Best reads of 2017

Wow, 2017 has been a great year for reading. I found a lot of new to me authors that I now love, lots of great books from authors I already loved, just a lot of great reads. As always it was difficult to choose just 20 favorite reads from this past year that were my favorite reads. There were so many I loved I really had to narrow it down to one per author or I never would have been able to choose 20. So without further ado my top 20 books of 2017 - you can click the title to go to my full review - in no particular order. They are all amazing.

The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

This was definitely my favorite non-fiction book I have read. I don't read a lot of non-fiction, I don't come across that many that pique my interest, but The Radium Girls was fantastic. Horrific what happened to these poor women, but I did learn a lot from this book and they did accomplish what they wanted - to help others even though they were dying. 

Beard in Mind by Penny Reid

I love Penny Reid and she had a few fantastic reads this year that made it really hard to pick a favorite (I'm looking at you Dating-ish and Kissing Tolstoy), but since I can have only one per author I had to go with Beard in Mind. Shelly really stole the show for me in this one. I loved her hardcore and Beau was just as great. But Shelly....oh Shelly. I loved her so much. She grabbed me from the first moments until the last. She was more real than anyone I have read. I loved this story so so much.

Ball Peen Hammer by Lauren Rowe

I still cannot believe how much I love Ball Peen Hammer. I mean that name alone makes it seem like I wouldn't like it. It is about a conceited male stripper who calls people baby doll and such and yet I loved it. I seriously thought I would hate this story, but oh Peen...he is so much more than I ever expected. This was one of the most surprising books on my list. I never would have imagined I would love this story as I did. So you should definitely give it a try even if you don't think it will be for you. You might end up with a new favorite like me. 

Kulti by Mariana Zapata

Oh, Kulti. This was my first Mariana Zapata I read and I loved it. I loved this slow burn! I especially enjoyed it since at the beginning I kept thinking how in the world are these two people going to end up as friends much less in love? But it happened and it felt organic and real and right. Which is crazy. In a good way. 

A Thousand Letters by Staci Hart

This book tore me to pieces in the best of ways. There were moments when I legitimately hated the male lead and yelled at the female lead, and yet I loved this story. I hated them, but loved them at the same time. I was yelling at them, but also rooting for them to get everything they ever wanted. I couldn't put this story down, it was a rough one to read, but that always makes the good so much better. 

Okay I know I said only one book per author, but how in the world am I supposed to pick which Sara Ney book I loved the most? Seriously I can't. She was a new to me author and I started with the #ThreeLittleLies series, fell in love, and read everything else she had. And I loved it all. So when making up the list I thought okay, first to choose which favorite from each series. Well the liars series are all short and fun so I figured I could leave that as a whole. As one choice. Then the Kiss & Make Up series - I loved A Kiss like This. The main characters are so awkward and I loved them so so much. So that was an easy pick. But then we get to the Douchebag series. How in the world am I supposed to choose between Zeke & Violet and Rhett & Laurel? I mean they are so different. Zeke is a jerk, but a sweet one, and Violet is perfect for him. And Rhett was adorable & I loved that Laurel was the jerk of the two. Seriously it was too hard so I am leaving this one as Sara Ney in general. I don't think you can go wrong with any of her books. 

Irresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne

Lauren Layne was another new to me author this year and another tough one to choose just one books. I loved everything I have read of hers. She has a way of writing a story I go into thinking I have read before, but I haven't. Of making a plot that sounds simple so much more than I ever imagined it would or could be. I love her writing, I love her characters, I love her stories. But I think Irresistibly Yours was my favorite because these two were so sweet together! But again I don't think you can go wrong with any of her books. 

A Crown of Bitter Orange by Laura Florand

I love Laura Florand so so much. Everything I read of hers weaves this magic around me that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. She had a few great reads this past year, but A Crown of Bitter Orange was probably my favorite. Tristan and Malorie were so sweet together. Yes, they love to rile each other up, but underneath it all they really care about each other. 

Behind the Bars by Brittainy C Cherry

This was another hard choice. Which did I like more from this author, Behind the Bars or The Gravity of Us? I think Behind the Bars slightly wins out just because I read it more recently, but they are both great reads. I loved this author and the characters she creates. This one especially. The music, the soul, the feelings involved were wonderful. 

Unbreak My Heart by Nicole Jacquelyn

This story I didn't expect to enjoy as much as I did. It has so many things I normally don't like in a book, so many storylines that are not for me, but the author made it work. Made this beautiful story that I couldn't put down once I started reading. I love when an author can surprise me like that. Can make me love something I normally hate. 

Endurance by Jack Kilborn

Jack Kilborn is definitely my favorite horror author. His books are so amazingly messed up I don't know how he comes up with everything he does. Endurance was another great, horrifying read. His characters go through so much I don't know how they do it. I love it. 

The Last One by Alexandra Oliva

The Last One was a really great read about a lady who is on a survival reality TV show and trying to make her way home. It is split between the shows start and what is happening now and I loved how intense it was. How you don't really know what is going on, what is real and what isn't. I hope the author comes out with some more books as this was a fantastic first read. 

Thicker Than Blood by Madeline Sheehan and Claire C Riley

Thicker Than Blood is kind of like The Walking Dead. It is about some people after the zombie apocolypse and what they go through. How the world is now and what happens to them. It is not focused on the zombies, how they got there, any of that. It is about the people and what life is like now. And man, these characters go through a lot. The authors kept surprising me with how the story would go. Lots of twists and turns and I loved it. 

Mister Romance by Leisa Rayven

This was another new to me author and I loved this story so much!! I loved Max and the whole time I was reading it I was hoping he would take Eden down. Show her how judgemental and mean she is for no good reason. Make her fall in love with him and then crush her! Now that may or may not be what happens, but I loved this story. I love Max and watching how he was with Eden. It was great. 

Most of all You by Mia Sheridan

Oh, I love Mia Sheridan. Her characters love each other the way you would be lucky to be loved. They are always there for each other and my heart hurts for them when anything bad happens. They love fiercely and don't give up even when things get rough. Really any of her books are great reads, but Crystal and Gabriel were my favorites from this year. 

Tap Left by A. Zavarelli

Tap Left was pretty much the perfect book for me. It has everything I love. A bit of angst, some drama, some characters who hate each other but really don't, the super hot alpha male sexy times, everything I want. They start out as enemies, but were they really? Oh, it was great. 

Hearts of Blue by LH Cosway

I love the Hearts series, and I read two of them this year, but I think Hearts of Blue is my favorite. The cop and the criminal were so great together. They have the connection, but have to figure out how in the world they could make it work. It shouldn't work, but it does. Loved it!

Tony & Susan by Auston Wright

Tony & Susan was an intense read. I saw the Nocturnal Animals movie, loved it, so decided to pick up the book and read it. It seems like since I knew where the story was going (if the movie stayed true to it) it shouldn't have been as intense, but it was. I don't know how but the story kept me on the edge of my seat wanting to see what would happen next. Edward's story is dark and raw and intense in the best way. If you have seen to movie and enjoyed it give this book a read. If not then read it or go see the movie. Both are amazing.

The Brightest Sunset by Aly Martinez

This story is part two of a duet and man, it got to me. I stayed up way too late reading because I noticed it on my Kindle just as I was headed to bed. It was totally worth the lack of sleep because this broke my heart. These characters broke my heart, but the darkest of times make the light so much lighter. 

Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James

Now this is actually the biggest surprise on my favorites list for this year, which is why I saved it for last. I was certain that I was going to absolutely hate this story, but my friend talked me into reading it earlier this year and I loved it so so so much. Not because I think it is a fantastic story. No, because it is one of the most hilariously bad stories I have ever read. This book gave my husband and friends so much humor that we were literally crying laughing so hard at some of the scenes. Funniest book I ever read and for that I loved it. I know most people seem to either love it for real, feel meh about it, or hate it with the fire of a thousand fiery suns, but I loved it because it was so bad it was amazing. 


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