- She physically moved and renovated her cottage (GORGEOUS),
- she kept me company by sending me beautiful pictures of snow, and her family (graduations, trips to Austin Texas <— OMG her nephew’s place is absolutely GORGEOUS!!! – and birthdays). I miss my family so much. ❤️
- We BOTH love books that take place in Alaska, and love reclusive heroes BIG TIME!!!
- She also helps me find book-bargains, and sends me her latest recommendations, and we exchange our “blasts from our book past”, when an amazing one comes up! She sent me photos of her own actual book collection. YOU SHOULD SEE her fully-loaded (overflowing) bookshelves and her book-filing system. She is the epitome of a book lover, it’s just incredible!
Here are some highlights 😉
Nancy: I write everything down and when you mentioned FLAT OUT LOVE, I had to go back and see when you recommended it. I thought you would appreciate seeing all the books you recommended in 2011. It was a good year.
Nancy: These are about a dozen of my hand written notebooks keeping track of books since 2013. My memory has gotten that bad. I also have 3 file boxes full of reviews & notes. These are my file boxes of my 450 reviews. I keep them in the guest bedroom. This bookcase is stuffed full of paranormal books that I read before I owned a Kindle.
Nancy: I had a flash from the past today that I want to share with you! Back in June of 2012, you were into reading the Avoiding Commitment & Avoiding Responsibility by an unpublished author craziebabe45?? I still have my Doc copies. I also have all 4 Kindle copies by K.A. Linde. How could we ever forget how Jack drove us crazy???
Maryse: LOL I never forgot!! But it’s so fun remembering this all started on a fan fiction page I think. GAH!!! GREAT blast from the past, my friend!!!!
Nancy’s BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MIGHTY STORM by Samantha Towle was recommended to me back in 2012 by Maryse of Maryse’s Book Blog. Still one of my favorite Rock Star Books. My favorite scene is when Jake Wethers (Lead singer of the famous band: THE MIGHTY STORM) sings Mr Brightside. His love interest is in the crowd,Tru Bennett (A successful music journalist)! Sitting next to her is a guy who thinks he is still her boyfriend! A rock-and-roll love triangle!!
When she received her hard copy of Midnight Sun (she sent me a pic of her bookshelf and it looked exactly like mine):
Nancy: I was a little shocked it didn’t match the other books. But my granddaughter wants to read my hard copy & not my kindle copy. So it won’t be on the shelf for long! 🤣
Nancy: I know I said I was taken a break from my Alaskan Books, but it only lasted for 2 or 3 books. What can I say?
Nancy: Look what I bought myself for my bookshelf from Half Price Book Store! When I like a book, I buy a print copy for my shelf. …it looks so pretty on my bookshelf that alone makes me happy. 😊
NANCY’S FAVORITE BOOKS 2020
2020 was a very depressing and disappointing year. Even in December, I lost a very good friend & book buddy: Stephanie Moles-Krayeski. She was so sweet and such a caring good person. She shall be missed!
The only positive thing I can say about 2020 is I read some really good books. I really did pick and choose to make the list shorter. Alaskan Romance Books have been my favorite of late. So there are a few of those on this list.
1) ASHER (Ashes & Ember #6) <— As a big fan of Carian Cole, I had read the first 5 books in the Ashes & Ember Series plus Torn & Tyed. I had been patiently waiting (Not Really!) for the release of Asher. It seemed like it would never come out! But when it did, Carian Cole did not disappoint. If you have not read it yet, then have some Kleenex ready.
2) A FIVE MINUTE LIFE by Emma Scott has a very original story. Thea Hughes was in a bad car accident. It stole her parent’s lives and left her with the second worst documented case of amnesia in the world. Working as an orderly in the Blue Ridge Sanitarium, Jim Whelan meets Thea. Who only has minutes of consciousness before her memory is wiped clean. There is someone for everyone, but it must be difficult to have 50 first dates.
