#YearEndReview My 16 Favorite reads of 2016

After a full week of talking about my favorites heroes, heroines, new-to-me authors, steamy reads, and smartest books, it is time to highlight my favorite books of 2016.  This was no easy feat as I have read 306 books this year (that makes me tired), but these 16 books stood the test of time and other novels and encompass everything I love in a good book.  There are great sexy as hell heroes, heroines with gumption, chemistry that sizzles in and out of the bedroom, plots that are engaging and fun, and writing that is superb.  These are truly must reads!


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00027]My musings…

5 CROWNS

Emma Hart with Being Brooke has created a story that contains everything I love in a romance.  There are lovable, “I wish they were real” characters, a story that has authentic emotions and natural humor, and the writing, particularly the heroine’s voice in this book, is spot on.   Being Brooke is an absolute must read!

Full Review

Synopsis:

My name is Brooke Barker…

And I’m a freaking disaster.

No, seriously. I’m a college drop-out working a dead-end job, my best friend Carly’s dog gets more action than I do, and I have more bad dates in my diary than there are movie remakes.

Not to mention I’m completely and utterly in love with Cain Elliott.

The problem? He’s in a relationship. With a girl who’s so plastic she makes Barbie cry herself to sleep with jealousy.

The second problem? He’s my best friend.

My shut-up-and-put-harry-potter, yes-this-is-your-shirt, help-I-have-no-power, crap-I’m-out-of-tampon, kinda best friend.

And that’s all he can be, right?

Right.

Being Brooke is a standalone romantic comedy. Hilarious, super-sexy, and possibly highly inappropriate at times, this is the perfect feel-good read!

Get your copy of Being Brooke today!

iBOOKS / B&N /Amazon


major love final ebook My musings…

5 F*ckin’ A CROWNS

Kate Stewart has delivered a highly engaging and entertaining story that will have you laughing, providing readers a perfect escape from the world.  But more than laughs and romance this book showcases the wonders of love, the desires that burn and drive us in life, and how maybe what we thought were our goals in life just end up being what guides us to what we really need.  It is truly a must read!

Full Review

Synopsis:

“I met her at an all-time low . . . the worst night of my life—a time I never wanted to remember.”

“It was a night I could never forget.”
“When it came to women, I swore I was done with wishful thinking. Ball and my coaching career were all that mattered.”
“I reminded him it wasn’t.”
“She was everything I was afraid of.”
“He was everything I’d ever wanted.”
“She was fire—an irresistible piece of southern heaven that I couldn’t stay away from.
“He was smoke that clouded me in every imaginable way.”
“And the sex . . .”
“Dear God, the sex . . .”
“I fell hard, and she gave me hell at every turn.”
“I made a promise I was hell bent on keeping.”
“And you kept it.”
“Hell yes I did.”
“Fuckin’ A.”
This is a SPORTS ROMANCE and can be read as a stand alone.

Get your copy of Major Love today!

AMAZON * B&N * KOBO * iBOOKS


managed-amazon My musings…
5+ I’M HOME CROWNS
Managed, the second book in the VIP series is a standout, stellar, knockout, sensational, pretty much insert an synonym for AMAZING here.  Kristen Callihan has crafted a story that is not only full of romance, but also vulnerability and so much love, both friendship and romantic, and I was moved as I felt my heart clench and sigh in relief with each passing page of this story.
Synopsis:
It started off as a battle of wits. Me: the ordinary girl with a big mouth against Him: the sexy bastard with a big…ego.

I thought I’d hit the jackpot when I was upgraded to first class on my flight to London.

That is until HE sat down next to me. Gabriel Scott: handsome as sin, cold as ice. Nothing and no one gets to him. Ever. He’s a legend in his own right, the manager of the biggest rock band in the world, and an arrogant ass who looks down his nose at me.

I thought I’d give him hell for one, long flight. I didn’t expect to like him. I didn’t expect to want him. But the biggest surprise? He wants me too. Only in a way I didn’t see coming.

