Top Reads of 2016

It’s hard to believe another year is almost over! I read so many good books this year that it was difficult to narrow it down, but here are my favorites, in no particular order. To learn more about any of these books, follow the links to my review.

Must Reads- These are the stories that I’d most highly recommend. In fact, just thinking about them makes me want to go re-read them immediately.

cold-shotYou're the One That I Want

where-two-hearts-meetAn Elegant Façade     

Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey As much as I enjoyed her first series, this book starts out even better. I’m looking forward to the next story.

You’re the One That I Want by Susan May Warren Never has a series of books made me shed so many tears as this one did, but I loved every one so much. This is the last book in the series and I’d definitely recommend reading them all in order.

Where Two Hearts Meet by Liz Johnson Prince Edward Island, romance, and excellent food. Need I say more? Caden is the closest heroine to myself I’ve ever met, so I absolutely adored this story.

An Elegant Façade by Kristi Ann Hunter If you enjoy Regency romance, this series is one of the best I’ve ever read. I loved the unique twist of seeing some events that happened in the last story through different characters’ perspectives.

Top Contemporary Romance This was a tough category to narrow down to my top four. As several excellent authors had a couple of books releasing this year, I’ve combined them. My top picks are:

Like Never Beforekeep-holding-onThe Goodbye Bridejust-a-kissthe-red-door-innsea rose lane

Like Never Before and Keep Holding On by Melissa Tagg The Walker Family series has been excellent. Who wouldn’t want to live in the charming quirky town of Maple Valley?

The Goodbye Bride and Just A Kiss by Denise Hunter If you enjoy plenty of kisses in your romance while still keeping it clean and inspirational, Denise Hunter is the author for you. I adored this series and was sorry to see it end.

The Red Door Inn by Liz Johnson The first book of the Prince Edward Island Dreams series is full of charm and emotion. And how about the gorgeous cover? I really need to visit someday.

Sea Rose Lane by Irene Hannon Hope Harbor is another one of those charming fictional towns that I’d love to move to. Irene Hannon is a top storyteller and writes both contemporary romance and suspense equally well.

Top Historical- While I didn’t read as many historical books this year, I did have a few that really stood out.

ReluctantDuchess_mck.indda-lady-unrivaledA Heart Most Certain

The Reluctant Duchess and A Lady Unrivaled by Roseanna M. White This author was a fantastic new discovery for me. I read The Reluctant Duchess and fell in love with the hero. And the heroine in A Lady Unrivaled was perfectly entertaining!

A Heart Most Certain by Melissa Jagears One of the more surprising stories for me, I didn’t expect this one to be as excellent as it was. I was anticipating a lighthearted romance, but this one had some great depth.

Top Suspense

hazardous-holidaytangled-websWithout Warning

Hazardous Holiday by Liz Johnson I really enjoyed the modern day marriage of convenience plot of this book. The suspense and danger was well written and felt realistic. Plus, Zach is a charming, honorable hero. Great book if you’re looking for a quick read.

Tangled Webs by Irene Hannon You know a story is well written when you’re sympathizing with the villain as you learn his motivations. Great conclusion to an excellent suspenseful series.

Without Warning by Lynette Eason If you enjoy strong heroines, this one’s for you. The team of female bodyguards this series is focused around make for some interesting stories.

What about you? Which great books did you read this year? Do you agree or disagree with my picks? I know there are so many more that I didn’t get a chance to read. Otherwise I’m sure they would’ve been included. Check back next year for the upcoming books I’m looking forward to most eagerly. Wishing you all a very happy New Year! May you all be blessed with plenty of good books to read.

 

Advertisements

Wild Montana Skies by Susan May Warren

wild-montana-skiesMontana Rescue Series, book 1

After reading the last series from this author, I had high expectations for this book. While it was still a great story, it didn’t pack the emotional punch that the Christiansen series had. I was expecting to see a little more of the search and rescue side of the story. The author is still one of my favorites, though, and I enjoyed how she wove in the story of Sierra and Ian along with Ben and Kacey’s.  To be honest, I’m liking Ian and Sierra more, and I think their story is going to continue throughout the entire series.

