Saturday, December 30, 2017

Favorite Books For 2017

This past year has been strange. There were stretches where I didn't read and then I gobbled up everything in sight or binged on a series. I did a lot of rereading of my old favorites, too. As I was going through my reader, I realized that I didn't even record what I'd read or hadn't. So I had to spend some time flipping through my ereader and trying to remember what paperbacks I'd read. As always, I bought more books than I read. There were several books I didn't finish, which wasn't usual for me. Sometimes I feel as if I'm too picky but I like what I like. And if the story doesn't hold me, I lose interest. :-)

I'm not going to limit myself to the top 10 favs. Why does it have to be only ten? When people read hundreds of books, 10 is like a drop in the bucket. So straight up, I'm giving you my favorites for 2017. I've split up the categories for your convenience. 

For reference, my favorites are books I rated 4 and 5 stars that I would read again and again. There are plenty of 4 & 5 stars that I wouldn't read again, though I enjoyed them immensely. So the re-reading is the key to my list. And I do a lot of re-reading throughout the year, so yes, that is what is most important to me, not the star rating. :D

Gay Romance

The Necromancer's Dance and The Necromancer's Dilemma books and audiobooks are excellent. I love this series and recommend it often with vigor. The characters, the world, the plot, the love between them is wonderful. I'm hoping for romances for Angel's brother. Plus there is a little dragon at war with the pigeons. I'm so curious about where it all will lead. Also, if you are looking for something on the lighter side, a sweet low angst romance, then I recommend Himes's The Solstice Prince (Realms of Love, 1).

All of the Off-Beat Crimes books are great but Jackapoles & Woofen-Poofs in particular I LOVED to PIECES. Alex Wolf stole my heart. His character was so engaging for me that when it was over I was heart broken there wasn't more. I didn't read anything for a couple of days because if it wasn't about Wolf I didn't want to have anything to do with it. The last book in the series is out and on my reader. I don't want to let the series go and so I haven't cracked it open because that will mean the end is nearing. Silly, I know. The other story by Angel that I loved was Safety Protocols for Human Holidays. Growlan Raskli (love the name) and Human Jen were so relate-able and their romance so cute. <3 

The Dance with the Devil series is one of my all time favorite series. I reread all the books at least once a year. I have them in all forms: ebook, paperback, and audiobook where available. Each new addition I gobble up and I'm never disappointed. Twilight takes up back to Barra and his lovers, Neirin and the dragon Troyes. I love the dragons in this universe and this story just gave me more of them. Yum. The other book by Megan that I loved was The Heart of the Lost Star (Tales of the High Court, 3). In this fantasy series, there is a range of sexual and gender identities. One of my favorite things is how it is accepted without thought. Great series.

Healing Touch and Forever Home of Missy Welsh's sci-fi series, Destination Lost, was a fantastic find for me. Aliens and alien worlds with great world building and romance. I blew through both of these quickly and wanted more right away! :) It sounds like there will be at least one or two more to come, and honestly, I could read a dozen in this series. I hope she keeps them coming.

Hidden Gem is one of those books that I wondered why I put off reading it. It was fantastic. I couldn't put it down. A cop falling for a rent boy is typically not a trope that I read, but since this one, I'm like 'more please'. Futuristic dystopias are always fascinating to see. Both Aki and Shane were compelling characters. Great book with a ton of twists that kept my attention fixed on the story. 

Bound by Destiny (The Next Generation, 2) - This sci-fi romance is a spin off of The Harvest series that is another reread of mine. The Next Generation follows the children from The Harvest. There is never a dull moment and watching the characters I fell in love with in the first series get their HEA is extremely satisfying. 

I have to admit that I have not read the Parasol Protectorate series. I really wanted to because I'd heard such good things about the series, but I struggled with the first person POV and eventually gave up. When the author wrote The Sumage Solution under a different pen name, I thought I would give it a try and I'm so glad I did. Really tight writing that drew fantastic pictures for me. I loved the new perspective of a beta's role. Her world of mages is really fascinating. I hope there is more to come.

Nowadays, I read very few contemporary books. I'm such an voracious reader that I feel sometimes I've read the same plot and characters over and over. Something about the blurb for Catch and Release caught my attention and I gave it a go. I'm so glad that I did. I enjoyed the hell out of it and Dakota's POV had me spellbound. His character was compelling and I just wanted to love on him and make everything better. It is a book that is still with me. The details haven't faded. It is in a series, but I didn't read the other books, so it does stand on its own.

