2016 was apparently the year of fantasy romance. I read a LOT of them. So it’s no surprise the majority of my picks for this year fall in this category. Without further ado, here are my top reads this year.
While I gave this book only three stars, I’m throwing it on my top five books. Having a transgender protagonist in a contemporary romance is so important. While I didn’t particularly like the romance, I enjoyed reading about Amanda learning to embrace herself. I hope to see more such characters in the future. My review for If I Was Your Girl can be found here. Check out the synopsis below:
Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.
And then she meets Grant Everett. Grant is unlike anyone she’s ever met—open, honest, kind—and Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself…including her past. But she’s terrified that once she tells Grant the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.
Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.
Technically, this is a re-read for me. However, I have lost count of how many times I have read this book so I’m throwing it on my list. I love everything about this book, but mostly the COOKING. For some reason, I find reading about characters competent in the kitchen relaxing and fun. I wish I felt the same way when I cook in real life. Plus, the novel has a sweet romance and an interesting plot. My review for Dance Upon The Air can be found here. Check out the synopsis:
When Nell Channing arrives on charming Three Sisters Island, she believes that she’s finally found refuge from her abusive husband—and from the terrifying life she fled so desperately eight months ago…
But even in this quiet, peaceful place, Nell never feels entirely at ease. Careful to conceal her true identity, she takes a job as a cook at the local bookstore café—and begins to explore her feelings for the island sheriff, Zack Todd. But there is a part of herself she can never reveal to him, for she must continue to guard her secrets if she wants to keep the past at bay. One careless word, one misplaced confidence, and the new life she’s so carefully created could shatter completely.
Just as Nell starts to wonder if she’ll ever be able to break free of her fear, she realizes that the island suffers under a terrible curse—one that can only be broken by the descendants of the Three Sisters, the witches who settled the island back in 1692. And now, with the help of two other strong, gifted women—and the nightmares of the past haunting her every step—she must find the power to save her home, her love…and herself.
I’ll be honest with you – while I enjoyed A Court of Thorns and Roses last year, it was not one of my favorite books ever. So imagine my surprise when I picked up the second in the series, A Court of Mist and Fury, and fell head over heals for it. The characters, the setting, the plot…JUST ALL THE FEELINGS. My review for A Court of Mist and Fury can be found here. Here is the synopsis:
Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court–but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.
Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms–and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future–and the future of a world cleaved in two.
With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.
I come across two sets of people when it comes to the TOG series – you either love it or hate it. Personally, I love the series. The fifth book moves forward the epic showdown between good and evil. Aelin and her crew just break my heart and make it full all at the same time. My review for Empire of Storms can be found here. Check out the synopsis:
The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don’t.
As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.
Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?
So I technically read this book the very last week of 2015. But I’m throwing it in my 2016 lineup as THE best book read this year. Why? Well, it has absolutely everything I love in a book – a strong and sassy heroine, a slow-burn romance, an epic quest, and detailed world-building. I highly recommend this book to fantasy romance fans. My review for Touch of Power can be found here. The synopsis is below:
Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan absorbs their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Fifteen Realms, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.
Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life…