The ball has dropped, Ol’ Blue Eyes has sung, and 2016 is officially here, which means it is time to look back at the year that was and towards the year that has just begun.  That, of course, means a Best Of List.  Normally, I don’t limit my best of’s to one year, but I read so many new books in 2015 that I’m going to do just that.  I’ve narrowed it down to a top five (in no particular order), all of which are books that left me with that special Good Book Feeling.

1. Falling for Her by Sandra Owens: I absolutely loved this book.  Saint and Sugar were perfect for each other.  I felt that Ms. Owens was adept at dealing with the issues troubling both characters, although I believe she did a better job with Sugar than she did with Jamie, who seemed to have sudden epiphanies at the appropriate moments.  The next book in the series will be coming out within the next few books and I am all over that.

2. Steam Me Up Rawley by Angela Quarles: This is the first and sadly only steam punk book I’ve ever read.  I’ve downloaded others, but haven’t gotten around to them yet.  What I liked about this book was that Adele was her own person.  She didn’t want to get married and had real reasons why marriage was not for her.  I also liked the way Philip treated her and didn’t look down on her just because she was different from other women.

3. The Lure of the Moonflower by Lauren Willig: I was so sad to see this series end, especially considering how much could still be done with it.  One of the things I like about Willig’s books is how she uses pop culture in them.  This was very much a retelling of Romancing the Stone and it totally fit in with the world Willig created.  Jack and Jane were two sides of the same awesome coin and I love that Jane didn’t have to give up herself for him.  All of the other books in the series, no matter how good they were, all ended with the hero and heroine giving up the spy stuff and living a normal life.  Even Amy and Richard, who opened the spy school stopped actually spying once they were married–not that Richard could continue with his cover blown.

4. All Wrapped Up by Kimberly Kincaid: The Pine Mountain Series is a new series for me.  I discovered it just a few weeks ago when reading the Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap and fell for Ms. Kincaid’s writing.  I loved how she dealt with Nick’s survivor’s guilt and Ava’s traumatic childhood.  Plus, it was a second chance romance and we all know that those are my particular catnip.

5. Earls Just Want to Have Fun by Shana Galen: When I finally read this over the summer (it came out last March, but I dragged my heals for some reason), I was surprised by how much I liked it.  In fact, I almost gave up on it within the first few pages because Dane seemed like an ass.  He hated the lower classes and fought against any type of social causes.  Frankly, he was the smarter, classier, 19th Century version of a Trump supporter.  However, the writing was good enough that I was willing to give the book a chance.  I was so glad I did because Dane’s transformation was worth it.  Obviously, he needed to be that big of an ass when the book started for the transformation to be as wonderful as it was.  The second book in the series wasn’t quite as good as this one, but I’m still looking forward to the next book, which comes out in March.

Honorable MentionsCinderella’s Shoes by Shonna Slayton, His New Jam by Shannyn Schroeder, and Status Update by Annabeth Albert 

Now, onto 2016.

  • I resolve not to drag me feet when it comes to trying something new. I’ve missed out on so many books because I let self-doubt get in the way.  Imagine, I could have been reading Kate Noble for years, instead of binging her books over the summer.
  • I resolve to keep up with my Netgalley TBR pile.  I love Netgalley because it lets me read books early and for free.  Unfortunately, I’m a bit like a kid in a candy shop when it comes to books, so I end up requesting more books than I can actually read in any given time.  Right now, I’ve got 40 books on that TBR pile, so hopefully, I will be caught up and organized this year.
  • I resolve to try more authors.  Netgalley has really helped with this.  As a matter of fact, the Best Of List (except for Moonflower) is entirely made up of authors I hadn’t read before I registered with Netgalley.
  • I resolve not to force myself to continue reading something that isn’t doing it for me.  There were several books that I wish I hadn’t finished last year and I’ve come to the conclusion that life is too short for bad books.

What about you?  What books did you absolutely love in 2015?  Are there any resolutions you’d like to share?

 

Elizabeth

Romance novels have been a part of my life since I was 14 years old and one of my neighbors dropped off a laundry basket full of Harlequins. From that day on, my nose was always in a book. I started my first review site in 2013, but took some time off for personal issues in 2018.

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