Shelly’s Favorites of 2016

What an amazing year for romance. I read some really good ones this year including a couple historicals.

If you’re a fan of Lisa Kleypas’s historicals and haven’t read her Ravenels series, you’re missing out. This was a new to me author and I couldn’t have been more pleased with Marrying Winterborne, book 2 in the series. Rhys and Helen’s romance was a sweet, fun and well told story about choosing what’s good for you in spite of what society says.

Each of the past few years, M.Q. Barber’s put out a story that I’ve really liked and this year was no exception. Finding their Balance is book 5 in her Neighborly Affection series and continues the story of Henry, Jay and Alice. Well worth the read in you’ve followed that series but I wouldn’t recommend as a stand alone.

I waited for Grace Draven’s book 2 in the Wraith Kings series, Eidolon, patiently. I wasn’t sure it would be worth it because I’ve been disappointed before but this one was absolutely worth the wait. Jen loved it too.

If SEALs are your thing, Embattled Road should be right up your alley. It’s the prequel to JM Madden’s Lost and Found series and it’s good short but good.

I’ve read everything put out by Christine Wenrick and when Leaving Lily Behind came out I was never so happy. It’s book 3 of the Men of Brahm Hills series continuing the saga of good versus evil, Dhampirs, vampires, humans and all things that go bump in the night. It’s tightly woven with the series just in case you’re tempted to read as a standalone.

One of my favorite writers is Allyn Lesley. She’s one of these authors who can pen a tale about an anti-hero and make you fall in love with him. Deeper, book 2 in her Descent series is no exception to that. Noah is no saint and Avi knows it.

Happy reading folks!

Honorable mention goes to:

Angel 6.0 – Concubine by Travis Luedke
A Bad Bit Nice by Josie Kerr
Happily Ever All-Star by Sosie Frost
The Devil’s Bedpost by Lena Hart
Falling by Allyn Lesley
Sucker Punched by Kelley Martin

Review: Falling by Allyn Lesley

fallingReviewed by Shelly

Disclaimer – I’ve read all of Allyn Lesley’s published stories and while Falling might not be a category, YA, that I would typically read, I decided to read it based on my history of her story telling. I didn’t even read the blurb before I started reading. For me, Lesley’s story telling skills are still as good as when I read book 1 in her ‘Deeper’ series. I wasn’t disappointed.

Lesley doesn’t write about your typical good guy hero. Absolutely not the guy next door nor the guy with all the friends because of his charming and witty personality. Oh no, her heroes barely know the word etiquette much less practice it. Dyllan Sterling is an absolute tool. His expressions are surly, he’s cantankerous and can be plain ole disagreeable. But he loves and is loved by his parents and older twin brothers which says a lot when you find out how he got his family. As Dyllan’s story unfolds and I got to know him better, he actually started growing on me. I’m not saying I started to like him, but I did start to accept him as he was. I did have my limits with him though, I’ll tell you in a second. [Read more…]

Review: Deeper: Descent by Allyn Lesley

deeper descentReviewed by Shelly

I’ve been waiting on this follow-up for about a year now and yes, it was totally worth the wait. I got sucked back in, just like that. My mind was doing some serious over time after reading Noah and Avi’s story, so I had some trouble sitting down to do the review. A few hours later… I’m ready now.

Picking update directly after Book 1 ended, Avi and Noah are still reeling from Harry’s death. She’s just lost the father she’d just met and Noah’s missing the father figure that Harry represented. Between them both, there are some serious issues going on. Avi’s still running from the feelings that Noah brings out in her. That actually got a little old with me, because she’s either in or she’s out. I’m still trying to figure out what she thought that Noah really did. I know as the reader looking in, it’s easy for me to see what Noah actually was.  I figured Avi for a smart girl, but maybe I’m being too hard on her. [Read more…]

Review: Deeper by Allyn Lesley

deeper1Reviewed by Shelly

This is Allyn Lesley’s debut novel and I was lucky enough to snag a copy for review. I’ve not read a really good romance/suspense in a long while and immediately after finishing this I promptly initiated – Project: Where’s Book 2. Deeper is the first in the Deeper Chronicles and I’m not sure if the story will conclude in the next book or not or if we’re looking at a serial. That being said, be warned this has a cliffhanger and while the H/h are together at the end of this part of the story, I wouldn’t call it either a HFN or HEA. [Read more…]