Saturday, December 31, 2016

Yvette's Top 10 Favorite Reads of 2016


I've read more than 200 books this year alone so narrowing down a list of ten favorites was quite a daunting task! I could've easily chosen twenty or more books but ultimately picked the books that resonated with me the most - whether they made me laugh or cry or left me with an unshakable book hangover. 2016 was truly a year for some unforgettable reads.

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This was undoubtedly the quirkiest, most intriguing book I've read this year. Thanks to protagonists, Cletus and Jennifer, this book is riveting. It's thought-provoking. It’s hilarious. It’s sensual. And it's flat-out entertaining. Penny Reid's books are delightfully weird, consistently amusing, and wholly unique. The author has truly outdone herself with Beard Science, writing a story that readers can relate to and identify with, using a combination of wit, comedy, heat, and heart to ensure her audience will be captivated from start to finish.

Beard Science by Penny Reid:

Make a deal with the devil and you might get what you want, but will it be what you need?

Jennifer Sylvester wants one thing, and that one thing is NOT to be Tennessee’s reigning Banana Cake Queen. Ever the perpetual good girl and obedient daughter, Jennifer is buckling under the weight of her social media celebrity, her mother’s ambitions, and her father’s puritanical mandates. Jennifer is officially desperate.

And desperate times call for Cletus Winston.

Cletus Winston is a puzzle wrapped in a mystery covered in conundrum sauce, and now he’s in a pickle. Despite being convinced of his own omniscience, extortion by the exalted Banana Cake Queen of Green Valley has taken him completely by surprise. So... what’s a maniacal mastermind to do?

Likely, the last thing you expect.

'Beard Science' is the third book in the Winston Brothers series, is a full-length romantic comedy novel, and can be read as a standalone.

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I've never met a Jill Shalvis book I didn't love and her novel, Sweet Little Lies, is the perfect example of this author's spell-binding writing. The eclectic and lively cast of characters whose tightknit friendship and effortless rapport had me smiling from start to finish and the chemistry between Pru and Finn had me fanning my face. Sweet Little Lies is a swoon-worthily romantic, heart-meltingly sweet, feel-good romance that should absolutely be on everyone’s must-read list.

Sweet Little Lies by Jill Shalvis:

Choose the one guy you can’t have . . .

As captain of a San Francisco Bay tour boat, Pru can handle rough seas—the hard part is life on dry land. Pru loves her new apartment and her neighbors; problem is, she’s in danger of stumbling into love with Mr. Right for Anybody But Her.

Fall for him—hard . . .

Pub owner Finn O’Riley is six-foot-plus of hard-working hottie who always makes time for his friends. When Pru becomes one of them, she discovers how amazing it feels to be on the receiving end of that deep green gaze. But when a freak accident involving darts (don’t ask) leads to shirtless first aid, things rush way past the friend zone. Fast.

And then tell him the truth.

Pru only wants Finn to be happy; it’s what she wishes for at the historic fountain that’s supposed to grant her heart’s desire. But wanting him for herself is a different story—because Pru’s been keeping a secret that could change everything. . . .


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Is it strange to want to become best friends with a fictional character? Because I *think* I may have a bit of a girl crush on Natalie Grayson. The heroine in Cream of the Crop by Alice Clayton had me laughing so hard at her thoughts and antics, I had tears streaming down my face. This book has characters that are lovably quirky and irresistibly charming, a romance that will have you dissolving into a puddle of swoon, and a narrative that’s outrageously funny and gut-wrenchingly emotional. It will make you laugh, make you blush, and teach you more than you could possibly want to know about cheese.

Cream of the Crop by Alice Clayton:

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton brings her trademark blend of funny and sexy to this second contemporary romance in the brand-new Hudson Valley series!

Manhattan’s It Girl, Natalie Grayson, has it all: she’s a hot exec at a leading advertising firm, known industry-wide for her challenging and edgy campaigns. She’s got a large circle of friends, a family that loves her dearly, and her dance card is always full with handsome eligible bachelors. What else could a modern gal-about-town wish for? The answer, of course, is...cheese.

