2016 List of Faves

I read over 100 books last year. Not as many as some by a loooong stretch, but not bad for someone who had to write (and rewrite and edit) four of her own.

As I’m not a review blog, I’ll keep it short. Consider this a recap for anyone who’s interested in knowing what I read, what I really enjoyed, what I remembered, and why. These are only books I read during 2016; some of them were published earlier.

  • Empty Net, Avon Gale. I read the entire Scoring Chances series in one swift go, and they’re all excellent. I could tell Empty Net was especially personal, and this one in particular really touched me. I loved the characters, their conflict, and their happy ending. (My fave couple is Misha and Max from Power Play though :D)
  • Tempest, Cari Z. I cut my teeth on fantasy and this was like returning home. I loved every single page of this book. It’s beautifully written and a great adventure.
  • Clockwork Heart, Heidi Cullinan. Steampunk and Cullinan. I dove on this like it was bread and I was a duck.
  • Blow Down, JL Merrow. I adore the Plumber’s Mate series. It’s one of my comfort reads (yes, the entire series) and this one is a nice addition.
  • Motel. Pool., Kim Fielding. Deceptively simple, confident prose, a doozy of a conflict, and two brilliantly sketched characters. I was having a rough time when I picked this up, and I couldn’t tell you how or why but this book completely resettled me.
  • Jackdaw, KJ Charles. I was a little late to Charm of Magpies, but I got there in the end! Of course the series is brilliant—one wild adventure after another, magic, sex, and nineteenth century Britain. What more could one want.
  • Nowhere Ranch, Heidi Cullinan. I loved everything about this book. The pace and development was perfect, the sex was hot, the two MCs were obviously made for each other, the angst was pitched just right (for me). Much recommended for the kink-lovers out there.
  • The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh, KJ Charles. I gasped at The Moment. All the books in this series are wonderfully written (I don’t think Charles knows how to write badly), but this one’s my favourite for the tension. The sexy, sexy tension.
  • The Reluctant Berserker, Alex Beecroft. OMG. Queer struggle in the Dark Ages. This was stunning, and so well-researched. Really beautifully done.
  • Sutphin Boulevard, Santino Hassell. I love the realism in Hassell’s writing, and this was the book that made me swoon. I adored the slow unveiling/buildup of the relationship between Michael and Nunzio. A close second was First and First, which is the one I related to most (I’m a massive sucker for the accidentally-in-love storyline).
  • Custom Fit, Josephine Myles. I’ve been waiting for a sequel to Tailor Made for ages. This delivered and more—so great to revisit Felix and Andrew.
  • To Terminator with Love, Wes Kennedy. This was a super fun and sweet read. Plus, ace hero!
  • Wet Heat, RD Hero. I’m not well-versed in shifter stuff, but I really enjoyed this.
  • Cold Fusion, Harper Fox. Environmental adventure featuring an autism-spectrum love interest and the Scottish coast. The romance is delicately built and wonderfully executed.

Non-romance

  • We Need to Talk About Kevin, Lionel Shriver. This book made me Think, which I enjoy. Given the plot, it’s not a comfortable or easy book to read, but much recommended.
  • Where Am I Now?, Mara Wilson. Full of great acting anecdotes and some stellar one-liners (the one about monogamy had me cackling). I cried at a few places. Well worth reading.
  • Two Boys Kissing, David Levithan. Wonderful and uplifting, if a little contrived in places.
  • Ella and Otto and Russell and James, Emma Hooper. A story about time and connections, ranging from the Somme to farms in Saskatchewan, from youth to old age, and from lover to friends and family. Gorgeous storytelling.

Looking at this list, I think my main goal for 2017 is to read more diversely – characters and writers. I have a few queued up already, but there are more I want to get and don’t have yet. I’m not sure how I’ll source all the books I want without resorting to Amazon (I don’t have a Kindle and I really don’t want to give Amazon my custom, so the departure of ARe is super not helpful), but I’ll try to figure it out.

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