Nancy: loved it 5*****+ Definity going on my Best Reads of 2020!!!!! After reading MARYSE’S TOP FIFTEEN FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2019. I found a lot we had in common but the one that stuck out was A FIVE-MINUTE LIFE by Emma Scott.
3) ALASKA WILD by Helena Newbury is one of my favorite books in my Alaskan Reading Quest. It was fast-paced & action packed from the 1st page to the very last page. A page turner for sure!
Nancy: WOW was it Good! This was fast-paced & action-packed from the first page till the last page. A page-turner for sure! 5*
4) NORTHERN LIGHTS by Nora Roberts. I have not read a Nora Roberts’s novel in a very longtime. This one fit my Alaskan Book Craving perfectly. Lunacy has a new sheriff in town. There is also a serial killer on the loose that leads to lots of mystery. Plus two lonely souls looking for love and redemption.
Nancy: Borrowed Kindle Edition from Public Library. It is 670 pages, but I read it pretty quickly for me. It wasn’t that I had the time, as I took the time to read it.
5) THE SIMPLE WILD by K.A. Tucker is a wonderful story that mostly takes place in Bangor Alaska. The Prologue is a heart-breaking scene of a wife leaving her husband & Alaska forever. She was taken their young daughter too! Fast forward 24 years, and the daughter is returning to Alaska and her dad. He has lung cancer and she wants to know him before it is too late. She will find more than she bargained for in Alaska.
6) WILD AT HEART is the Sequel to THE SIMPLE WILD. You will know if you already read The Simple Wild that Calla had not listened to her mom’s advice at all. That she had already fallen for a sky cowboy from Alaska. This is the continuation of the love affair of Calla Fletcher & her bush-pilot Jonah Riggs.
7) CABIN FEVER by Elizabeth Lynx is a story of a reclusive mountain man whose life has been turned upside down by one runaway bride. She had taken it upon herself to hide away in his cabin. This book is fun, romantic, has a sexy side, as well as touching on serious issues. I found it to be a lighthearted enjoyable story.
Nancy: I love stories of reclusive mountain men who live in a cabin. But when he is invaded by a runaway bride in her white dress, you know the story gets interesting!!!
8) BEYOND THE HORIZON is an age gap Romance by Bea Paige. If you are looking for a unique book to read, then you will find it in Bea Paige’s new release: BEYOND THE HORIZON. The beautiful writing drew me in right from the start. I could picture the private beach where Connie Silva was enjoying the peaceful place all to herself. She thought this beach brought her pure happiness. Happy to be alive. Then her eyes saw a man in the water.
All she could do was watch in surprise and then admiration and awe, as his strong shoulders and powerful arms cut through the water right towards her. When he is closer to shore, she holds her breathe as he stands upright, water running in rivulets over his skin as he swipes his dark hair off his forehead to reveal a face that is terrifying beautiful. Her grandmother had told her that she was empathic. That she had the ability to know when both good and bad things were going to happen, and could understand the feelings of others as well as share those feelings. As Connie gazed at this god of a man, she knew deep down inside that he is the one.
Nancy: in Maryse’s New Releases I saw: BEYOND THE HORIZON by Bea Paige. It caught my interest as an age gap romance. And to be honest “the cover”! I started it last night & the writing is beautiful. I felt I was right there on the beach. I needed that after freezing in Alaska!😂
This is an epic love story. And the author said, “Sometimes, the kind of love we dream of can only be found within the pages of a book. I can’t give you your own happily ever after, but I can give you theirs.”
9) THE TAKEOVER (The Miles High Club) by T.L. Swan. I don’t think I have ever read a book by T.L. Swan that I did not like. THE TAKEOVER is really very good. Talk about opposites that attract! Tristen Miles is the head of acquisitions and the archenemy of every struggling company. Clare Anderson owns a struggling company. She is trying to keep her late husband’s company afloat as well as be a good mother to her three fatherless boys. Tristen & Clare are complete opposites that have a huge attraction to each other. There is plenty of problems in how they try to work all this out in the end. Some humor too!