Natalie’s favorite part of each week is spending Saturday morning at the Union Square Farmer’s Market, where she indulges her love of all things triple cream. Her favorite booth also indulges her love of all things handsome. Oscar Mendoza, owner of the Bailey Falls Creamery and purveyor of the finest artisanal cheeses the Hudson Valley has to offer, is tall, dark, mysterious, and a bit oblivious. Or so she thinks. But that doesn’t stop Natalie from fantasizing about the size of his, ahem, milk can.

Romance is churning, passion is burning, and something incredible is rising to the top. Could it be...love?


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I could've chosen any one of the rom-coms Lauren Blakely came out with this year because they're all equally amazing. Romantic comedies are my weakness and, when they're as humorous and steamy as Well Hung, they're pretty much an instant favorite. An accidental marriage and an office romance? That’s two awesome tropes combined into one book! Reading Well Hung was like being transported to my happy place – a place filled with flirtatious banter, a blush-inducing romance, and characters that are both lovable and down-to-earth. Every element of Well Hung – the storyline, the humor, the romance – comes together so flawlessly, I don’t think it’s possible for me to have adored this book more. Honorable mention: Big Rock | Mister O | The Sexy One

Well Hung by Lauren Blakely:

From the NYT Bestselling author of MISTER O, comes a hot and hilarious new standalone...

Here's what you need to know about me -- I'm well-off, well-hung and quick with a joke. Women like a guy who makes them laugh--and I don't mean at the size of his d*ck. No, they want their funny with a side of huge... not to mention loyal. I've got all that plus a big bank account, thanks to my booming construction business. Yup. I know how to use all my tools.

Enter Natalie. Hot, sexy, smart, and my new assistant. Which makes her totally off limits...

Hey, I'm a good guy. Really. I do my best to stay far away from the kind of temptation she brings to work. Until one night in Vegas...

Yeah, you've heard this one before. Bad news on the business front, drowning our sorrows in a few too many Harvey Wallbangers, and then I'm banging her. In my hotel room. In her hotel room. Behind the Titanic slot machine at the Flamingo (don't ask). And before I can make her say "Oh God right there YES!" one more time, we're both saying yes--the big yes--at a roadside chapel in front of a guy in press-on sideburns and a shiny gold leisure suit.

But it turns out what happened in Vegas didn't stay in Vegas. And now, my dick doesn't stay in my pants when she's around. I try to resist. Honest. But the more we try to keep our hands to ourselves, the more we end up naked again, and the more time I want to spend with her fully clothed, too. The question now is...do I take this woman to be my ex-wife?


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Samantha Young has the ability of making you feel like you've known a character forever within moments of being introduced to them and that’s exactly how I felt when I met protagonists, Jessica Huntington and Cooper Lawson, in The One Real Thing.What I loved about this couple’s dynamic (and the book in general) is that there’s a perfect balance between serious and lighthearted. We get all of Cooper and Jessica’s deepest darkest secrets and we get the fun, flirtatious rapport they share. Yes, there are moments of gut-wrenching angst, but there’s also overwhelming sexual tension and no-holds-barred passion. I loved everything about The One Real Thing. The setting…the storyline…the characters…everything comes together flawlessly in one heartfelt, enchanting tale about fate, love, and belonging.

The One Real Thing by Samantha Young:

Welcome to Hartwell, a quiet seaside escape where uncovering old secrets could lead one woman to discover the meaning of a love that lasts…


While Doctor Jessica Huntington engages with the inmates at the women’s correctional facility where she works, she’s always careful to avoid emotional attachments in her personal life. Loss and betrayal taught her that lesson long ago. But when she comes across a set of old love letters in the prison’s library and visits the picturesque town of Hartwell to deliver them to their intended recipient, she finds herself unable to resist the town’s charm—and her attraction to the sexy owner of a local bar proves equally hard to deny.

Since his divorce from his unfaithful ex-wife, Cooper Lawson has focused on what really matters: his family and the boardwalk pub they’ve owned for generations. But the first time Jessica steps into his bar, Cooper is beyond tempted to risk his heart on her.

