Reader Favorites – Tessa’s Top 12 Favorite Books of 2017

by Maryse on December 23, 2017 · 28 comments

in Book Recommendations

It’s Tessa’s turn and she’s one of our frequent-flyer recommenders. ;) Or er… frequent-reader recommenders. She’s our resident “bully-book” lover (she loves hating on them alpha-jerks!!), but those aren’t her only guilty pleasures. Oh yes. She’s a power reader indeed and she’s found us some EXCELLENT books to indulge in! :D

In regards to our “favorites lists”, she says:

“We all have a few books to go through! I think the yearly is more significant than the monthly. All those books that you read in Feb, what stood out? I know one I rated 4 stars when I read it, got bumped to a five and is one of the best of the year. I admit it! Making these types of list are fun!”

But first! Some “get-to-know-Tessa” highlights from 2017:

What she wished she had read sooner:

“Book we should have read sooner?  :D For me, it’s The Opportunist (Love Me With Lies Book 1) by Tarryn Fisher. You all were right; I did love it.”

We had a little bev-baked “book quiz” and here are Tessa’s answers:

Now, questions!
Book with the best writing? I’m with MichelleS – Weaving Man: Book One of The Prophecy Series by Tove Foss Ford

Book that needs more love? I move onto some weird off books a lot of times, but two series stand out. The Mafia and His Angel (way better than its title) by Lylah James and The Unlikeable Demon Hunter series by Deborah Wilde. You all have heard me recently rave about Mafia, but Unlikeable is funny, she’s sassy and utterly imperfect, and the plotline is pretty fun and unpredictable.

Book that left you with a big smile on your face when done? Fallen Crest Forever. The series ended perfectly, and my smile was huge when it was done.

Book you forgot you even read? ROFL, SOOOO many! However, the funny one is Idol (VIP Book 1) by Kristen Calllihan. It’s in my bob file, best of best, and um… I don’t remember anything about it. *blushes*

Her stance on single or multiple POVs:

Single POV is good most of the time, from her. However, the exception is when knowing what he is thinking makes it more angsty! For instance, Fear You did not make me feel better about Keiran. In fact, I thought there was some redeeming his scary butt after Fear Me but Fear You just shot that thought right out of my head. The dude is NUTS. Okay? Just nuts! Also, bad guys. When you see them subtly manipulating others and you know it’s bad, you know what it will mean later, and nothing stops them, it’s pure EEEEP! I sometimes have to walk away when it gets to that point.

Hrm… bad guy, Keiran… same thing.  :P

Her stance on beards:

“I figured what really bothers me about a beard on most men. On most (not all) it makes them look like they either have a weak jawline or they gained weight. I saw a pic of Tom Welling today (Smallville Superman) and that beard made him from handsome to meh. 0.0 The beard made his chin look weak, and he’s got an awesome jawline.”

Her stance on streaking!! (*snort* Don’t ask… ;) )

“If I’m running naked, run. There’s crap after me. I’d need a bra to even contemplate running. …can we at least do something a little more exciting? I’d want to be vigilantes. Vigilantes with clothes on, of course.”

Her stance on mugs (especially the Christmas kind!):

*grins* So, I went to Target to get surger free peppermint mocha creamer (the bastages didn’t have it!) and they had their Christmas mugs on sale. I don’t need a mug. It’s been a long time since I even thought of needing a Christmas mug because I’ve got mugs. Then, I saw one that said “Snuggle” Season, and well…

I got a new mug.

LOL Tessa!!! How I adore you!!!! I’m so thankful for ALL of you here, and your recommendations, and your book enthusiasm, and our life discussions, random and silly, and even the deeper stuff.

And now it’s time…

Tessa’s 2017 Favorites

I read a LOT of series this year, so in some cases, it’s the whole series.  There’s a few that I read one or two prior, but if I mostly completed the whole thing this year, I just love the series.  :D   I’m not choosing a specific book in it.

Okay, so someone last year did quotes to show what makes a book awesome, and I’m totally stealing their idea!  I went and found quotes that really seemed to embody the book, or um, series.

So, my favorites this year!  They are not in any special order.

Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices Book 2) by Cassandra Clare <— I’m enjoying this series more than The Immortal Instruments.  It’s got all the action, the angsty romance, and politics, but this one goes further.  It’s got family and more heart than any of the other Immortal books did.  Also, Ty has undiagnosed autism.

-”Ty: “All the lights and the shouting and the people. It’s like broken glass in my head.

Kit: What about fighting? Battles, killing demons, that must be pretty noisy and loud?

Ty: Battle is different. Battle is what Shadowhunters do. Fighting is in my body, not my mind. As long as I can wear headphones…”

How to Date a Douchebag: The Failing Hours by Sara Ney <— The pure romance and how she truly changes her view of him just touches me.  Rhett is the absolute sweetest.

-”God, I like him so much. Drown in his goodness. His kind spirit and pure heart. The romance of his second language. Sweet brown eyes and beautiful smile.”

The Bargainer series by Laura Thalassa <— Fairies, HOT, Tons of emotions, and action.  Wonderful writing. It was inevitable I’d love this series.

-“He tastes like fairy wine and dirty thoughts.”

Fallen Crest Forever (Fallen Crest Series Book 7) by Tijan <— Can I swoon a bit over Fallen Crest Forever? Just a bit? Because, this one is so emotions and feels like the first three, it deserves a bit of swooning. Though, of course, Logan is making me crack up big time.  :D Because… Loganisms. Past that though, running is important again, feels are there, and yeah, just everything. …A perfect ending for the series. A bit of Loganism for a quote.

-“Let me help you with that. I’m Logan Kade.” He pointed to himself, then to me. “You’re Samantha Strattan. You’ve been boning my brother for almost four years.”

Ghosted by JM Darhower <— Best telling a back story.  Best kid in a book. Best Hollywood actor story.  Just best! …I’ve yet to hear anyone say they hated it.. This is after all the praise. If it were even Just Great, people would be saying so, rather disappointed due to all the praise, but instead, they are saying, OMG, it really is THAT GOOD.  :)

-“The notebook feels heavier than one ever should, but I know it’s not the paper weighing it down, but the memory of all those words. The notebook holds a piece of my heart, a piece of my soul, the piece I gave to him long ago”

The Mafia and his Angel (Tainted Hearts) by Lylah James <— This series!  It needs way more love!  I know, mafia, and yes, it’s dark, and yes, he’s scary and starts off as a jerk, but it’s more.  Ayla was abused first by her father than her husband, both part of the mafia.  She finally escapes only to find herself hiding out at her father’s biggest rival.  I know, it sounds like the beginning of a cliche, but it isn’t.  There is so much emotion and truth that I can’t stop raving about this series.  Moments stick with me and bring all the emotions back.  It’s a must-read for everyone.

-”I breathed into Alessio’s jacket. Other than his cologne, I could smell him. And that was enough to make me feel safe again.”

Vicious (Sinners of Saint) by LJ Shen <— He’s mean.  I mean, he’s MEAN.  It’s a pure bully book and even his friends think he’s an … err, jerk.  lol …He’s such a JERK and I wanted to kick him so badly mutliple times. I do have one issue, and it would have been better revealed earlier rather than thrown in but… He’s a total jerk and you all know I love that. :D

-”I loved her when I hated her. And I loved her when I didn’t want anything to do with her. I was so crazy about her, the lines had blurred together. Feelings were mixed, emotions twisted together.”

Unlikeable Demon Hunter series by Deborah Wilde <— Pure snark.  This is the most imperfect character I have ever read, and I love it.  The humor and the action just makes this series one of my favorite finds.  Add to that her insecurities, she’s far from unlikeable.

-”He probably practiced that pose in the mirror, aiming for maximum bicep bulge under his fitted charcoal gray T-shirt.”

Dirty Duet by Laurelin Paige <— Another jerk.  (Catnip!)  This wasn’t as twisted as Vicious, but so much was messed up and destroyed.

-“Why do you do this to me?” I whispered. His lips hovered above mine. Dancing. Teasing.

“Do what?”

“Trap me like this.”

“It makes me feel like I have you.” I ached at my core.

“I don’t want you to feel like you have me.”

“Are you sure of that?”