10) MY DARLING ARROW by Saffron A. Kent. I have read every book this author has written, starting with THE UNREQUITED. This story reminds me of that book. That was Thomas & Layla’s story. It was especially Salem and her similarity to Layla. However this is a completely different story. Just saying that if you liked The Unrequited then you should like Arrow & Salem in My Darling Arrow.
11) ORION (A Constellations Novel) by Raeah Wilding. Surprise! It takes place in Alaska! ORION is a really great story. Retired Marine Corp Sgt. Orion MacKinnon has lost both of his legs in Afghanistan. After finishing his many surgeries, physical therapy, mental therapy & overall life changing adjustments, he has decided to isolate himself in his Uncle’s cabin in the wilderness of Alaska. Orion’s only company is his faithful German Shepherd named Zeus. The dog had been his Special Forces canine companion, too. Zeus is a big part of the book and you will fall in love with this super dog. Both man and dog have PTSD and have become recluses. This quiet life they are living comes to a halt, when they once again join together, to rescue a lone woman hiker trapped beneath an avalanche on Orion’s mountain. Of all the mountains she could have climbed, she had chose his. Of all the people that could have helped her, she got him. He & his dog take such good care of the woman they name Hope. There is so much more to their story, and I really enjoyed the book till the last page.
12) WE WERE ONCE by S.L Scott. WE WERE ONCE is a very emotional epic love story. It is Joshua Evans and Chloe Fox that have a instant love attraction. They met when he delivered chicken and dumplings to her apartment door. They were ordered by Chloe’s mother from the diner owned by Joshua’s mom. When Joshua saw her bonsai plant named Frankie, and he had a bonsai plant at his place named Dwayne Evans. He was sure that fate had brought them together. She might have been a harder sell, since she had a strict controlling father. Her father wanted her to spend all her time studying, and to become a famous surgeon like himself. Their attraction was too big to ignore. They had a love bigger than the universe. They were soul mates. Their life was good together, they felt they would always feel this wild in love. No one could touch them. Except a father’s need to control his daughter.
13) LONER by Harloe Rae is the story of a reclusive man who is named Crawford (Ford) Doxe and his reluctant love affair with a single mom named Keegan Daniels. Ford also became quite attached to her adorable, young, selectively mute, daughter named Millie. Ford didn’t use many words either, so they just “got each other.” He was a very reluctant knight in black leather on his motorcycle, that rides in to save the day twice.
14) LEFT FOR WILD by Harloe Rae is a wonderful & unique love story. My favorite books right now are Alaskan Romance. Since this story takes place in the Northern Canadian Wilderness, that is close enough to Alaska. I’m adding it to my Alaskan Romance Recommendation List. Blakely & Halder are two people that are complete opposites. Their upbringings are so very different, too. Yet when they are both ambushed, kidnapped, and stranded, fate & the powers that be, matched them together perfectly. I must give credit to the author: Harloe Rae, too. After all she wrote it.
15) DRIVE ME WILD (A Small Towns Opposites Attract) by Melanie Harlow is a small town, hot fairy tale come true. The story starts when beautiful Blair Beaufort comes crashing into Bellamy Creek, wearing a white ball gown that resembles a wedding dress. She also was wearing a tiara on her head. She looked like a very confused Disney princess, as if she’d been well on her way to the magic kingdom and had no idea how she’d wound up here instead. Griffin Dempsey is the town’s grumpy mechanic. That begrudgingly comes to the princess’s rescue by towing her damaged car to his shop. The damage won’t be able to be fixed real fast. This former debutante has zero street smarts and very broke. Griffin breaks all his rules and lets Blair stay in his apartment above the shop.
