Wednesday, December 27, 2017

My Top Ten Favorite Books for 2017

I've always loved top ten lists, so why not make one? Here are my top ten favorite reads from this year, in alphabetical order, since I can't pick among faves.

10. All's Fair in Love, War, and High School by Janette Rallison

All's Fair in Love, War, and High School by [Rallison, Janette, Hill, C.J.]

I love all Janette Rallison's YA books (with the exception of Son of War, Daughter of Chaos, but that's a whole other post). They are funny, easy to relate to, and with flawed, but lovable characters with hilarious insight into life. This one is no exception.

9. Beyond the Rising Tide by Sarah Beard

Beyond the Rising Tide by [Beard, Sarah]

This is a YA romance book, but also a book about the afterlife, regrets, being a hero, survival guilt... so much to think about. Really enjoyed this.

8. Edgewood by Karen McQuestion

Edgewood by [McQuestion, Karen]

This is a YA Fantasy series about teens that develop powers. And yes, that's kinda been overdone, but the characters are an interesting group and I have to say, book 2 was amazing. The relationship between Russ and Nadia is very unique and seeing things from different character perspectives really changed how I felt about the characters in book 1.

7. House of Oak 1-5 by Nichole Van

Intertwine (House of Oak Book 1) by [Van, Nichole]

You're going to want to read all five, might as well get the boxed set. Nichole Van seamlessly intertwines a contemporary romance novel with an Austen-like regency novel. Each can be read as a stand-alone, but they work better if you read in order.

6. Isabella and the Slipper by Victorine E. Lieske

Isabella and the Slipper by [Lieske, Victorine E.]

I got to beta read this, and I have to say this hit the sweet spot of using a fairy tale to tell a compelling YA love story.

5. Love and Fat-Free Cheese by Crissy Sharp

Love and Fat-Free Cheese by [Sharp, Crissy]

This is both a satisfying clean romance and a suspense mystery wrapped in one. Really loved this book.

4. Moss Forest Orchid by Shari L Tapscott

Moss Forest Orchid (Silver and Orchids Book 1) by [Tapscott, Shari L.]

I'm still a little miffed that this ended in a cliff-hanger, but I really, really loved all the adventure and romance and fantasy elements like pocket dragons. Everything Shari L Tapscott writes is amazing.

3. P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

P.S. I Like You by [West, Kasie]

Kasie West is like the queen of YA. This one is especially fun because it's a passing notes, mystery admirer kind of story.

2. The Princess Fugitive by Melanie Cellier

The Princess Fugitive: A Reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood (The Four Kingdoms Book 2) by [Cellier, Melanie]

This is another book where the main character was an unlikable side character in a previous book, until she gets her own story and you learn about her past. Full of adventure and clean romance.

1. The Student and the Slave by Annie Douglas Lima

The Student and the Slave (Krillonian Chronicles Book 3) by [Douglass Lima, Annie]

This was another beta read and a great culmination to the three book series. This is YA, but otherwise hard to categorize in that it's alternative reality with no magic. And about martial arts. Definitely different than what I write or usually read, but engaging all the same.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Fate's Arrangement by Megan Elder Evans

Fate's Arrangement is about a noblewoman who more than anything else, wants to continue her work as a midwife, performing c-sections in a time where everyone else thinks she's barbaric. This book is not for the squeamish as there are several childbirth scenes and sword fights and such. Tastefully done, but realistic. The adventure and romance in it are both excellent. I really enjoyed this and haven't read anything else quite like it before.

I received an early copy from the author and wanted to write a review.

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Student and the Slave (Krillonian Chronicles Book 3), by Annie Douglas Lima

I had the privilege of being a beta reader for all three of the Krillonian Chronicles and this one was a great wrap up to the series. Bensin and Steene have traded places. One a free man now owned by a spoiled teenager, and one a former slave now free. But being free isn't all Bensin thought it would be. He's out of work and feels like a burden to those that helped him. The characters are well rounded, with flaws and temptations that make their circumstances even harder. The choices they have to make are not easy, and whatever they choose, someone is bound to get hurt. And yet, even with the tough subject matter, this is once again a fun adventure, appropriate for a middle grade reader, with a very satisfying ending. I highly recommend.

