**Photo by Pimthida**
Total Books read: 86
Most books in one month: 14 in August
Least books read in one month: 4 in January and April
I do not have a great reason for the low numbers in January and April, but I know exactly what happened in August: The Olympics. Don’t get me wrong. I love the Olympics but my husband really, really, really loves the Olympics. He watched hours and hours of water polo. A lady can only take so much water polo. A lady with a book, however, can withstand endless hours of it.
Books I Loved
I hate picking favorites. Here are all the books that stood out to me this year and a one sentence or so blurb for each:
- Before Midnight by Jennifer Blackstream – A retelling of Cinderella with werewolves that was delightful.
- Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – This book! It was my favorite this year, see below for a full swoon.
- Castle of the Wolf by Sandra Schwab – An almost perennial reread for me with characters that I love smack in the heart of the gothic Black Forest.
- Must Love Breeches by Angela Quarles – A combination of Pride and Prejudice, time travel, and excellent dialog meant I was guaranteed to love it.
- Radio Silence by Alyssa Cole – This is the first of a post-apocalyptic series that managed to be witty, heart-breaking, action-packed, and sexy.
- The Leopard King by Ann Aguirre – This is the first in a new shifter series with great world building from an author I already liked.
- The Unleashing by Shelly Laurenston – This is take on Norse mythology was a wild ride and I loved every single minute of it.
- The Trouble With Women by Jacky Fleming – Fleming has created a book of drawings that it humorous, illuminating, and thought provoking.
- A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet – This is one of the best romantic fantasies I have ever read, hands down.
- Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh – This was a reread for me. It is the last in a wonderful series with elements of Pride and Prejudice, the best dialog, and characters I adore.
I have a lot of trouble picking my favorite book of the year. How do you choose from all your friends? All the books that made the list had things that made me want to squeeze them tight and never let go.
My top pick, if you force me to make one, is Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. This book, y’all. This is space opera at it’s very best. There is an evil corporation, refugees on the run, science gone awry, an AI coming into its own, and humanity on the brink. If that was all this book had, it would still have been amazing. But wait, there’s more. The format is what made this book shine above the rest. It is told in redacted emails, direct messages, video surveillance, and ship schematics. Illuminae sucks in you and refuses to let you go until the very heart-stopping end. The follow-up book, Gemina is also on my list of books I read and it was a great follow-up. I can’t wait to see what these two authors do with this series.
As always, my list is comprised mostly of things in the Romance genre. There are plenty of shifters, mythology heavy books, and books of various heat levels. In January, I read For The Love by Jen Hatmaker and it is one of those books I wish everyone would read because it is good for your soul.
Happy Reading. Here is the list.
January – 4
Rock Hard by Nalini Singh
The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane by Elizabeth Boyle
Restaurant Success By the Numbers by Roger Fields
For The Love by Jen Hatmaker
February – 5
Wolf’s Ascension by Lauren Dane
Whispers of Shadow and Flame by L. Penelope
Unmasked Heart by Vanessa Riley
Stalked In Flames by Susan Illene
Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
March – 7
Queen of Starlight by Jessa Slade
A Brewer’s Guide to Opening a Nano Brewery by Dan Woodske
*Before Midnight by Jennifer Blackstream
Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop
Sworn to the Wolf by Lauren Dane
Kilt in Space by Ella Drake
Captive Dragon by Ella Drake
April – 4
The Alchemist Of Souls by Anne Lyle
Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas
Merchant of Dreams by Anne Lyle
The Lawyer’s Luck by Piper Huguley
May – 8
The Goblin King by Shona Husk
Leveling the Field by Megan Erickson
*Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Stone Cold Lover by Christine Warren
Kiss of the Goblin Prince by Shona Husk
Eagle’s Honor: Ravished by Sandra Schwab
One Bite by Jennifer Blackstream
Golden Stair by Jennifer Blackstream
All For Rose by Jennifer Blackstream
Ice Planet Barbarians by Ruby Dixon
Barbarian Alien by Ruby Dixon
Mercenary Instinct by Ruby Lionsdrake
Lionmeade by Linda Mooney
How to Catch a Wild Viscount by Tessa Dare
July – 10
Barbarian Lover by Ruby Dixon
Trial and Temptation by Ruby Lionsdrake
Magic Stars by Ilona Andrews
*Castle of the Wolf by Sandra Schwab
*Must Love Breeches by Angela Quarles
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
Must Love Chainmail by Angela Quarles
Renegade Leo by Delores Diamond
Renegade Orion by Delores Diamond
August – 14
Barbarian Mine by Ruby Dixon
Freeker by Ella Drake
Her Guardian Wolf by Jax Garren
Talk Sweetly To Me by Courtney Milan
Diablo Lake: Moonstruck by Lauren Dane
Sacrificed to the Dragon by Jessie Donovan
Sleeping With the Wolf by Maddy Barone
Desert Hunt by Anna Lowe
Desert Moon by Anna Lowe
The Taming of Jessie Rose by Beverly Jenkins
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan
*Radio Silence by Alyssa Cole
Signal Boost by Alyssa Cole
Mixed Signals by Alyssa Cole
September – 7
One Week in Wyoming by Alexis Anne, Audra North, Julia Kelly, and Alexandra Haughton
Mr. Right Next Door by Farrah Rochon
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Agnes Moor’s Wild Knight by Alyssa Cole
A Perfect Holiday Fling by Farrah Rochon
How Beauty Met the Beast by Jax Garren
How Beauty Saved the Beast by Jax Garren
October – 6
How Beauty Loved the Beast by Jax Garren
*The Leopard King by Ann Aguirre
Broken Resolutions by Olivia Dade
Out on Good Behavior by Dahlia Adler
Scorched by Mari Mancusi
Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen
November – 6
*The Unleashing by Shelly Laurenston
Gemina by Kaufman and Kristof
*The Trouble With Women by Jacky Fleming
The Bear Who Loved Me by Kathy Lyons
License to Shift by Kathy Lyons
My Reckless Valentine by Olivia Dade
December – 9
Mayday by Olivia Dade
*A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet
Bringing Christmas to the Dragons by Rinelle Grey
The Centurion’s Choice by Sandra Schwab
Reluctant Mate by Lauren Dane
Pack Enforcer by Lauren Dane
All Star Superman vol. 1 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly with Jamie Grant
The Prize by Julie Garwood
*Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh