Top 5 Reads of 2017
Yep, it’s really December. Our (eclectic) Christmas tree is up, and we had an advent brunch last weekend with candles and pumpkin muffins and presents for the kids – books, of course ;). But despite this description, I assure you that our house is far from catalog-worthy. My desk, for example, is a mess, with to-do post-its scattered around my work space – more than one with the words, “clean desk” on it. I’m feeling a New Year’s resolution coming on…
Instead of doing any of that pesky organizing, I’ve been writing and reading. We went to Sweden for an extended Thanksgiving holiday, and the looong plane ride gave me plenty of time to read. I started with Ain’t She Sweet by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (loved this heroine) and kicked off my holiday reading with Katee Roberts’ His to Take (Roberts is a fellow Harlequin Dare author), among other things.
I try to read as much as possible in the genres I write in, hot contemporary romance and erotic romance, so it’ll come as no surprise that the first three books on my Top 5 list fall into those categories. The fourth is literary fiction, and the last one is women’s fiction. As with previous years, the books on my list don’t have to be 2017 publications; I’m pulling from the books I read this year.
Loving the White Liar by Kate Stewart – I’m going to be honest here, though this might be an unpopular opinion: I liked this book even better than Stewart’s Drive, which is getting a lot of press this fall. This story, though imperfect, spoke to me more clearly. Stewart paints of very realistic picture of some of the more painful issues and stumbling blocks a person with ADHD might have when falling in love.
Edge of Obsession by Megan Crane – I’m a little embarrassed to write this one on my list because of its over-the-top sex scenes that border on raunchy… but it’s oh-so-fun. It takes place in a world where the icebergs have melted, flooding all low-lying parts of the world, destroying the infrastructure and creating a new world order… which includes Viking “raiders” with their own agendas. Doesn’t sound “oh-so-fun”? Oh yeah, and these Vikings seem to have a monopoly on good sex. :) It’s dirty. P.S. She's also writing for Dare.
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne – This is clever, with plenty of laugh-aloud fun. Like most romance, some of the scenarios take a little suspension of belief, but I’m all for that if the book keeps me laughing – and this one does. You can read more about it in this blog post.
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller – You may have a hard time believing that I don’t like dystopian books in general, considering the fact that two of five books on this list fall into this category. While Crane’s book is more fantasy-dystopian with a heavy emphasis on the sexy, this one is devastatingly gritty. Disturbing. I cried at the mid-point, and not just a few tears – and I rarely cry. But, ultimately, impossibly, this beautiful story is uplifting. Anything else I say will be a spoiler. You just have to read it.
If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins – Higgins is a wonderful writer, a master at witty, sparkling dialogue, so it’s no surprise that this book was really good. It’s the story of two sisters, one with a romance story and another with a more women’s fiction plot about a marriage on the rocks. I can’t say that I loved the opening scene, but after that, it got really good.
Any more books you think I’d love? Let me know. I still have a few more weeks to read them!