Plot: When they were teenagers, Ben King and Kacey Fairing were almost married. When things didn’t work out as they planned, Ben took off to Nashville to become a country music superstar and Kacey joined the Army as a helicopter pilot. Years later, they’re both back home. Ben’s helping out his injured dad while he tries to recover his career after being betrayed by the other half of his duo. Kacey wants Continue reading

Tangled Webs by Irene Hannon

tangled-websBook #3, Men of Valor Series

It was bittersweet reading this book. I’ve been enjoying the Men of Valor series so much that I hated to see it end.  I adored the McGregor brothers and the women that have come into their lives. This story is told through multiple perspectives, making it well-rounded. Seeing things from the villain’s point of view gave me insight into what his motivations were.

Plot:  Former Army Ranger Finn McGregor is trying to recover from a disastrous mission and needs some R &R. Nothing better than a cabin in the woods, until he hears a woman screaming and ends up barging in on his temporary neighbor, Dana Lewis, who clearly is escaping some horrors of her own. When it becomes clear that someone is trying to drive Dana away, Finn appoints himself her protector. The fact that he’s Continue reading

Where Two Hearts Meet by Liz Johnson

where-two-hearts-meetPrince Edward Island Dreams #2

I liked Caden from the moment she appeared in the first book of the series, so I couldn’t wait to read her story. Where Two Hearts Meet exceeded my expectations! I thoroughly enjoyed this story, even though all the mentions of Caden’s great cinnamon rolls and other treats made me hungry. I loved the way the romance builds up and the great cast of supporting characters were very entertaining. Of course, the setting was incredible.  I’ve never been to Prince Edward Island, but it’s at the top of my wish list. If I can’t go in person, visiting through this series isn’t a bad back-up.

Plot:  Chef Caden Holt has been enjoying her job at the Red Door Inn.  When she overhears her bosses, Marie and Seth, and learns the Inn’s in financial trouble, she grows concerned Continue reading

Keep Holding On by Melissa Tagg

keep-holding-onWalker Family #3

*Check out the giveaway, deals and free e-book from Melissa Tagg at the end of this post.*

As always, Melissa Tagg crafts a story that will make you laugh and cry, from her signature ‘meet-cute’ to the heart-warming moments. While this was a little different from her usual, since the characters have known each other since they were kids, the author still managed to throw in that slightly awkward, yet amusing, reunion scene. I absolutely love their hometown of Maple Valley and enjoyed catching up with the rest of the Walker Family. This will probably always be the one series I most often recommend.

Plot: Lawyer Beckett Walker returns to his hometown for his cousin’s wedding, knowing he’ll likely be arrested for a youthful mistake. His desire to become a JAG lawyer leads him to get things straightened out and Beckett’s sure he can negotiate his way out of trouble. Meanwhile, his childhood friend, Kit Danby has returned to her hometown, trying to save her family’s apple orchard. When Beckett is sentenced to community service, he’s stuck in town for longer than planned, giving Kit and Beckett time to renew their friendship.

Characters:  I adored Beckett! We didn’t get to see as much of him in the previous stories, so I loved finally getting to know him better. His friendship with Kit was charming. Kit’s relationship with her family is rather heart-breaking, but I admire her fighting spirit. I love seeing the Walker family return in each book. It’s always fun to catch up with some old friends.

Recommendation:   I would strongly recommend reading this book, and the entire series. It’s a great read for anyone who enjoys contemporary romance with an inspirational message. I can hardly wait to find out what happens with Raegan and Bear in the next book!

Rating:  5/5 stars

 I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

If you haven’t read any of Melissa’s books, check out my reviews:

Three Little Words       From the Start        Like Never Before

 Free!! The Walker Family Prequel novella, Three Little Words, is currently free for Kindle on Amazon. Start reading here.

$1.99 Deal!! The kindle version of book #1, From The Start , is currently $1.99. Buy it now to catch up on the series.

$4.99 Pre-Order for Keep Holding On!  Buy it now, and it’ll upload to your kindle when it releases Sept 27th.

