I know you’ve already gotten a preview at some of these titles thanks to my Top Ten Releases of 2019, but I’m still so excited to share with you my favorites from the final three months of 2019 in their own post. This list was actually incredibly hard to make and caused me to realize that I completely spaced on including The Kingmaker or Hook Shot on my best of 2019 list! An oversight and I’m very sorry, but fortunately, I make a lot of lists. So basically, what I’m saying is, don’t ignore my quarterly favorites just because I have so many other year end posts coming your way.
Archangel’s War by Nalini Singh
You probably already know this, given that I talked about this book in my Top Ten 2019 Releases. But I really think that this was such a great installment in an absolutely brilliant series. Nalini’s mind never ceases to amaze. Unfortunately, this entire book is a spoiler so there’s not much I can tell you about the plot. Really, I think Guild Hunters is just a series you need to try for yourself to decide if you’ll like it!
Aurora Blazing by Jessie Mihalik
The companion sequel to Polaris Rising, I just really love Bianca and Ian so much. Bianca’s past history of abuse by her husband has left her with a unique ability and I adore that she’s used it to essentially become a spymaster. She’s an incredibly strong heroine with a twist from how we usually see those attributes used. And she’s fiercely loyal to her family. I love that about her. And Ian is such a delightful grumpy dude, who is very aggravated he’s having to fly around the galaxy to try and protect Bianca, who really doesn’t seem overly interested in his protection. It’s just… so good.
Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn
I really love Meg, the Planner of Park Slope. I think Kate Clayborn’s ability to put anxiety rep on the page is incredible and how it manifests in a way that is unique to the character. Meg’s conflict avoidant nature was easy to identify with and I adored the advice the book gave about it. “The point is… Sometimes fighting isn’t about leaving, it’s about staying. It takes practice to get it right, and it’s painful, but if you want to stay with people, you do it.” Like… Were there sentences better crafted to deliver a message I need that I read in 2019? Probably not. (Exception the entirety of White Fragility, but that’s neither here nor there.) Anyway, I have a full review up on the blog, so check that out if you’re looking for coherency.
The Duke I Tempted by Scarlett Peckham
Oh my God, the ANGST was so freaking good!! If you’ve been around for a bit, you may know that I am struggling with historical romance right now and just cannot seem to convince my brain that it likes this content. But I picked up this one and flew through it. Poppy gets dragged into this party for the Duke of Westmead to do the flowers and she and Westmead have this connection, only he can’t do anything about a real connection for REASONS and she just desperately wants to maintain her independence. But then there’s a SCANDAL and just all of it is glorious and wonderful and so, so angsty. Really truly cannot recommend enough.
Into the Blue by Chanel Cleeton
Speaking of angst, oh man. This book. I loved it so very much. The whole series is great, but I read this one first. It’s a second chance romance between Eric and Becca, who were together in high school and college, until Eric decided he wanted to be a fighter pilot and joined the Navy. Now Eric is back in town for his R&R and Becca’s not here for his attempts to talk to her. It’s… Y’all. My whole heart hurt reading this book, but I loved it SO much. I can’t even express to you.
Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward
To say that I am surprised that a Black Dagger Brotherhood book is on this list is… an understatement to be honest. I didn’t know what I was getting into with this series and I rad Dark Lover and was intrigued but not blown away. And then I got to Zsadist’s story and oh WOW. First of all, I was clearly into angst this quarter and this book is not an exception. Bella’s been kidnapped at the start of the book and the Brotherhood cannot find her, which is killing Zsadist (this is why you really need to read the books in order, I suppose). So, actually, that’s all I’m going to say about the plot. Just know that Bella is fantastic and a strong vampire heroine and it’s really good? Lol. What are book descriptions anyway, today?
Oh y’all. Kennedy Ryan has done it again. The Kingmaker and The Rebel King are books that will absolutely cut you open and give you joy and make you want to cry. Lennix and Maxim are… Just… They’re incredible. They meet when Lennix is 17 and protesting a pipeline and Maxim is involuntarily with his dad (the pipeline owner) and when he sees Lennix in danger by police, he is OUT of that office and trying to rescue her immediately. Her words captured him, but he doesn’t tell her who he is, especially after learning she’s only 17. Then we fast forward about four years or so and…. Yeah. So good. Oh, Lennix is Apache (I’m like 80% sure on that) and her mother is one of the many Native women who have gone missing and our government is just like, casually doing nothing about it. So please tune in to that issue if you can.
The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller
I’m so pleased I have two historicals on my list this quarter! I really did love The Widow of Rose House, a Gilded Age historical about Sam and Alva. Sam’s a professor and an inventor and truly one of the best, softest heroes in the entire world and I loved him with every fiber of my being. Alva is a jaded widow who really can’t trust anyone, but she has a ghost problem and Sam’s willing to help fix it. They are… God, this book is beautiful the way the two of them come together. I just… Diana Biller absolutely blew me away and I cannot recommend this book enough.
After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Am I ever not going to fall head over heels for a Taylor Jenkins Reid book? I don’t know for sure, but I definitely fell head over heels for this one. This one features Lauren and Ryan, a married couple who not only can’t seem to love one another anymore, but actively dislike one another. It’s a beautifully told story of what happens when a couple takes a drastic step of breaking up for a year with no contact (and what counts as cheating in breaking that contact). It’s a story about reconnecting with who you are and what you want in life when you’ve stopped paying attention to that. I loved this book. I thought it was absolutely brilliant.
Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai
Okay, I know, I know. I really shouldn’t have read a 2020 title so far in advance. But Girl Gone Viral was absolutely incredible and I think I may have loved it even more than The Right Swipe. Katrina is at her favorite cafe on a day where it’s pretty crowded, so she doesn’t think anything of a stranger (man) asking to sit at her table. They chat a bit and she kind of wishes there was a spark because she’s tired of only sparking for her bodyguard, Jas Singh. Later that evening, she discovers that while she was having a casual conversation, the woman at the table beside hers was live tweeting the conversation with embellishments. Katrina cannot deal with the fear that someone is going to figure out who she is and find her home, so when Jas offers up his family cabin as a getaway, she seizes on the opportunity. This book is brilliantly written and I loved it so, very much. You’ll see a full review closer to the April 21st release date, but unsurprisingly, I adored it.
Okay, there you have it! Ten mostly incoherent mini reviews of my ten favorite books of the final quarter of 2019. (Technically 11, but shh.) What were some of your favorites of the last three months? Do we have any in common?