If I accept his proposal, I leave myself open to falling for the one man I can’t manage. But I’m tempted to say yes. Because the real man beneath those perfect suits and that cool façade just might be the best thing that’s ever happened to me. And I just might be the only one who can melt the ice around his heart.

Let the battle begin…

Get your copy of Managed today!

AMAZON | iBooks | B&N | KOBO | Paperback


My musings…

5 SUNNY CROWNS

The plot of this story is sweet and romantic, laced with times of humor.  You will laugh, swoon, cry, and sigh all within the pages of this beautifully written story, but at the end of it R.S. Grey provides the reader with a story of the healing and redemptive powers of love.  She handles a delicate issues with reverence, and I found her story to be one that showcases all the best parts of love.

Full Review

Synopsis:

When her mother’s incessant matchmaking hits an all-time high, Georgie Archibald does what any sensible woman would do: she flees the country.
Seeking refuge in the picturesque seaside village of Vernazza, Italy, Georgie’s only plan is to lie low, gorge herself on gelato, and let the wine and waves wash her troubles away…that is until she wakes up in a bed that belongs to the most romantic-looking man she’s ever seen.
Gianluca.
After going out of his way to rescue her, the former London financier turned mysterious recluse makes it clear that despite acting as her white knight, he has no plans to co-star in her fairytale.
But Georgie isn’t asking for his heart—she’s merely intrigued.
After all, Gianluca isn’t just gorgeous—tall and tan from days spent in the sun—his touch sets her world on fire. With him, Georgie experiences the most intoxicating passion she’s ever known, and it only takes a few steamy nights for her to realize that sometimes running away from trouble is the best way to find it.

Get your copy of A Place in the Sun today!

Amazon


preppycover My musings…

5 EVIL NEVER LOOKED SO GOOD CROWNS

From the first time readers encounter Preppy in King, he is this character they shouldn’t love.  He is amoral and dangerous, but T.M. Frazier shows them just the slightest amount of good, usually when interacting with the people he cares about, to make readers love him.  Some people will find him depraved, will be turned off by his actions and comments, but I just didn’t.  His past, as relayed in previous books, as well as in this book, makes his behavior understandable.  His depravity is part of who he is, and the violence is part of what makes him Preppy.  I also cannot get enough of his humor; his absurdity makes me laugh-out-loud.  What really makes me love Preppy so much though is the many dimensions to his character: hurt boy, loyal friend, strong and lethal man.

Full Review

Synopsis:

Samuel Clearwater, A.K.A Preppy, likes bowties, pancakes, suspenders, good friends, good times, good drugs, and a good f*ck.

He’s worked his way out from beneath a hellish childhood and is living the life he’s always imagined for himself. When he meets a girl, a junkie on the verge of ending it all, he’s torn between his feelings for her and the crippling fear that she could be the one to end the life he loves.

Andrea ‘Dre’ Capulet is strung out and tired.

Tired of living for her next fix. Tired of doing things that make her stomach turn. Tired of looking in the mirror at the reflection of the person she’s become. Just when she decides to end it all, she meets a man who will change the course of both their lives forever.

And their deaths.

For most people, death is the end of their story.
For Preppy and Dre, death was only the beginning.

This is the fifth book in the King Series and it’s meant to be read after Soulless.

Get your copy today!

Amazon US ♦ Amazon UK ♦ B&N ♦ Kobo ♦ iBooks


 My musings…

Penelope Douglas is one of my favorite writers of all-time.  Her name alone makes my finger twitchy and ready to hit that one-click button.  Why? Because, this author exposes truths about humanity.  She isn’t scared to reveal and play with some of the darkest and seediest actions and motivations of mankind, and I absolutely love reading about it!

Full Review

Synopsis:

“We were perfect together. Until we met.”

Misha

I can’t help but smile at the lyrics in her letter. She misses me.

In fifth grade, my teacher set us up with pen pals from a different school. Thinking I was a girl, with a name like Misha, the other teacher paired me up with her student, Ryen. My teacher, believing Ryen was a boy like me, agreed.

It didn’t take long for us to figure out the mistake. And in no time at all, we were arguing about everything. The best take-out pizza. Android vs. iPhone. Whether or not Eminem is the greatest rapper ever…

And that was the start. For the next seven years, it was us.