Yet as their attraction grows hotter and Jessica remains stubbornly closed off, he begins to realize it will take more than just passion to convince her there’s only one real thing in life worth fighting for…


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With laugh-out-loud humor courtesy of Sam’s plentiful puns, characters that are both relatable and engaging, and a romance so sexy, it’ll scramble your brain and make you lose the ability to process complete sentences, Worked Up is utter perfection from start to finish. One pouty man bear + one quirky artist + one raging case of insta-lust = the makings of one seriously sexy story. Sam made me laugh. Duke made me swoon. Together, they’re an irresistibly lovable combination.

Worked Up by Tessa Bailey:

Factory mechanic Duke Crawford just wants to watch SportsCenter in peace. Unfortunately, living with four divorcee sisters doesn’t provide much silence, nor does it change his stance on relationships. But when a fellow commitment-phobe stumbles into his life, getting him good and worked up, he can’t deny his protective instincts.

Samantha Waverly’s brother just put her in an impossible situation. The only way out? Marry huge, gruff, gladiator look-alike Duke—for show, of course. She doesn’t make promises—she knows too well how easily they can be broken—and this is no exception.

As the blistering attraction between them grows, the lines around the no-strings relationship blur. But Duke and Samantha’s marriage is only for show…or is it?

Yvette's Review | Buy Worked Up

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Do you ever just start a book and know instantly that you’ll love it? Within only a few pages of Levi’s Blue, I felt a certain energy…a giddy kind of excitement from realizing everything was coming together – the characters, the storyline, and the romance – to create pure magic. One of my favorite things about this book is the banter between Evie and Levi. Good dialogue is always essential to my enjoyment of the book but the back-and-forth, His Girl Friday-style, fast-talking, wise-cracking zingers exchanged between these two characters is just plain fun to read. Levi's Blue is one of the most unique and unexpected books I've read this year but I can't say much else without spoiling the plot. You'll just have to read it and see for yourself!

Levi's Blue by M. Leighton:

Four beautiful days. Three steamy nights. One breathtaking love.

Levi Michaelson. He caught me when I fell. Literally.

He wanted four dates. Four opportunities to prove I could trust him. Four chances to change my mind about him.

I agreed.

Probably not my smartest decision. He was everything I knew to avoid—gorgeous, charming, sexy as hell—but I couldn’t help myself. When he touched me the whole world disappeared. I should’ve known I could lose myself to him, that he could be the one man to destroy me.

I guess it’s true what they say—some things are too good to be true. And Levi Michaelson might just be one of them.

Yvette's Review | Buy Levi's Blue

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You know when you read a book and you get this feeling, this indescribable certainty that it's going to crush your heart? Well, I think Jennifer L. Armentrout set a new record for the shortest amount of time it took for a book of hers to obliterate my heart with The Problem with Forever.
With characters that manage to be both complex and relatable, a narrative with so much depth that new revelations are unveiled with each chapter, and a romance that's breathtakingly beautiful in its innocence, The Problem with Forever is the type of book that leaves a lasting impression.

The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes a riveting new story about friendship, survival, and finding your voice.

For some people, silence is a weapon.

For Mallory “Mouse” Dodge, it’s a shield.

Growing up, she learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime.

Now, after years of homeschooling with loving adoptive parents, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at public high school. But of all the terrifying and exhilarating scenarios she’s imagined, there’s one she never dreamed of—that she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.

It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet the deeper their bond grows, the more it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory must make a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants, and the truths that need to be heard.


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With Swear on this Life, Renee Carlino once again delivers an extraordinary second chance romance that I guarantee will resonate with you long after the book’s final sentence. Not only is the concept wholly unique, but it’s innovative and so intricately detailed, you don’t realize the extent of how much thought went into this narrative until everything comes together. This book is a breathtakingly beautiful, hopelessly romantic story about taking chances and creating your own destiny and I must say, I enjoyed every word of it.

Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino:

From USA TODAY bestselling author Renée Carlino (Before We Were Strangers), a warm and witty novel about a struggling writer who must come to grips with her past, present, and future after she discovers that she’s the inspiration for a pseudonymously published bestselling novel.

