It’s R. Renee’s turn for her favorites list and I love her unique take on it. And here’s the thing. She’s loved quite a few books this year (and let us know enthusiastically – and I’ve read a few and agree!!) and I’m noticing that they didn’t even make this list, so OMG what is on here must be INCREDIBLE!!!
<—In fact… that one to the left blew her away and I love how she unabashedly let her absolute favorite of the year take up half of her “Best of” categories. LOL!!!
Hey. I’m all for it. When you love something, set it free (all over the reading community) so we can devour it, too. 😉
R. Renee: It’s official! Someday, Someday has claimed my fave book of all time spot. I’m so in love with it that after beta reading it and pre-proofing it, I’m reading it a third time just because. #mysilas …if you like MM or you’re curious to try MM, you’ll love it. It’s the swooniest book I’ve read in ages.
R. Renee: I usually send you my “graduating class” but Someday, Someday won 6 out of 13 categories this year. 😂
Kathy: I agree!! What a book to end the year with!! Can you convince her to write a story about Faith or Edward. Faith definitely redeemed herself in this book and would love to know more about her story!!
R. Renee: Readers have been asking for both, myself included. I’ve been pushing for Eddie but I think Faith probably has the better chance. I’d be good with that!
But first… some “R.Renee” life and comment highlights of the year (it’s always fun to preserve these yearly memories too). In fact, did you guys know she’s one of our resident foodies (and has all sorts of recipes and cooking techniques that she lets us in on – in fact I’m collecting all of her recipes and tricks and adding them to our “tried-and-true recipes” page):
…as much as I love to cook, we stopped doing Thanksgiving. We have Cracker Barrel cater now. Cheaper, no stress, and more autumn sangria because I can’t burn the turkey! …Having Thanksgiving catered was the best decision I’ve ever made. I have nothing to do this week but try to read! And write of course.
I didn’t think I’d like bourbon but my character drinks it so I had to. Turns out I love it more than cognac! I usually drink it straight with just a few drops of water. …I told Nay this morning I need to acquire a taste for bourbon so I can start drinking like her. Frankie and I are a lot alike, but Maggie and I don’t have as much in common.
My new obsession is trying to make the perfect pitcher of unsweetened tea. I’m on batch 4. It gets closer each time, but it’s still not there. There must be some big restaurant secret I’m not privy to!
Her love of Spotify: Grey got me to bite the bullet and subscribe and I’m obsessed with the playlists. It recently made me one with Lifehouse, LP, and all my college faves THE DAY my college roommate was visiting. I neglected to download it though and that same playlist has never come back! :/ But the 2018 faves is probably my go-to. I love every song on there!
Her love of Lifehouse: I finally saw my unicorn band Lifehouse over the weekend and I’m still high! …It was amazing! We had second row seats but the fire marshal made them get rid of the smaller first row so we were moved up! I’m a huge Jason Wade fan but now I have a massive crush on the bass player, Bryce! #swoon
Her love of football: One more! The Browns have literally drained me of all feeling. If you know a Browns fan, be nice to them today! 😂
The Browns finally won a game without me shooting touchdown Fireball shots! So yay!! That superstitious trend is O V E R !
Her upcoming trip (so lucky!!!!): Yesterday the hubs stumbled across a ridiculous airfare deal to Amsterdam, so we’re trading CR for 21 days in northern Europe in February. I know we’re doing a bunch of WWII stuff on the Normandy coast but IDK what else. We have half of it figured out: Amsterdam, Haarlem, and Bayeux, France, but the rest is up in the air. It will be too cold for Loire Valley (my original plan) so we’re considering London, Brussels, and Paris, or just throwing darts at a map of villages like I did for Italy.
1. I finished Riders at 3:44 am.
2. I may have cried for 20 minutes.
2. Now I’m having champagne.
I cried because it’s done. It’s been FOUR years in the making. These characters are family to me. Even my husband cried. This whole experience is just super emotional. And yes, MichelleS. Leslie makes a few appearances and there’s a Dr. Nay Craig! I also have a couple of my Mermaids (from my FB group) written in, Donna the waitress (and her husband) and Terrill who owns a taco shack! There may be more but my brain is toast right now.
LOL! I just told my husband, OMG I’m going to get to watch TV guilt-free again! And read during the day! 😀
About her next book: I’ve been doing a lot of “percolating” on my next book and pretty much have it plotted. Scott Eastwood is the inspiration for my H, so I plan to start binging his movies soon, all in the name of research, of course!
I’m listening to Before Jamaica Lane on audio and is it weird that I have an affinity for chicks doing male Irish/Scottish voices? I seriously don’t even care about the plot half the time. I just want to hear the accents!
Ready for her favorite books of 2019 list?
GRADUATING CLASS of 2019
MOST UNIQUE: A Five-Minute Life by Emma Scott. Before I begin, you should know, Ms. Scott is by far my favorite author. In five years, she’s never disappointed me. And this year, she blew me away. She released two books in 2019 and both made this list; one even hijacked half the categories. But more on that in a minute.
When I learned the premise of A Five-Minute Life, I thought, How the heck will she pull that off? But I wasn’t worried, because if anyone could do it, she could. And she did. Smart, swoony, unconventional. A love story like nothing you’ve ever read before.
MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED: Frayed by Layne Deemer. Frayed isn’t an in-your-face psychological thriller. Its suspense is gradual and addictive with fascinating characters you can’t help but root for. I predict it’s just a matter of time before this little gem takes off. If you enjoyed You, I strongly recommend giving this riveting, mind-bending debut a shot.
R. Renee: I’m so curious what you think! The writing is super clever and I love the subtle humor, like he’s clearly smarter than everyone but without the need to gloat.
UNSUNG HERO: Severance by N.N. Britt. Severance is the gritty and heartbreaking story of a sheltered young girl caught in a love triangle between two rocker brothers—one living and one dead. If you read Britt’s debut, Rapture, you already know how talented she is. With Severance, her sophomore effort, she drives that fact home.
BIGGEST DRAMA QUEEN: OTT drama in romance is like book crack to me. The plots may be crazy and far-fetched—but in the best possible way. There are twists and turns and “OMG did that just happen?” moments. They’re the kind of books you inhale, all the while asking yourself, WTF am I reading?
I had two books (or series, rather) ask WTF this year: The Devil’s Playground duet by Ashley Jade and The Deception Trilogy by Fallon Hart. Both series completed in 2019 with the release of their final books, and while it pained me to have to wait for the conclusion to The Devil (which won my BIGGEST SURPRISE category last year), I was able to read Hart’s series in one sitting.
BIGGEST SURPRISE: Beyond Her Desire (A Beyond Surrender Romance Book 3) by Nicky F. Grant. I’m not normally a fan of BDSM. Matter of fact, there has to be something very compelling about a BDSM book to make me pick it up. In this case, it was Grant’s sophomore release, Beyond the Truth. I loved that book so much, there was no way I was missing out on this one. Yes, BDSM is a heavy theme, but in Beyond Her Desire, sex is simply a means to an end. It isn’t what the couple does that matters; it’s why they do it. And the “why” will break your heart.
R. Renee: And thanks to Nicky F. Grant’s Beyond Her Desire… I’m over my book slump!! I finished it Thursday and loved it
BIGGEST FLIRT: Perfect Strangers by J.T. Geissinger. Despite being one of the steamiest books I read all year, its hero, James, is one heck of a flirt. He’s deliciously perfect in every way. Some might say too perfect…
R. Renee: Perfect Strangers is awesome, but if you’re looking for an old school romance, that isn’t it. It’s a romance, but not in the traditional sense. But Maryse, yes, that needs to be next for you!
BEST DRESSED: The Affair by J.L. Berg. This is the only book on the list I haven’t read…but only because it isn’t out yet. Scrolling through IG one day, I came across the cover reveal and immediately stopped to add it to my TBR. I’ve never read the author and I have yet to read the blurb, but with a cover like this, I don’t need to. The Affair releases around Valentine’s Day and you better believe I’ll be one-clicking the paperback. The front cover is pretty, but the wrap as a whole is absolutely gorgeous.
BEST ALL AROUND: I usually end my Graduating Class with this category, but due to extenuating circumstances (like a particular book hogging the rest of my list), I thought it best to insert it here: Someday, Someday by Emma Scott.
It’s been a long time since a book’s made me feel quite like this—and even longer since a book’s broken my top ten. A year and five months, to be exact. And this one did. So many of Emma Scott’s books have come close, but Someday, Someday is the one that finally knocked Rush from the pedestal I’d placed it on. Not only is it my new favorite book of hers, it’s my new favorite book period.
Someday, Someday is MM at its finest, and if you’re concerned about the genre, I implore you to give it a chance because it’s also romance at its finest. It’s important and thought provoking and one of the most beautiful, moving love stories I’ve ever read. And there’s this…
CLASS CLOWN: Max. In a story as affecting and emotional as this, one needs some comic relief and Max delivers time and time again.
CUTEST COUPLE: Max and Silas. Hands down, my favorite couple of the year. Not only that, Silas is my new favorite book boyfriend…of all time.
BEST SIDEKICK: Faith. If you’ve read this masterpiece, you might be asking, why not Eddie? To me, Eddie’s character is too pivotal to be considered a sidekick, but Faith is perfection in that role. Honest, refreshing, and unapologetically herself. She’d *cough* make a great heroine…
MOST LIKELY TO WIN AN OSCAR: From the setting to the soundtrack to the author’s inspiration cast of Antoni Porowski #swoon and Matthew Noszka #drool, everything about this book screams “movie!” Someone call Passionflix, because this is the book they’ve been waiting for.
BIGGEST HEARTBREAKER: With heavy topics such as neglect, homophobia, conversion therapy, prostitution, addiction, and the opioid epidemic, Someday, Someday isn’t an easy read. Your heart will break for Max and Silas a thousand times over, but trust me when I say, every tear will be worth it, and your hard-earned HEA will be even more rewarding because of it.
So, to summarize, 😥😳☹😲😱🙌🤯🌺❤😂😍😎💔😭😭😭☹😕🤗☺🥰
Whew! What a year!
Like R. Renee’s reading style? Check out more of her favorites lists:
- Reader Favorites – R. Renee’s Top Ten for 2016
- Reader Favorites – R. Renee’s Top 10 Favorite Books for 2017!
- Reader Favorites – R. Renee’s Best Books of 2018 List