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses) by Sarah J Maas <— This was the hardest to find a quote that really stated why I loved it.  The series is epic.  The story takes you over and doesn’t let you go.  The romance hits your chest and makes you just feel.  The fantasy world just keeps giving.  The emotions and fears are always lurking, waiting for you to relax so it can leap out and destroy you again.  No quote really can encompass that.

-“This could be . . . a very bad idea,” I admitted, my grip tightening on his hand.

“Oh, it most certainly is,” Cassian said with a faint smile as we continued down and down into the heavy black and thrumming silence. “But this is war. We don’t have the luxury of good ideas–only picking between the bad ones.”

October Daye series by Seanan McGuire <— Fae! Real Irish beliefs!  And then add a character who is awesome and has some major issues, it’s another catnip. …They were seriously good and I loved how real being in the fae world was. I want more.

-”I’ve always been better at being strong for other people than I am at being strong for myself. Maybe it’s the way I was raised—or maybe it’s the way I was made.”

Hideaway (Devil’s Night #2) by Penelope Douglas <— This book didn’t let me breathe!  It was intense throughout the story.  I loved it, but I think it’s because of the more either love or hate character, Banks.  She was someone I truly related to, and I just felt for her, knowing how torn she was.

-“We’re only ever good, because there are consequences,” I told her. “Take those away, and everyone shows their true self. Kind of like taking off a mask.”

“Or putting one on,” she replied. “After all, there’s freedom in hiding, isn’t there?

A Meddle of Wizards (Fledgling Magic) by Alexandra Rushe <— This isn’t even out yet.  *grins*  However, I still find myself looking for the next book.  It was pure fantasy, not fantasy romance (there is romance), but the story just drove me.  There were a lot of emotions and hiding my face in fear when I knew something bad was about to happen that I have to add it to this list.  (Comes out Jan. 9)

-”There, see.  You have nothing to be afraid of,” Raine propped her hands on her hips and grinned at the children.  “And if you think my giant’s something, wait until you see my troll.”

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Tessa December 23, 2017 at 8:35 PM

*hugs* I adore you too, you know that. Even if I do want to push you to read the next Others book. :)

Tessa December 23, 2017 at 8:37 PM

Actually, read Mafia and his Angel instead. lol That quote brings me to tears every time.

bev December 23, 2017 at 9:02 PM

Epic list. I have Ghosted, a couple in the Throne series, and I believe the prior book to that Clare one.
Maybe Rosemary and Rue too.
I’ve heard good things about the Bargainers series, it is/was on KU. I think I was waiting to read what I already had on there to get to it.

Her stance on beards—Ha!

R. Renee December 23, 2017 at 10:20 PM

OMG the streaking! LOL. I missed most of that convo!

MichelleS December 24, 2017 at 12:11 AM

I’ve only read four of these? Gasp! Must save this list. It has FAE on it. Yippee.

Tessa December 24, 2017 at 12:58 AM

Bev, The Bargainer is extremely good too. That Clare one, I love for obvious reasons (little dude). The Rosemary and Rue, well, it’s good, but it becomes great as you read it as it delves so deeply into pure fae myth. :)

Robin, then you need a superhero name or be left nekkid!

Yes, MichelleS, Pure FAE MYTH! Besides, who else on here loves fae as much as you do? Me. :) Since I was a kid and no one thought of fairies beyond Tinkerbell. Though, you will LOVE Meddle of Wizard when it finally comes out.

Leslie M December 24, 2017 at 7:12 AM

Tessa, so funny how Maryse quoted your silly posts. Love it!!

Ghosted….aaahhh….so good. I bet this makes almost everyone’s list.

Tasha J December 24, 2017 at 8:44 AM

Great list! I added a few to my tbr, it’s been too long since I’ve read fantasy.

Maryse December 24, 2017 at 11:12 AM

Leslie, it’s fun to find personal silly tidbits to re-post and giggle about. ;)

Cheryl December 24, 2017 at 11:46 AM

Tessa, wow, your descriptions and quotes are great!! I read Ghosted and agree wholeheartedly with what you said. I have several others on my tbr- Douchebag- do I need to read them in order? Vicious, Dirty Duet and I read Corrupt but haven’t read Hideaway. Thanks for a great list!!! :)

MichelleS December 24, 2017 at 12:31 PM

Tessa – when I was a kid I read No Flying in the House, and it got me hooked on faeries. I tried to kiss my elbow (only faeries can do that) for years!

