Let’s start off with her 2019 favorites!
I have been MIA and not as “commenty” (totally not a word) lately as thing have been insanely busy here. I started volunteering on a political campaign for the first time in 2018 and it consumed so much of my time the last two years! It has been very fun–but, it definitely cut into my reading. I usually average around 325 books a year (yikes, I know!) but managed to hit 125 and 175 the last two. Unfortunately, my little pup got sick and i had to rearrange my schedule to be home with her more but the positive side was I was able to pick up the reading pace again as we cuddled. 🙂
I always write my favorites down in a “note” on my phone as I finish ones that I know are special so that I have them handy at the end of the year to send to you and don’t have to go back through my Goodreads trying to remember what I liked, loved, and really, really loved. Well! When I went to clean up the 2019 favs list to send in–I realized I never sent in 2018! So–here is a double scoop of my reading greatness the last two years. I hope it isn’t too later to share–for 2019, I mean. 🙂
I am completely unable to keep either list to 10–please forgive me and know that I whittled even this down from way more. You give great recommendations which leads to me finding great authors–which leads to *lots* of amazing books!
Okay…drum roll…here is the list for 2019!
1) Where the Crawdads Sing (Delia Owens)
I know this has made so many of the “top reads” lists so I won’t talk too much about it but it was definitely a top read for me. Different than my “usual” reads but a really wonderful book.
2) The Cruel Prince series (Holly Black)
A human girl living in the Fae world after being taken there as the charge of a man who killed her parents. He raised her (and her sisters) as his own. I was dying to read the conclusion to this while waiting for the third book to come out in November.
It was a great final book–my only complaint was that it could have been longer and that is just because i wanted more, more, more.
loved this duet. Was so glad I knew about it from reading your blog and even more glad there was a second one!
4) The NewlyFEDS (Logan Chance)
FBI agents who have to do an undercover gig together as husband and wife. It was a shorter read but it was hilarious and led to me going to grab all of his other books.
5) The Unhoneymooners (Christina Lauren)
I know this made a lot of lists but this was actually my first Christina Lauren read and I loved it! I will be reading her other books soon.
6) 99 Percent Mine: A Novel (Sally Thorne)
From the author of The Hating Game (which I also loved!) and I knew I had to read it the day it came out. The second effort did not disappoint at all–I loved it. The title ended up being so perfect and got me right in the heart. This one will make you laugh too–I love those!
7) Things You Save in a Fire: A Novel (Katherine Center)
This was my first read of hers and I quickly went and got the rest of her books after finishing this. She is a firefighter–a badass, kickass firefighter, who has to join a new firehouse when she moves to help take care of her mother.
She has been told in no uncertain terms that one of the rules she always needs to remember in this male dominated profession–no dating firefighters. Enter the other new firefighter at her new job…the rookie.
8) The Kiss Quotient (Helen Hoang)
I wasn’t sure about this book–I am always nervous when people write stories with characters on the spectrum as I am not sure if there will be stereotypes, etc. My brother is on the autism spectrum. I didn’t know until the end that the author also has autism!
Glad I jumped in because this was a great read. It was sweet–it was also sexy!–and I loved the other characters in the book. Her job is to help predict online shopping trends, analytics, etc. (I am not describing that well at all) and it made me think about all of my Amazon one-clicking…books and otherwise! 🙂
9) Beartown: A Novel (Fredrik Backman)
This was an unexpectedly heavy topic but was definitely timely in the #MeToo era and covered a traumatic event (trying not to spoiler here) that tore apart a small town that is defined by it’s amazing hockey team– which is keeping the entire town’s economy afloat with its success. The story rotates between the perspectives of different people in the town.
This is not his usual charming, uplifting, sweet read and I didn’t know that going in and the story sucked me in and even though I could see it coming–it still hit me hard. Powerful story.
10) Iron and Magic (Iron Covenant Book 1) (Ilona Andrews)
This is the spin-off series about the “bad guy” of the Kate Daniels story. I love everything they write and love the Kate Daniels story (after I got through book 1 which was hard for some reason) but I loved, LOVED this book. I go and check once a month to see when the second one is coming– it is expected in 2020!