What a fun and eventful ride! There are so many things about By Fairy Means or Foul that are hilarious. There are some serious parts, but everything just meshed well. And the NAMES, they get me every time. It was a read that I started recommending as soon as I finished. I keep checking for the next book in the series because I'm impatient like that. When the audiobook released, I snatched it up, too. 

I don't think there has been a book that I've read by Cari Z that I haven't loved. Soothsayer is no different. Her world building and characters are superb. When the book was over, I read it again. Cillian broke my heart, especially the bit about how he interacts with his mother. It's a great urban fantasy and I wish there were more like it. <3

Other favorites

Siren's Call by JC Owens - I loved this. It wasn't as intense as some of her other work that I had to mentally prepare myself to read. That is a plus for me. 
Cronin's Key by NR Walker - This was more intense than I thought it would be. Very cool take on so many different myths and historical concepts.
Recovery (Reawakening, 3) by Amy Rae Durren - I love the series and this new addition to the series to pieces. Excellent writing.
The Thaumaturge series by Cal Matthews - More plot driven than romantic but there is a romance that slowly evolves.
Lord Mouse by Mason Thomas - This times 10x. I loved this audiobook to the moon and back.

LGBTIAQ Non-Romantic

Cal is the bisexual MC of the City of Crows series. Last December, I read the first book in this series and put it on my 2016 favorites list. I gushed a lot about it. This is a new adult urban fantasy... and if you follow my Saturday Reading Radar you'll notice that I don't put many new adult/young adult books on my wishlist. I have a hard time identifying with the age of the characters. Cal has that wide-eyed innocence that he slowly loses through the series, but I found him extremely likeable and he made me laugh. I gobbled up Shade Chaser and Wraith Hunter and I really, really wish they were on audiobook as well. I was a little afraid the series would end with Wraith Hunter but I was thrilled when book four came out. 

In Mad Lizard Mamabo (Kia Gracen, 2) Kia is one of those tortured characters you just want to protect. I loved Black Dog Blues though it was a bit tortuous for me with Kia having such a terrible family history. It makes you see how far Kia has come and exactly how strong he is. Here, Kia finds himself at the beck and call of Ryder, the High Lord of the Southern Rise Court. Kia doesn't want to be a part of Ryder's court or any court, but helping Ryder means his mentor gets the care he needs. So Kia takes Ryder on a hunt for a rumored elfin court in the wilderness. It's a great addition to the series and I cannot wait for more. :)

I'm putting this on the favorites list because it is fantastic and I will re-read this BUT I'm also on the fence about this series. I finished Captive a couple of days ago and bought the next two -- then I read the blurbs. I might not have bought them if I had read the blurbs first. I have some really hard lines when it comes to slavery themes. Matthew is taken captive and he is made a slave all in the name of getting him to trust the incubi. In my mind, they are the ones who should be earning his trust. Matthew vows to free himself and become powerful enough so no one could control him again. That I could get behind. I hate Tarrick. He is manipulative, using Matthew as a tool. Some of it I understood the underlying reasons why, but I still hate him with a passion. I could see Matthew's Stockholm Syndrome and hurt for him, but he is very much a fledgling on both sides, needing grounding and family. This ends with a HFN and at a spot that I was completely comfortable with, but it seems the next two books are going to be harder. Seriously, I had to psych myself up to read this book. I don't know if I can finish the series. And I hate Tarrick. I haven't met the incubi king but I'm pretty sure I hate him, too.

Poly Romance

Loved Waiting for You (Lifesworn, 1)! I've reread this at least three times since it released. Shanna is queen-in-waiting, counting down the days until she can choose a consort and get out from underneath her step-father's thumb. Shanna balanced femininity and strength. There's treachery and unexpected love. I loved the characters and the world. I'm looking forward to more books in this world.

This. This. This. THIS book, this series, this world, these characters! Damn it! I want to be a vampire queen in this world. From the moment that I started reading the sample for Queen takes Knights I was hooked. Yeeeesssss! Give it all to me. I cannot remember the last time I read a book and came away wanting to be the character. I read a ton of poly romance every year and very rarely does a title make my favorites list. So many are formulaic and I'm always searching for that one story that has more to give to me, something I will devour time and again. This series has it in spades. (In case you're wondering, this starts off MMF and stays bisexual.) I devoured Queen takes King last weekend and now I have to wait until January 30th before I can devour Queen takes Queen. *makes grabby hands*

