Top Reads of 2015

2015 was a great reading year for me! I read a lot more books than I have in a long time, and branched out with some new-to-me authors.  Here are my picks for the best books published last year. If you haven’t read these yet, I’d highly recommend any of them.

 Top in Contemporary Romance:

 A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade- This book was just the perfect romance for me. I adore stories of childhood friends that grow up and find a romance blossoming between them. Jake and Lyndie are both extremely likeable, albeit stubborn at times. I enjoyed the look into the unfamiliar worlds of PTSD and horse racing.

Jaded by Varina Denman- This was a powerfully moving story based on church hurt and what can happen when the people of the church get in the way of God, pushing others away instead of drawing them into the fold. This book really made me think about how our actions, as Christians, speak louder than words and what far reaching consequences those actions can have. Full Review

Together With You by Victoria Bylin- An emotionally moving story with themes of forgiveness, healing and redemption, Together With You also delves into Fetal Alcohol effects, and I thought the author did a great job of informing in a manner that was part of the story and didn’t bog it down with details. It was very enjoyable reading, full of substance and conflict. The characters were flawed, hurting and made mistakes, but they learned their lessons and grew throughout the story.  Full Review

 Romantic Suspense:

By Your Side by Candace CalvertI love the blend of medical drama, suspense and romance in her stories. I adored Fletcher Holt. He’s probably one of my favorite fictional heroes of all time. I love how he feels compelled to do the right thing and takes his job as an officer seriously.

Web of Deceit by Susan Sleeman-  This is a general market release, not Inspirational, but it’s still clean.  It was an interesting look into the world of cyber criminals. Sam was my favorite character. He’s out of his element investigating this case as he’s not very technologically savvy, but I liked that he wasn’t afraid to admit it and ask questions when he didn’t understand.  Full Review

Sabotaged by Dani Pettrey– This was an action-packed adventure through the Alaskan wilderness, following the Iditarod. Full of suspense, danger, romance and enough plot twists to keep me guessing, this book was difficult to put down. Well written and fast paced, the book doesn’t get bogged down by too much detail, giving the reader just what they need to know. Full Review

 Historical:

Not by Sight by Kate Breslin- This book was so much better than I ever expected it to be.  I felt the back cover description didn’t do justice to the story within.  Kate Breslin created such an interesting cast of characters and wove together a story that kept me guessing.  I loved taking this journey with Jack and Grace as they both faced up to the mistakes of the past and changed for the better. If you enjoy WWI  historical fiction, intrigue, British estates and countryside, or ‘Beauty and the Beast’ type stories, I’d highly recommend this book! Full Review

A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter-  This book had it all: intrigue, romance, an interesting cast of characters and a well paced storyline.  I can’t think of a single thing I’d change to make it better.  There were also some interesting twists and the story was filled with humor.  This was not a typical Regency romance.  It was packed with spies, intrigue, danger and suspense.  Full Review

At Love’s Bidding by Regina Jennings-  While filled with humor and crazy situations, At Love’s Bidding also has plenty of heart.  The characters were fun, but they also had depth and interesting back stories.  I really enjoyed sharing the adventures with them.  This is a great blend of historical western and amusing storyline. Full Review

To Win Her Favor by Tamera Alexander  This story had the perfect blend of historically accurate stories, an element of faith and realistic characters that I can relate to. Tamera Alexander’s stories have that perfect balance where I’m both entertained and educated in a way that it’s just part of the story. To Win Her Favor was an enjoyable book that kept me enthralled. Full Review

My Favorites and most highly recommended:

Married ’til Monday by Denise Hunter This book brings together the fun and adventure of a road trip combined with a last chance for reconciliation. It had fun, lighthearted moments mixed in with some great romantic tension.  Denise Hunter always does romance well, keeping it swoon-worthy without crossing the line.

The Wonder of You by Susan May Warren This is the fifth book in the Christiansen Series, and they all have been phenomenally good.  The stories have been so emotionally gripping, full of moments that can break your heart with enough happy endings to balance it out.  Adored all of these stories and they will probably continue to be ones I recommend the most.  I wanted to get a full review written, but that hasn’t happened yet.

 Falling Like Snowflakes by Denise Hunter Once again, she shows why she’s one of my favorite authors.  A swoon-worthy hero, secretive mother travelling with her mute son, and brothers that don’t always get along combine for a delightful adventure.  This story had a little more suspense and danger than I’m used to from Denise Hunter, but I enjoyed every bit of it. Full Review

From the Start by Melissa Tagg  I love how she throws so many old movie references into the story. As a fellow lover of the classics, it’s like running into a good friend unexpectedly.  It was perfection with the blend of humor and romance, yet the characters have trials they’re going through.  If you enjoy classic movies, humor and romance, you’re going to love Melissa Tagg.    Full Review

 

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