Jen’s Favorites of 2017

For me, 2017 meant a lot of writing, moving (again!), and some new responsibilities at work. When you put all of that together, it equals less reading time for me than ever before. I came across a few stinkers (which I had to mark DNF despite my best efforts,) but I also added a few awesome books to my keeper-shelf.

Every year, Ilona Andrews tops my list. Part of me is embarrassed that I must be so predictable by now, but it’s not my fault. I swear if she ever writes something I don’t love, I’ll tell you the truth. In this case, it’s a two-fer in her Hidden Legacy series. White Hot and Wildfire came out really close together and that was a huge win for fans who had to wait an age after Burn For Me. These books feature such fantastic world building, awesome characters, and an exciting enemies-to-lovers romance that hit all my happy buttons. If you’re a Kate Daniels fan or heck, if you like UF/PNR at all… jump into this series with both feet. I promise you won’t regret it.

Since I’m talking about Urban Fantasy, I have to give a big shout-out to The Turn by Kim Harrison. I was always a fan of the Hollows, but I didn’t realize how much I missed it until this book came out. I was skeptical at first that it didn’t center on the characters I knew and loved, but in the end, it didn’t matter. This one stood up wonderfully on its own, though we do see some familiar faces. If you’re new to the Hollows, I wouldn’t start here even though it’s a prequel. It will give away too many surprises. But hey, there’s no time like the present to give yourself the gift of this fabulous series. (The first few books took me a while to fall in love with, but the series ends up ridiculously good.)

Another killer UF I read this year was the latest Mercy Thompson book, Silence Fallen, by Patricia Briggs. First of all, it’s amazing how Briggs continues to churn out such awesome books in this long running series! I loved this one especially because it was split in Mercy and Adam’s POVs and it had such a surprise twist at the end.

One last long running series favorite comes with Darynda Jones and her latest Charley Davidson book, The Trouble With 12th Grave. Not all books in this series have been equal hits for me, but this one was one of the best. It was super-Reyes-centric and divulged lots of nuggets about the series arc and character origins. Plus super-sexy and uproariously funny bits.

Sliding over to Paranormal Romance, Silver Silence may now be my favorite Psy-Changeling book. I thought for some reason Nalini Singh was breaking away from the core characters, and though we’re nowhere near the changeling cultures we’ve known so long, Kaleb is here and ohmygod the bears!! The bears are everything!!! I loved this hero and almost everything about this book.

On the Fantasy-Romance front, I really enjoyed Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet. Not quite as much as A Promise of Fire, but it was close. This sequel picks up right on the heels of book one, so you really need to read that one first. (And you totally should.)

It was a great year for historical romances, like Tessa Dare’s The Duchess Deal which plays off a Beauty and the Beast trope and has all of the magic and humor I’ve come to expect from this author. It features a seamstress and a scarred, jilted duke who offers her marriage in exchange for an heir. It was my favorite historical of the year.

Another great one in this category was a novella, Lorraine Heath’s When the Marquess Falls. It’s actually the prequel story of the Mad Marquess’ romance with his wife. Their time together is short and it gave me a million feels.

Honorable mentions for me go to Sarah Maclean’s Day of the Duchess, a historical romance that’s a second-chance at love story that made me ache for what the characters endured… and Bayou Born by Hailey Edwards, a PNR that got off to a slow start, but eventually got me so tangled up in the story, I am already desperate for book two!

What are some of the books you loved this year?? Don’t miss favorites from Joanna, Sara and Ronelle too!

Comments

  1. White Hot was one of my favorites this year too!!!

  2. Favorites for me also included Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game, Penny Reid’s Beard in Mind, Anne Bishop’s Etched in Bone, Ilona Andrews’ One Fell Sweep, Eloisa James’ Wilde in Love, and Laura Florand’s Crown of Bitter Orange. I thought it has been a pretty good reading year for Romance lovers.

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