Her letters are always on black paper with silver writing. Sometimes there’s one a week or three in a day, but I need them. She’s the only one who keeps me on track, talks me down, and accepts everything I am.

We only had three rules. No social media, no phone numbers, no pictures. We had a good thing going. Why ruin it?

Until I run across a photo of a girl online. Name’s Ryen, loves Gallo’s pizza, and worships her iPhone. What are the chances?

F*ck it. I need to meet her.

I just don’t expect to hate what I find.

Ryen

He hasn’t written in three months. Something’s wrong. Did he die? Get arrested? Knowing Misha, neither would be a stretch.

Without him around, I’m going crazy. I need to know someone is listening. It’s my own fault. I should’ve gotten his phone number or picture or something.

He could be gone forever.

Or right under my nose, and I wouldn’t even know it.

*Punk 57 is a stand alone New Adult romance. It is suitable for ages 18+.

Get your copy of Punk 57 today!

Amazon / Amazon UK / Amazon AUS / Nook / iBooks / Google Play / Kobo


sweetcheeks_frontcoverMy musings…

5+ SWEET and DELICIOUS CROWNS

Bromberg has brought her #A-Game with this sweet and delicious second chance romance! It is sweet, it is dirty, it is pure romance in all of its glory. I absolutely love every single word, every character, and every detail of this story line. It is simple delectable!

Full Review

Synopsis:

An all new second chance love story by the New York Times Bestselling author of the beloved Driven series.

It all started with the invitation. To my ex-fiance’s new wedding.

I should have ignored it. Thrown it away. Set it afire. But I didn’t. I replied.

With a plus one.

And then my assistant accidentally mailed it.

Enter Hayes Whitley. Mega-movie star. The man who has captured the hearts of millions. But I gave him mine years ago. He was my first love. He was my everything. Right until he up and left to chase his dreams without so much as a simple goodbye.

When he showed up out of the blue ten years later, I should have known to steer clear of him. I should have rejected his offer to take me to my ex’s wedding. I should have never let him kiss me.

But I didn’t.

And now we’re left wondering if the pieces of the life we once shared still fit together somehow. First loves are hard to forget. The question is, do we want to forget? Or do we risk the chance and see what happens next?

Get your copy of Sweet Cheeks today!

Amazon US |  iBooks | B&N | Amazon Paperback | Audible


theplayercover My musings…

5+ CHASING MOMENTS CROWNS

Moving. Gorgeous. Stunning. Beautiful. Heart-warming. Poignant.  This book is simply everything, possibly one of my favorite books ever published by this amazing author.  From page one, I was gripped by the characters and their stories, and I couldn’t stop until I got the end. Even then, I didn’t want to let go; it was just that good!

Full Review

Synopsis:

I’m naturally gifted on the field and between the sheets. With flashy cars and enough media attention to put the Royal Family to shame, I’m the definition of Most Eligible Bachelor.

Every man wants to be me and every woman wants to tame me. Until Camila.

The moment I lay eyes on her, I know I have to have her.

She wants to keep me at arm’s length.
I want her naked in my bed.

She thinks our worlds are too different.
All I want her to think about is screaming my name.

She says I’m bad news.

I have three weeks to prove her wrong.

Get your copy of The Player today!

iBooks ♦ B&N ♦ Kobo ♦ GooglePlay ♦ Amazon PB ♦ BooksaMillion ♦ B&N PB


Wilder Cover My musings…

5+ BE MY ADVENTURE CROWNS

Wilder is absolutely everything that I love in a romance novel. It is well-written with interesting characters and engaging plot line, but sometimes a book just has that certain something, that spark, that piece that makes it special, makes it stand out among the rest, and for me the first book in The Renegades series hits the mark.

Full Review

Synopsis:

He’s Paxton Wilder.Twenty-two-year-old, tattooed, smoking-hot leader of the Renegades.

Five time X Games medalist.

The world is his playground—especially this year—and for the next nine months I’m stuck as his tutor on the Study at Sea program.

He’s too busy staging worldwide stunts for his documentary to get to class.