Don’t forget to enter the Goodreads giveaway! (Open until Sept. 30)

Thanks for stopping by today! Happy reading.

 

Missing by Lisa Harris

MissingLisa Harris is a name to watch in romantic suspense. This series has been full of suspense, danger and interesting plot twists. The story drew me in immediately and kept me turning pages late into the night. I love the way the romance is building up slowly over the series, feeling so natural under the circumstances. There was a great cast of supporting characters and I love the author’s writing voice. I thought she did an excellent job with the investigative side of the story.

Plot:  Nikki Boyd usually investigates missing persons, but when bodies turn up and the homeowners are missing, she and her partner Jack are called in for the case. When the investigation leads to her friend Tyler’s boat, Nikki has to put aside her personal life. Soon it becomes clear that no one is safe with the killer on the loose. It’s up to Nikki to solve the case before her friend is killed.

Characters:  Nikki Boyd is a detective specializing in missing persons case, driven by the fact her own sister’s case is still unsolved.  After serving in the military, Tyler is still trying to put his life back together after his wife’s death. Nikki’s a great friend to Tyler and his son, Liam and the connection between them was a great part of the story.

Recommendation:   I’d highly recommend this series to fans of Lynnette Eason, Dee Henderson or Irene Hannon’s romantic suspense. Missing is the second book in the Nikki Boyd Files, and it can stand alone, but I’d recommend reading Vendetta first, as it’s a great introduction to the characters and their relationship. While the mystery is this story is fully resolved, there are some story threads that will be continued in the following book(s).

Rating:  5/5 stars

I received a free copy of this book from Revell in exchange for an honest review.

 

Like Never Before by Melissa Tagg *Plus Giveaway Links*

Like Never Before

First thoughts: I’ve officially joined the Logan Walker Fan Club!  Talk about a swoon-worthy hero.  After seeing the author gush about him all over social media, it was great to finally get to know Logan.  I’ve been looking forward to this story from the moment I finished reading the previous book.  Like Never Before had everything I’ve come to expect from Melissa Tagg:  the meet-cute, where the hero and heroine meet under entertaining circumstances, plenty of classic movie references, loads of romance, charming heroes that melt your heart and a quaint setting that makes you feel right at home.  This book tugged at my heartstrings one moment and made me laugh the next.  It was an absolute joy to read!

Plot:  When the newspaper owner of Maple Valley, Iowa dies, Amelia Bentley is left to run things until the new owner takes over.  She plans a spectacular anniversary edition, one that will convince them to keep the paper going.  Successful speechwriter Logan Walker, left alone with a young daughter when his wife died, finds himself with the chance of a lifetime: become a speechwriter for a presidential campaign.  However, he must first return to his hometown and figure out what to do about the paper he just inherited.  Amelia will try her best to convince him to keep the paper, but Logan must decide between following his dreams, his heart, or what’s best for his daughter.

Characters:  Amelia is such a fun character.  From the way she’s crushing on Logan and reading all the speeches he writes to her devotion to Maple Valley, despite having only lived there a few years, her passion comes off the page in a way you can feel.  I love her obsession with Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindberg.  Logan is full of conflict.  He’s trying to take care of his daughter, Charlie, but his former in-laws don’t think he’s good enough.  Amelia’s trying to persuade him to come back and write for the paper and his business partner is depending on him to secure the job with the presidential candidate.  Logan goes through a gauntlet of emotion and rough times, but through it all, he shows his strength, loyalty and dependability.

Recommendation:   I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys classic romantic comedies.  I really enjoy the classic movie references she throws into the story.  Like Never Before is the second book in the Walker Family Series, but it can stand alone.  However, Melissa Tagg’s stories are so good that you’ll want to read them all.

Rating:  5/5 stars

I received a free copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Check out Melissa Tagg’s  Blog Post and Giveaway

For More on this author’s books:  Melissa Tagg’s Website

Check it out on Goodreads and enter the giveaway:  Hurry!  It ends soon.  Goodreads Giveaway

A fellow blogger’s review and giveaway here

Buy the Kindle Book on Amazon and start reading now!  Walker Family Series