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: Embattled Home by JM Madden

embattled homeReviewed by Shelly

By far, this is my favorite couple in the series so far.  I might or might not be partial to Chad, but if this gives you any kind of a clue, he had me when he showed such compassion and kindness towards Shannon in Book 1. Then there’s a little Duncan side piece with a young (he might think too young) doctor and what seemed like a little bit of chemistry. But before I get carried away and start with my Duncan fetish, I’ll give you the skinny about Lora O’Neil and Chad Lowell. [Read more…]

Review: Embattled Minds by JM Madden

embattled mindsReviewed by Shelly

The pace in Ember Norton and Zeke Foster’s story is slower than the pacing in book 1 of this series. There’s none of the suspense or action sequences that were prominent, but that doesn’t take away from the emotional content and the investment that I made in caring about what happens to this couple. We were introduced to both Ember and Zeke in Embattled Hearts along with Diego and a couple of other guys. You can definitely read this as a stand alone, but you’re probably not going to appreciate the camaraderie of this group of former soldiers. [Read more…]

Review: Embattled Hearts by JM Madden

embattled heartsReviewed by Shelly

This the first novel (the prequel 0.5 was a very short introduction to the men only) in J.M. Madden’s ‘Lost and Found’ series intrigued me even before I read its blurb. After I read the prequel, I wanted more John Palmer. Actually all the guys were interesting in their own right, but John especially, because he was just so cantankerous. Some might call him angry, but I wouldn’t make that leap, but he is brash and plain speaking, and he’s never heard a cuss word he didn’t like. John’s a bit a loner; it’s always been that way for him (he was dropped off at the orphanage by his mother) until he met Chad and Duncan during their rehab at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in MD. [Read more…]

Review: The Embattled Road by JM Madden

embattled roadReviewed by Shelly

This is the prequel to JM Madden’s Lost and Found series about a veterans. This novella isn’t a romance. Heck, the only women to make appearance are the nurses from the VA. It’s a resolute start to the series and Madden doesn’t spare us any battle scenes. It’s all horrific – the death, carnage and subsequent days of rehab. The slow ticking of the clock as these soldiers live their lives waiting for the best and worst. The best being their discharge and the worst being their discharge. [Read more…]