Our 2016 Favorites
Happy New Year, readers! We were reading until late last night, so we decided today would be the perfect time to post our Favorites of 2016, just in case a last minute book wanted to sneak in.Who knows? Maybe here you’ll find one of your best reads for 2017.
A Charm of Magpies series by KJ Charles
Laura: It hasn’t been long since I reviewed all of these books here on the blog [book 1, 2 + 3] I devoured this series, one book after the other. I adored the world KJ Charles created here and fell in love with the characters. I’m glad I finally read these and got to know what everyone was talking about.
A Frost of Cares by Amy Rae Durreson
Laura: I adored this one! It scared me, and it also made me fall in love with it and with the author’s writing. I found its storytelling to be quite unique and I think that’s what I loved most about it. If you like your romance with a bit of a gothic ghost, don’t hesitate to pick this up.
Blank Spaces by Cass Lennox
Annie: Can I crawl into this book and live with Vaughn and Jonah? This one had me clutching my book to my chest with pure joy and love. Best ace rep I’ve read so far. This book is a gem and I know I’ll be rereading this a lot. You can find my review here.
Connection Error by Annabeth Albert
Jude: I’ve only just discovered this author and have recently read 4 books in a row by her. I adored her Gaymers Series, and by far this one the most. Josiah is adorable and frank and coltish and darling. I love that we finally get to see how his lack of filter and impulsiveness (which we’ve seen in the other books) does not actually mean he’s thoughtless — the opposite actually — and how he’s exactly what Ryan needs. And vice versa.
Defenseless by AJ Rose
Annie: Defenseless was brutal, heartbreaking and real but I loved it. It’s not a light read, that’s for sure. But the story building and character development is brilliant. Definitely a story that will stay with me. You can read my review here.
Documenting Light by EE Ottoman
Laura: This one… I don’t think I can tell you how special this one is. Just go and read it if you haven’t done it already. Or you can look at my review for more of my ramblings on this one.
Dom on the Side by Kate Aaron
Annie: If you haven’t read this series, I really don’t know what you’re waiting for. I’ve reread Blowing It and Balls Up countless times before this one came out and couldn’t wait to read Ryan’s story and Kate Aaron didn’t disappoint. I love her writing and the characters in this series. Loved, loved loved it (and am patiently waiting for the sequel ;)). One of my highlights this year. Reviewed it here.
Executive Office series by Tal Bauer
Annie: I binge read this series at the end of November. These books sucked me in and were all I could think off until I had read the last page of book two. The Christmas novella Interlude: First Noel came out a couple of days ago and I gobbled that one right up. I love Ethan and Jack to pieces and the twists and turns blew my mind. I was never sure of the motives and true intentions of the characters because one thing I learned in the first book is that they’re all unpredictable. Only ones I trust to be “good” are Jack and Ethan. Can’t wait for the next book! I reviewed the first book here.
Flying Without a Net by E.M. Ben Shaul
Annie: This one was one of my top “looking forward to” books because the cover art was so gorgeous and fascinating. Seeing Avi and Dani fall in love and navigate their relationship was so beautiful. I loved the complexity of the story, the depth and richness of their culture. Such a wonderful story! You can find my review here.
For Real by Alexis Hall
Jude: I enjoyed every moment of this book the first time I read it, and loved it, impossibly, even more the second. There was something really lovely about getting to see these characters unfold within their own heads and from each other’s perspectives. It’s sexy as hell, but really beautifully written.
I reviewed it here.
Interborough by Santino Hassell
Annie: Do I have to say more than “It’s Santino Hassell”? Because that should be explanation enough for why I loved this book. I fell in love with Ray and David in Sunset Park and that only intensified in Interborough. I love Mr. Hassell’s writing style, the characters, the setting.. just everything.
You can find me review here.
Into the Blue by Pene Henson
Jude: Gorgeous. Lush. Sexy. Are there even enough words? Henson has a very unique way with words, prose that is deeply beautiful and spare, often at the same time, and a knack for character work that would be hard for most authors to pull off so well. Ollie and Tai are perfection — best friends then lovers — lovely, complicated perfection. And surfing! Who doesn’t love a novel about surfing?
You can read my review here.
Looking for Group by Alexis Hall
Laura: Here’s where I’m bending the rules. I was trying to only mention one book from each author – except for series – but I can’t leave this one out, I refuse. This little book meant quite a lot to me. It’s geeky, nerdy, and very sweet; and I will never be able to thank Alexis enough for writing it.
Annie and I reviewed it here.
Luchador by Erin Finnegan
Jude: Obviously, I like sports romance, seeing as this is the third on my list. Finnegan’s second book does not disappoint, taking us into the world of Lucha Libre in Mexico City. Another coming of age story, this one was lovely to fall into and savor. Full review is here.
My Boyfriend’s Back by Elliot Cooper
Laura: You’ve seen me rave about Elliot here on the blog enough to know I love his writing. I found his unusual take on zombies on this one to be incredibly fascinating. You can look at my review to see more of my thoughts.