But if I can’t get him to take academics seriously, I’ll lose my scholarship…if I don’t lose my heart first.

Six unlikely friends on a nine-month cruise with the Study at Sea program will learn that chemistry is more than a subject and the best lessons aren’t taught in the classroom…but in the heart.

Purchase your copy of Wilder today!

AmazonPaperback ♦ Amazon CA ♦ Amazon UK ♦ B&N ♦ Kobo ♦ iBooks


beardscienceMy musings…

5+ SAUSAGE PIE CROWNS

This story is so complex and has so many levels that will keep the reader enthralled from page one.  From Cletus’s insistence on being the one to destroy the Iron Wraiths to helping the Banana Cake Queen and Claire, this story keeps the reader engaged.  Even with all of these different plot lines, Penny Reid expertly intertwines them, so that the reader is engaged in one concise plot. I seriously couldn’t walk away from this book.

Full Review

Synopsis:

Make a deal with the devil and you might get what you want, but will it be what you need?

Jennifer Sylvester wants one thing, and that one thing is NOT to be Tennessee’s reigning Banana Cake Queen. Ever the perpetual good girl and obedient daughter, Jennifer is buckling under the weight of her social media celebrity, her mother’s ambitions, and her father’s puritanical mandates. Jennifer is officially desperate.

And desperate times call for Cletus Winston.

Cletus Winston is a puzzle wrapped in a mystery covered in conundrum sauce, and now he’s in a pickle. Despite being convinced of his own omniscience, extortion by the exalted Banana Cake Queen of Green Valley has taken him completely by surprise. So… what’s a maniacal mastermind to do?

Likely, the last thing you expect.

‘Beard Science’ is the third book in the Winston Brothers series, is a full-length romantic comedy novel, and can be read as a standalone.

Get your copy of Beard Science today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | iBooks | Kobo | Nook |

GooglePlay | Smashwords


stoned coverMy musings…

5 GET STONED CROWNS

The plot of this book is amazing! The conflict of this story is a difficult topic to address, and it is often difficult to make a character do something so horrific that the conflict becomes believable while also planning to redeem them within the same book.  Mandi Beck, however, does it beautifully.  There is no quick reconnection or redemption.  She takes her time showcasing the range of emotions an addict and the victims of his carelessness endures.  There is no rush to a quick reconnection or quickie in the closet.  Time is spent by the author to expose all the hurt and betrayal that comes with drug addiction, but she also shows how addicts are not defined by their addictions.  The plot takes the reader on a journey of despair and loss to one of hope and forgiveness, while honoring the relationships of the characters in the novel.

Full Review

Synopsis:

“A rock star with no rhythm is a man with no soul.” – Stone Lockhart

As the lead singer of one of the hottest bands to hit the rock scene, fucks are free, drugs come easy, and music is life.

For as long as Stone can remember, Willow has been his music – the notes that weave his soul together.

His rhythm.

Until he threw her away.

All he has left is a handful of pills and a few lines of powder to make him forget her.

And he tries, over and over.

Clean and ready to make things right, he’s faced with the fact that Willow’s moved on. She’s not the same girl he cast aside. Willow’s a woman sure about her purpose in life. Sure about who she’s meant to love.

Stone may be lost without his rhythm, but Willow has found so much more.

Get your copy of Stoned today!

Amazon US ♦ Amazon UK ♦ iBooks ♦ Nook ♦ Kobo


bittersweetMy musings…

5 FANTASTIC CROWNS

Although not a character in the story, the setting of the Bittersweet plays an intricate part of the story.  The description of the setting makes me want to book a trip to Vermont.  The food descriptions make me want to make reservations at food-to-table restaurants, but I need to make sure they are authentic, as not to upset Griff.  The imagery to describe the orchard really showcases the relationship between Griff and his father and serves to further develop his character.  The setting, as described by Sarina Bowen, just become this whole separate character that added to my love of the novel.

Full Review

Synopsis:

Farmers make the earth move.

The last person Griffin Shipley expects to find stuck in a ditch on his Vermont country road is his ex-hookup. Five years ago they’d shared a couple of steamy nights together. But that was a lifetime ago.

