecones and epic and awesome.” – YOU MUST READ WOLFSONG STAT

Fabi – yipee! I love having a book twin and I stalk you here and on GR in case you find me a gem!

Amy January 1, 2017 at 4:23 PM

Wow, I have only read ONE from your list…Court of Thorn and Roses. And oh man, was it GOOD!! SO good.

See, that’s yet another thing I love about being here…I find books I probably wouldn’t have touched if not for the recs from you guys.

*big hugs* for you, MichelleS!

Jan January 1, 2017 at 5:33 PM

LOL. Took me a while to work out what ACoTaR is :)

DG January 2, 2017 at 9:27 AM

The Last of Gann keeps popping up on these fav lists…apparently I didn’t see this one before. Adding it to my TBR with Wolfsong. I HAVE read A Court of Thorn and Roses! And LOVED it! Was waiting on the next book…so you know how I am about cliffhangers and Series….either I run the other way or wait until all books are done.
Great list MichelleS!!!!!!

Grey January 3, 2017 at 1:27 PM

Not one. Omg Michelle, how does this happen? We used to have so many in common?! However, I have like six of these on my list, so that counts, right??

I love your descriptions, thank you for writing them like this. And big hugs to Maryse…just cuz I can!

Cheryl January 7, 2017 at 5:28 PM

Michelles- I love reading everyone’s fav list because it opens me up to other books I would not have read. So many possibilities on your list because I have not read any! :)

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