One Life to Lose by Kris Ripper
Laura: I’ve loved the whole Queers of La Vista series, but Cam just spoke to me in a very special way. He’s an amazing character, and I was rooting for him to get his happy ending even before the book started, that’s how strongly I felt about him. And the best part is: the book delivered. I loved it as much as I was expecting to, and even more.
Patchwork Paradise by Indra Vaughn
Annie: One thing: don’t be fooled by the cover. If there’s one thing this book is not it’s smiles and sunshine. But I loved it SO much. Indra Vaughn wrote an amazing story about loss and love. Just stock up on tissues when you read it because you will need it.
Scardust by Suzanne van Rooyen
Jude: You. Guys. One day I want to grow up and have van Rooyen’s way with words. I read this book and had to stop repeatedly because I was enjoying the writing so, so much. The story kept me guessing the whole way; the author does a superb job keeping the reader wondering what the heck is happening. I really just want everyone, even those who don’t think sci-fi is their thing, to put down everything in their lives and read this one. Here’s my full review.
Scoring Chances series by Avon Gale
Jude: This is for Empty Net (but really, the whole Scoring Chances series)
I am an avowed Avon fanatic (I tried to think of another word with an A, but failed). The Scoring Chances series is witty and well written with deeply likeable characters and a whole lot of hockey. While I loved them all, I just cannot with this book. It reached a whole new level, broaching difficult topics with tenderness and sensitivity, telling a really hopeful love story that was as much about healing as romance. I reviewed it here.
Annie: I’ve raved so much about this series already as you can see in my reviews of book 1, 2, 3 + 4. I don’t think I could say it any better than I did in those. Avon Gale has written an amazing series that has become one of my all time faves and made me fall in love with hockey too. This should be enough to convince you to read them if you haven’t yet. 😉
Spires collection by Alexis Hall
Laura: I didn’t know Alexis Hall when this year started, and now he’s one of my favourite authors. I’ve loved all the Spires stories, I’ve read them all twice already this year, and I can see many re-reads to come in future years. Alexis has a gift when it comes to telling stories, and his writing always captivates me.
Spy Stuff by Matthew J. Metzger
Laura: This was my first review on the blog, and I still love the book as much as I did when I reviewed it. I think this is a very important book for every teenager that’s out there feeling like they don’t belong or don’t fit. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t an important book for adults, too, because I believe it certainly is.
Strong Signal by Megan Erickson, Santino Hassell
Annie: This book. My god this book. It killed me in the best way and I hope Mr. Hassell and Ms Erickson never stop writing books together. The story and the character growth were amazing; the hallway scene had me screaming at the characters to “Open the damn door!” and I loved everything else too. Just go and read it! (Have some tissues handy though!) I reviewed it here.
The King and the Criminal by Charlotte Ashe
Jude: I loved the first book in The Heart of All Worlds series (The Sidhe) and have been anticipating this one for ages. Boy did it deliver! This series is beautiful, smart high fantasy whose characters are rich and deep, whose love stories are all of that and more (and wow, sexy!). The world building that goes into these blows my mind.
You can see my review here.
The Star Host by F.T. Luken
Jude: Remember what I just said about reading some sci-fi even if it’s not your thing? Well, do it again. Listen, I’m not actually a huge sci-fi reader but the last book and this one would convert ANYONE. This book is tightly paced and so damn interesting. Plus, I have a major reader YA love affair. This? Delivers. It’s written so that I could picture every scene as if it were a movie, and it kept me enthralled and DYING for the next book in the series. Review can be found here.
What Remains by Garrett Leigh
Annie: My new favourite book by this author, as I also said in my review. Before that spot had been taken by Only Love (and Slide/Rare) And while Jed, Max, Ash and Pete will always be special this book just blew me away. Garrett knows how to twist your heart, stomp on it and stab it a couple of times. She has it down to an art. 😉
What It Takes by Jude Sierra
Laura: It’s difficult, putting this here when I know Jude will see it, but this book broke me. It broke me and put me back together after that. Jude’s writing has a bit of poetry in it, and this managed to move me to tears and the story stayed with me for quite a while after that.
Annie: As the reader we have the opportunity to really get to know both characters as they grow up because we meet them so young and then follow them until they’re grown up. One of the best friends to lovers stories I ever read and one of my all time faves.
I reviewed the book here.
Where We Left Off by Roan Parrish (basically, the whole Middle of Somewhere series)
Jude: Parrish is a really gifted author whose work I am a huge fan of. This book is the third in a really interesting series, and a perfect romance that doesn’t fit the mold romance. It’s a beautiful coming of age story and do freaking well done. Ugh. Read my full on review for more about my intense feelings.
Those were our faves of 2016. Leave us a comment and tell us what yours were. And finally,
We can’t wait to see what books 2017 has in store for us 🙂 Looking forward to a year of fantastic reads!
I’m totally adding a bunch of these to my TBR pile for 2017. Thanks for the recs!
Wow! What a list 🙂 I don’t think I’ve heard of any of these so thank you! Some, I don’t think I would pick up, but there are many that are going on my TBR right now (which is long enough as it is lol). I am a new follower! Great post 🙂