11) CURVEBALL (Mariah Dietz)
I grabbed this thinking it was a sports romance–it is not. What it is though is a beautiful and messy love story with about a million tons of angst and a mile wide of obstacles.
The lead h is a single mom to a little boy with food allergies. Something you should know about her is she does *not* date firefighters. Enter the new neighbor…a firefighter…who her best friend immediately falls in love with at first sight. Not a problem because she doesn’t date firefighters! Even super hot ones who save her child’s life…?
12) That Guy (Kim Jones)
The premise of this book sounded ridiculous to me– she accidentally ends up in this billionaire’s limo and then his apartment–but, it ended up being hilariously funny–laugh out loud, wipe away tears funny.
13) Midnight Valentine (J.T. Geissinger)
This was my first read by Geissinger and as soon as I ended the last page, I was off to collect everything else they had written. This is another one that features a plot line with my absolute worst nightmare–her husband has died and now she is trying to continue on with their plans, without him. I cried right along with her in several parts of this story.
I wouldn’t describe this as paranormal but the plot centers around the contractor for her house…who keeps doing and saying things that make her think of her husband…
14) The Other Side (Kim Holden)
I was familiar with the author ripping out your heart after reading Bright Side — I just didn’t know she would be able to do it again so effectively. But, she did. This is a great book but it is also deep and dark and deals with very traumatic things. It has uplifting moments as well and if you can handle the pain…you will be glad you did, the payoff is worth it.
15) The Work Wife: A Romantic Comedy (CJ Martin)
This was a new-to-me author and I loved this story. He is the executive chef at the restaurant where she works–he is hot and hunky and swoon worthy and sarcastic and *not* available. She is awkward and met him first when she ran right into him on the sidewalk. Literally.
This book has angst and laughter and a great love story.
16) False Step (Victoria Helen Stone)
I know I am already way over “top ten” so I am just going to cheat some more and add Jane Doe by this author too. Both of these are suspense novels that I never would have picked up without your recommendation–loved both of them.
17) Kingmaker Chronicles (Amanda Bouchet)
This is a series (3 books). She is a “kingmaker” (that’s her “power”) and he is a warlord…who wants her for his newly conquered kingdom…as a weapon. She does not want to be a weapon–she hates her power–and so she does not go willingly. Even if the warlord IS smoking hot. 🙂
These are very steamy and the world building is loosely based on Ancient Greece with the Gods figuring prominently in the story.
18) Frayed Silk (Ella Fields)
If you don’t do cheating–do NOT read this book. If you can stand it (and be patient with the story for the “reasons”) then this is not to be missed. I read this based on a very emphatic recommendation from Rebecca Shea and now I automatically read anything she recommends.
I also went and got everything else Ella Fields has ever written. This is angsty and hot and heart-breaking and heart-mending.
19) Hotshot Doc (R.S. Grey)
This was my first R.S. Grey book and I LOVED it. I loved it so much that it sent me on a frenzy–I immediately got all of their other books and binged read a bunch of them (Make Me Bad, Arrogant Devil (LOVED this…he was such a JERK! and then it just…ahhhhhhh. So good!) The Beau & the Belle) and they were all fantastic.
Automatic one-click author for me now.
20) A Place Without you (Jewell E. Ann –my favorite author. I swear Maryse. READ THE JACK AND JILL SERIES!)
This one is a “taboo” read (I don’t want to say how because it is a spoiler) but one of my favorite of the trope that I have read.
Here is the first line of the blurb: “The Law of Henna and Bodhi:
When love breaks, fall inward, fall together, and fall hard. Then let time pick up the pieces.” Yes, yes. There will be pieces. She never disappoints.
21) Black Swan Affair (K.L. Kreig)
whew. This one is Arsen levels of angsty crazy. She has loved him as long as she can remember. Literally since infancy. Loved him completely–and still did the day he married her sister. OMG. What’s a girl to do?! Well. Marry his brother is one option. Yikes.
Alright, there you have it! My top 10, ahem 21, whichever, reads of the year. I am already working on 2020’s list. Thank you so much for letting me share!
Rebecca (Becca D. on the blog)
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