I’m currently reading Pathfinder’s Way… the Amazon reviews included someone on Maryse’s Blog comparing it to Godwin Dynasty… not sure who… but had to grab it.

MichelleS December 24, 2017 at 12:31 PM

Golden dammit!

bev December 24, 2017 at 12:47 PM

Lol, of course I had to try.

Tessa December 24, 2017 at 12:58 PM

Leslie, almost everyone. :) There were a few that just didn’t connect.

Tasha, I can’t say a word about that because I’m FINALLY back into fantasy as of a week ago. I went since before Aug without any desire to read it. I read maybe two or three, (Meddle of Wizard one of them), but for the most, I just wasn’t into it.

Cheryl, you don’t. The others are featured, but it’s not necessary. All of them are good, but the third, the guy isn’t a douchebag at all. Everyone else around him is. lol He’s super sweet.

MichelleS, I got a book of poems from my mom when I was eight or nine. It was all fairies and their life, and I adored the prince and princess part. (I was a little girl in a pink room and a pink canopy bed. OF COURSE, I loved that part). I was hooked. Then, I asked for more and got a book of poems featuring dark fairies and the light fairies who defeated them. That’s when I became obsessed. At about the age of nine. :D

MichelleS December 24, 2017 at 1:42 PM

I don’t read enough fantasy… I read a lot, but not enough. I just love it.., each one has a unique world and lore… CRs it’s our world & storylines are getting cliche. You know?

MichelleS December 24, 2017 at 1:43 PM

AND the H can be completely over the top possessive & alpha and it works! Cause he’s a prince, king, warlord, warrior, wereworld, whatever! Catnip

Tessa December 24, 2017 at 2:03 PM

lol Right? I think that’s why I went to mafia while I was on a CR kick. They HAVE to be alpha or they are not getting anywhere. Though, a good warlord… *grins* They are usually the darkest or most possessive.

MichelleS December 24, 2017 at 2:12 PM

My current read has a warlord! Wasit you who recommended it? Pathfinders Way?

MichelleS December 24, 2017 at 2:14 PM

AAAND I get to use Jason Momoa as my H…. * Grinning *

Grey December 24, 2017 at 3:09 PM

*twirls and dances in the glitter* Tessa!!!! I love your list… Yet, a bit surprised that I haven’t read some of these… But… YAYYY!!! I haven’t read some of these!!!!

Great list as always! Thank you for an always amazing list! And Maryse, thank you for our Christmas Eve gift!

Tessa December 24, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Nope. That was someone else. :)

Grey, uh, yeah. Have fun up there. *pushes Mafia and his Angel towards her* It’s KU…

Robyn December 24, 2017 at 5:39 PM

Great list Tessa! I’ve read a lot of these books. I started Mafia and it didn’t hold my attention. I’ll delve alittle deeper, maybe things will change?

Love, The Barginner series. I got Demon Hunter. That looked funny and something I would love to read. Rosemary and Rue looked interesting but I need more info on it. Is it a PNR?

Tessa December 24, 2017 at 9:30 PM

It’s more UF, though of course there is a romantic interest. It starts off with a curse of her being a fish finally being broken. :)

Jan December 26, 2017 at 5:38 PM

Intriguing list Tessa. Thank you for sharing. It’s a while since I read a decent Fae book. And I think you’ve convinced me to try the Mafia and his Angel. I thought maybe it was a bit dark for moi, but now I’m gonna try it. *grins and shrugs*

Grey December 27, 2017 at 1:10 PM

Oh, Tessa, I am so in!

Jean December 28, 2017 at 11:25 AM

Tessa, you and I agree on a lot of these. Ghosted, Hideaway, Vicious, Court!!!

I just got the Douchebag book and have been hearing you in my head everytime I see Mafia and His Angel screaming “read it”!!!

Tessa January 4, 2018 at 2:30 PM

:) Someone needs to! lol

Amy January 7, 2018 at 12:19 AM

Ghosted! Again!! :D

I still have Logan, Fallen Crest Home, and Fallen Crest Forever to read, but I’ve been holding off because when I’m done, it’s over. :cry:

Big hugs, my friend.

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