At twenty-seven, Griff is now the accidental patriarch of his family farm. Even his enormous shoulders feel the strain of supporting his mother, three siblings and a dotty grandfather. He doesn’t have time for the sorority girl who’s shown up expecting to buy his harvest at half price.

Vermont was never in Audrey Kidder’s travel plans. Neither was Griff Shipley. But she needs a second chance with the restaurant conglomerate employing her. Okay—a fifth chance. And no self-righteous lumbersexual farmer will stand in her way.

They’re adversaries. They want entirely different things from life. Too bad their sexual chemistry is as hot as Audrey’s top secret enchilada sauce, and then some.

Warning: Contains sexual situations, gourmet yumminess, a steamy outdoor shower and proof that farmers don’t mind getting dirty.

Get your copy of Bittersweet today!

Amazon US


My musings…

 5 HOPE FILLED CROWNS

I love, love, LOVE this book.  I enjoy YA, but it has been a very long time since I have truly been moved by a YA book.  This book changes all of that!  You know the ache you get in your heart when characters are hurt? Audible sighs when they are sweet? Shaking your head in agreement?  This was me while I was reading this book.  This story, these characters, the themes are just everything!

Full Review

Synopsis:

Nico Medina’s world is
eleven miles away from mine. During the day, it’s a place where doors are
open—where homes are lived in, and neighbors love. But when the sun sets, it becomes a place where young boys are afraid, where eyes watch from idling cars that hide in the shadows and wicked smoke flows from pipes.

West End is the kind of place that people survive. It buries them—one at a time, one way or another. And when Nico was a little boy, his mom always told him to run.

I’m Reagan Prescott—coach’s daughter, sister to the prodigal son, daughter in the perfect family.

Life on top.

Lies.

My world is the ugly one.

Private school politics and one of the best high school football programs in the country can break even the toughest souls. Our darkness plays out in whispers and rumors, and money and status trump all. I would know—I’ve watched
it kill my family slowly, strangling us for years.

In our twisted world, a boy from West End is the only shining light.

Quarterback.

Hero.

Heart.

Good.

I hated him before I needed him.

I fell for him fast.

I loved him when it was almost too late.

When two ugly worlds collide, even the strongest fall. But my world…it hasn’t met the boy from West End.

Get your copy of The Hard Count today!

Goodreads ♦ Amazon ♦ iBooks ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ Kobo ♦ Google Play


img_0227My musings…

5 HEART WRENCHING CROWNS

How do you put into words how much you love a book?  Not just for the story or the characters, but for how good the writing is.  Julie Johnson has this way of lacing each word, each sentence with such emotion that her stories vibrate with life, and The Monday Girl is the perfect example of her talent.  From page one, I was gripped.

Full Review

Synopsis:

Katharine Firestone is a bit of a mess.

Between an acting career that’s never quite made lift-off to stardom, a pathetic love life of online-dating-app losers, and a maxed-out balance on every one of her credit cards, things can’t get much worse. So, when she’s plucked from relative obscurity to land a lead role in Hollywood’s next big blockbuster, Kat is sure she’s finally on the right track.

Until she meets her co-star, Grayson Dunn… and all her plans are completely derailed.

Grayson is everything you’d expect the hottest actor alive to be — charming, disarming, and cocky as hell. As their characters slowly spiral into love on screen, Kat struggles to keep herself from falling for real. She knows handing Grayson her heart and expecting him not to break it would be the biggest mistake of her life. Yet the deeper she’s immersed in his glamorous world, the more blurred the boundaries between scripted affection and sincere passion become… and the harder it is to deny that their on-camera chemistry has crescendoed into a behind-the-scenes love affair…

What happens when you fall for someone who’s guaranteed to shatter you into pieces? Do you walk away? Or do you let him break you because, even broken, there’s simply no way you can’t stay?

THE MONDAY GIRL is a messy contemporary romance about a mixed up girl who falls for the wrong boy. It is the first part of a duet. The second installment, THE SOMEDAY GIRL, will be released a few weeks later, in early 2017. Each installment is approximately 85,000 words. Recommended for readers ages 17+ due to strong language, sexual situations, drug use, and other mature elements.