MF Romance and Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, and Sci-Fi

I read DNF a lot of mainstream sci-fi romance. I need more to the plot than an erotic romance with an alien who looks human with different colored skin. Stolen by an Alien is one that I almost passed by because of the title. The spines on the cover model made me get the sample and I'm so glad that I did. The aliens are alien. The romance was a slow burn and I really liked the plot. Even though this is about a kidnapped human it diverges from the others because the alien that rescues her thinking she's a Gryfala Princess, which really isn't royalty but something else altogether. I loved Arohk and all his reactions to Angie. I liked the forbidden romance part of the plot where Arohk is not allowed to love a Gryfala because he's a Rakii. Sometimes at the end of sci-fi romances, things are rushed or fall apart a bit, not here. I sorta loved they were still learning new things about each other even toward the end. And the humor was spot on. I immediate bought the next book, Rescued by an Alien without reading the blurb and loved it, too. I actually would have read several more but there is only one left and it jumps about 20 years into the future, which I'm all for, I just want more. :)

I read this series out of order and honestly, any of these could stand on their own. Wulf and the Bounty Hunter is where I started. There is the stereotypical alpha male Colette warrior, Wulf, who lays down the law and then there is Yakira who nods her head and as soon as he turns around does what ever the hell she wants. There were places where I laughed until I cried. Usually, I need a little more in the asides department, but the writing style made that a mute point for me. I eventually went back and read everything else by this author. There is a relative of Yakira's in a different book who makes use of a cattle prod... tears, I'm telling ya, tears. Excellent book and series. 

I have mixed feeling about the Elder Race series. I read book one and two and liked them well enough. There were occasionally weird word choices. I skipped book three because I didn't care for either of those MCs, and started Oracle's Moon... and LOVED it. I've read a couple of books about djinn and as much as I love different lores and paranormal people, I remained 'meh' on the djinn. I think it was because they were basically portrayed as humans with the ability to grant wishes and nothing else. Here djinn has this history and culture and they are very much NOT human. I worried there in the middle that might change but nope. The character stayed true and I loved it. I loved Grace who showed a different kind of strength. The romance between the two (adversaries to lovers) was slow. I didn't miss much by skipping the 3rd book. I'm going to go back and read the part where Grace meets Khalil but that's it. I hope the rest of the series is this good.

Keystone was a great library find. Raven is strong but flawed. The world she lives in, she's in constant danger because she's a crossbreed. She's flawed, wounded, self-reliant to a fault, and barely scraping by until she is approached by Keystone. My husband and I talked a lot about this, guessing at what would happen, trying to figure out her background. I'm excited to see where it will lead.

What a world. I love Gin from Spider's Bite. She's kickass. She has a love me or hate me, I don't care attitude that doesn't waver. She owns who she is and what she does. The world is awesome with elementals, dwarves, giants, and vampires. I think I'm on book seven or eight now and I'm still in love with her. My heart broke for her because of that sanctimonious jerk, Detective Donovan Cain, but she gets a love. But don't mistake this for a romance. It has romantic elements but it is definitely not one.

I devoured this series. Valor's Choice is the first book in the Confederation series with the last two books in the spin-off Peacekeeper series. My husband listened along with me and we had huge discussions about so many aspects. This is a military space opera with a female MC who is k.i.c.k.a.s.s. Hands down, if Tanya Huff wrote 50 books with Torin Kerr as the lead -- sign me up. I am all for it. The other beings on her team -- awesome. The enemy -- awesome Seriously, I want to adopt the word 'trick' into my everyday language. There are so many layers to the each story and the plot arc and... just everything. I need more Torin Kerr. I want to follow Tanya Huff on Twitter, but then I'd make a nuisance of myself and become a stalker. Yes, I would lose my shit and fangirl if I ever met her in person. I went out and bought everything in paperpack of hers that I could get my hands on. I'm not sorry at all.

So that is my favorites list for 2017. New to me authors were Jennifer Estep, Dannika Dark, Gail Koger, Amanda Milo, Joely Sue Burkhart, Jex Lane, Meghan Maslow, Mason Thomas, and Missy Welsh. They are the reason why I still try new authors. The gems are worth the search.

Happy New Year y'all! Stay warm and safe! Happy reading!!!


  1. My TBR list just exploded. And thank you for the shoutout. <3

    1. The Beacon Hill Sorcerer series is awesome. <3 Hope you like the new additions to your TBR. :D Happy New Year!

  2. Just added a couple to my TBR. Thank you!

    1. Yay! I'm glad I could help out! LOL! Have a great weekend!