16) MAKE ME YOURS (A Small Town Single Dad Romance) by Melanie Harlow. I could not wait to read MAKE ME YOURS as soon as it was released. I wanted more of the characters of small-town Bellamy Creek. DRIVE ME WILD was Great. We met Cole Mitchell & Cheyenne Dempsey in that book. This book is the story of Cole & Cheyenne and their long, long friendship. Talk about a slow-burn romance. Cole has been a widower for nine years. This happened when his wife gave birth to their daughter, but passed away. Leaving Cole alone and a single dad to a beautiful baby girl named Mariah, who then became his entire life. Nine years march on till he really, finally, notices the woman next door. Cheyenne is his best friend’s younger sister. But she is all grown-up.
(17) BEYOND THE SEA (A Modern Gothic Romance) by L.H. Cosway is a Modern Gothic Romance. I have not read one in a while, but enjoyed reading this one. It takes place in a centuries old house that surely is cursed. It sits on a lonely cliff beside a vast blue sea. The story is about a lonely and sad girl who lives in this house with her wicked stepmother and this woman’s old and sick own mother. Estella has horrid nightmares about living there, but dreams of leaving and never returning. But when the stepmother’s estranged younger brother comes to stay, the girl named Estella has her world completely changed.
(18) NOT MY ROMEO by Ilsa Madden Mills caught my interest from the very beginning. Elena Riley is a small town librarian. She is sad & lonely after her boyfriend dumped her for her own sister. Her best friend has fixed Elena up with a blind date for Valentine’s day. He is a weatherman and she was told he was attractive. They were to meet at a restaurant. When she can’t find him and the hostess wasn’t helpful, she goes looking for him herself. When she spots alone man in a blue shirt at a table, she can not believe how drop-dead-gorgeous her blind date is to look at. So look at him she does! After a few gin and tonic, somehow they end up at his penthouse. It isn’t until the next day, that she wakes up to a note on the pillow, that she learns the man she slept with was not the weatherman. Yet she is more upset that he took her favorite panties that she designed herself. If she ever sees him again, she will get them back!
Warning!! Next 2 books are very DARK! The books are fiction & no one really got hurt in the writing of these books!
19) THE VILLAIN by L.J Shen belongs on my list of favorite books of 2020. The story’s antagonist, Cillian Fitzpatrick, is the most diabolically, deplorably, wicked, complex villain character that I have ever found in a book. It makes you actually worry how this author can create a character so heartless, soulless and morally empty. Yet he saves the life of the damsel in distress named Persephone Penrose. He saves her life so many times that I actually lost count. For what are villains, if not misunderstood heroes.
20) DEAD MAN WALKING by Giana Darling is a standalone book, but #6 in THE FALLEN MEN SERIES. In my opinion it is the “Darkest” book of the series. Priest McKenna is the ruthless enforcer of The Fallen Men MC. You know an author is very good when they can build a feared and dangerous character’s back tragic story sad enough, that you feel bad for him no matter how horrible he might have been. The unlikely light in Priest’s dark life is Beatrice Lafayette. Beatrice or Bea is known as Miss Sunshine. A lover of all things pink, cute and girly. At nineteen she was still an innocent virgin. She volunteered at First Light Church where her beloved Grandfather has been pastor for decades. Yet, there is a dark and hidden side to Bea. She has been drawn to The Fallen Men MC ever since her sister Lou had married the club’s president Zeus Garro. She also was in love and had an obsession with the club’s psycho enforcer Priest McKenna.
Love Nancy’s book taste? Check out more of her favorites:
- Reader Favorites – Nancy’s Top 15 Reads for 2015
- Reader Favorites – Nancy’s Top Book Reads for the Year 2016
- Reader Favorites – Nancy’s 20 Best Books of 2017
- Reader Favorites – Nancy’s Best Books of 2018 List
- Reader Favorites – Nancy’s Best Books of 2019 List
➔➔➔ Looking for more of our favorite recommendations? Browse our “Ultimate Favorites Lists” here. Are you in the mood for a certain kind of story? Browse our favorite “genre/trope categories” here and our reader favorites lists too.
➔➔➔ Do you have your “Best of 2020 list” for us? Send it to me here. 😀