Get your copy The Monday Girl today!

Amazon US ♦ Amazon UK ♦ Amazon AU ♦ Amazon CA

iBooks US ♦ iBooks UK ♦ iBooks AU ♦ iBooks CA


My musings…

5 BALLISTIC CROWNS

I can always count on the Pucked series to make me smile, to make me laugh, and to make me feel that warm reader glow, and with newest addition, Pucked Under, which focuses on my favorite characters to date, Helena Hunting gives the lovers of this series another shot of pure fun!

Full Review

Synopsis:

Pucked Over

Lily LeBlanc isn’t versed in the art of casual sex, but after seven years in an on-again, off-again relationship, she’s definitely willing to give it a shot. And who better to try it with than her best friend’s boyfriend’s best friend? What could possibly go wrong?

NHL player, Randy Ballistic, lives up to his last name on the ice and in the bedroom. His best friend and teammate has recently given up the puck bunnies and traded them in for a real girlfriend. And she just happens to have a seriously feisty, extra-hot best friend on the rebound. Randy’s more than happy to be Lily’s spring board back into the dating scene.

But casual sex is only casual until those pesky things called emotions get involved. Once that happens, someone’s bound to get pucked over.

Pucked Under

Randy Ballistic and Lily LeBlanc are head-over-heels, bed-breakingly, screaming orgasmically in love. But even they have their challenges, mostly outside of the bedroom.

With the off-season coming to a close and the boys gearing up for training camp, one more weekend of fun is the perfect way to welcome the new season.

The entire crew piles into vehicles and drives to Alex and Violet’s Chicago cottage for a few days of relaxation―and hopefully a chance for Randy to shake the anxiety that’s been plaguing him.

Accidental wardrobe malfunctions, typical Violet inspired overshares, and a whole lot of private time round out the perfect weekend getaway.

But the moment they return to the city all of Randy’s angst resurfaces with the arrival of a surprise houseguest.

Get your copy Pucked Over Pucked Under today!

Amazon PB US ♦ Amazon PB UK ♦ Audible ♦ iBooks ♦ B&N PB ♦ Amazon


After We Fall by [Harlow, Melanie] My musings…

After We Fall is everything quintessential about Melanie Harlow’s writing! This story has heart, romance, and heat! It is the perfect romance read!This story is one of healing and making adjustments for a life one may have never planned for.  Melanie Harlow exemplifies in this novel how life has a way of changing our plans without our consent, but she also exhibits how maybe these changes are exactly what we needed.  This plot line, while it has very emotional and heart-aching scenes, it is a story of hope, of healing, of learning to live the life you want for the people you love.

Full Review

Synopsis:

Jack Valentini isn’t my type.

Sexy, brooding cowboys are fine in the movies, but in real life, I prefer a suit and tie. Proper manners. A close shave.

Jack might be gorgeous, but he’s also scruffy, rugged, and rude. He wants nothing to do with a “rich city girl” like me, and he isn’t afraid to say so.

But I’ve got a PR job to do for his family’s farm, so he’s stuck with me for ten days, and I’m stuck with him. His glares. His moods. His tight jeans. His muscles.

His huge, hard muscles.

Pretty soon there’s a whole different kind of tension between us, the kind that has me misbehaving in barns, trees, and pickup trucks. I’ve never done anything so out of character—but it feels too good to stop.

And the more I learn about the grieving ex-Army sergeant, the better I understand him. Losing his wife three years ago left him broken and bitter and blaming himself. He doesn’t think he deserves a second chance at happiness.

But he’s wrong.

I don’t need to be his first love. If only he’d let me be his last.

“Second chances are not given to make things right, but are given to prove that we could be even better after we fall.” —Unknown

Get your copy of After We Fall today!

Amazon USAmazon UK ♦ iBooks ♦ Nook


Happy reading,

4 Comments

  1. Great list! Some of my favorites were: Bossman by Vi Keeland, Punk 5 by Penelope Douglas and Kulti by Mariana Zapata!

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