The Student and the Slave (Krillonian Chronicles Book 3) by [Douglass Lima, Annie]

Monday, October 16, 2017

Moss Forest Orchid (Silver and Orchids Book 1), by Shari L Tapscott

A book with magic and dragons is a little out of my usual reading genre, but the heroine in this is so feisty and fun that I was drawn in. After an investment gone wrong, Lucia is determined to make back the money and pay off her business partner/best friend, Sebastian. Even if it means dealing with monsters, pirates, and exploding plants. Sebastian is swoon-worthy throughout, so I was a little annoyed to find the book ending on a cliff-hanger. I will probably read books 2 and 3 through KU, but I had gone in hoping those were separate stories set in the same world, since the world-building in this is so good.

Moss Forest Orchid (Silver and Orchids Book 1) by [Tapscott, Shari L.]

Monday, July 17, 2017

P.S. I Like You, by Kasie West

I'm turning into a gushing fan of Kasie West. This one started a little slow. Lily hates Chemistry, so when her drawing/creative writing notebook gets banned from class, she writes in pencil on her desk and is amazed when someone leaves a response. It's not too hard to take a guess as to who her mystery man might be, and yet that doesn't take away from the fun of the book at all. Kasie West still manages to throw in some surprises and made me laugh out loud until the end. A definite recommend.

P.S. I Like You by [West, Kasie]

Monday, July 10, 2017

Scoundrel in Disguise, by Shaela Kay

What a fun regency romance between two unlikely people. Sarah was a bit too naive and flaky for my taste, but she turned out to be a well-rounded character and I enjoyed her story. This makes me want to read the first book in the series - although it works perfectly as a standalone too. The first book is called A Heart Made of Indigo.

I received a free copy of this book and chose to write a review about it.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

House of Oak, Books 1-5, by Nichole Van

Yep, I read all five. This is a series that takes the best of Jane Austenish regency novels and the best part of contemporary romance novels and puts them together, with time travel! Thanks to a portal in the cellar, lots of romance ensues with difficult choices about which time period they should live in and whether or not they can give up everything else for true love. The romance is swoonish, but definitely clean and I really can't decide which book I loved best. I recommend them all. The first one is offered for free quite regularly, and the rest are 3.99 for Kindle.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Honest and for True: (The Adventures of Lee and Bucky Book 1) by Jane Lebak

This writer has a quirky, refreshing, hilarious writing style and I was immediately drawn in. Lee is a person who is comfortable in her skin, she just can't tell anyone about it, thinking they won't understand her. And then she meets a guy she wishes she didn't lie to. Oh, and she has a guardian angel. Definite recommend. 2.99 for Kindle.

Honest And For True (The Adventures Of Lee And Bucky Book 1) by [Lebak, Jane]

Friday, February 24, 2017

Yella's Prayers by Nadine C. Keels

She awoke with a gasp, sitting up. God? Was that You?
A pivotal year awaits Bless, a young woman who hides her passion: her music. She's not exactly friends with T'meal, a talented athlete who won't explain why he's passed up the chance of a lifetime. Nor is Bless too close to Lamall, a boisterous playboy with a broken private life that's spiraling out of control.

But Bless knows she's meant to help these two young men. She can't deny the Voice that told her so.

This is a book with carefully crafted characters and lots of family drama. I thought it was unique that the story comes from the perspective of a shy younger sister, who is the axis everyone else revolves around (although she doesn't really see it in herself). The author's strength lies in her ability to touch hearts and create characters and dialogue that come alive. I do wish it had been edited down a bit, but I recommend this as a worthwhile Christian read dealing with serious issues.

I received an ARC of Yella's Prayers from the author.

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