When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J. Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.

Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio.

That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending.

The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction?


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Out of all the books on the list, It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover left me with the biggest book hangover. This is not a lighthearted read, but rather an intensely emotional, impactful read. The storyline…the characters…everything about this book resonated with me. It Ends with Us is a book that makes you think, makes you feel. This book is heartbreaking. It's raw. It's real. It's unexpected. It's painful. It's powerful. It's evocative. It'll push your boundaries and have you in tears, but it's undeniably a must-read.

It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover:

Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. Combining a captivating romance with a cast of all-too-human characters, It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.


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Michelle's Top 10 Favorite Reads of 2016


What an incredible year in books! I have so many favorites this year, it took me hours to narrow my top faves down to fifteen and the selection of just ten of those books nearly tore me apart! I couldn't stand not to mention all my beautiful book babies so I've included a few honorable mentions at the end that are just as near and dear to my heart as those in the top ten. Thank you to each one of these amazing authors for making my whole year, both individually and collectively. ~Michelle

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Quite possibly my favorite book in the entire BDB series, The Beast had me swooning and sobbing, grinning and panicking, laughing and biting my nails. I was frustrated and grief-stricken, elated and overjoyed, anxious and exhilarated. With all the feels accounted for and more than a few shocking twists and turns, The Beast is another absolutely brilliant addition to an incomparable series that will have you relishing each moment, begging for more before you've even reached the end, and suffering more than just the dreaded book hangover, mourning a trusted companion upon the completion of the book. Let numerous rereads commence and let the countdown clock for the next book begin!

The Beast by J.R. Ward:

Nothing is as it used to be for the Black Dagger Brotherhood. After avoiding war with the Shadows, alliances have shifted and lines have been drawn. The slayers of the Lessening Society are stronger than ever, preying on human weakness to acquire more money, more weapons, more power. But as the Brotherhood readies for an all-out attack on them, one of their own fights a battle within himself…

For Rhage, the Brother with the biggest appetites, but also the biggest heart, life was supposed to be perfect—or at the very least, perfectly enjoyable. Mary, his beloved shellan, is by his side and his King and his brothers are thriving. But Rhage can’t understand—or control—the panic and insecurity that plague him…

And that terrifies him—as well as distances him from his mate. After suffering mortal injury in battle, Rhage must reassess his priorities—and the answer, when it comes to him, rocks his world...and Mary’s. But Mary is on a journey of her own, one that will either bring them closer together or cause a split that neither will recover from...

Michelle's Review | Buy The Beast

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There honestly isn't a whole lot I can say about It Ends With Us without giving something away so let me just say this. The boy, and the situation, ugh! Then the other boy and that thing that happened! Gasp! Then the other thing! Sigh... Then the other thing that's still kind of the first thing. Grr. Then the third thing...again! Wail! Then, "In the future..." Blubber. And the past! Sob! And the surprise. Whoa. I was so inundated with feelings of every kind that I didn't even know what to think, which choice I would make, or even which path I wanted for Lily. The only thing I knew was that I was more confused than ever with some pretty severe chest pains going on. And then came it ends with us. Oh...my...goodness. I've never been compelled to say this before but, I. Can't. Even!

It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover:

Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. Combining a captivating romance with a cast of all-too-human characters, It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.


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Retrieval is amazing. Aly Martinez is amazing. If there was ever a question as to why I am such a crazy fangirl willing to drop everything the moment I can get my hands on a new Aly Martinez story, Retrieval is the perfect example why. Angsty, emotional, suspenseful, intense, and completely unexpected, Retrieval is everything you love about Aly Martinez and then some!

Retrieval by Aly Martinez:

One story. Two couples.

I proposed on our first date.
She laughed and told me I was insane. Less than a day later, she said yes.
It was a whirlwind, but we were happy…
Until we got greedy and wanted a family.

It was a life I couldn’t give her, not for lack of trying. Fertility just wasn’t on our side. We sought out doctors and treatments. Spent money we didn’t have. Lied to our families. Smiled for our friends. Put on a brave face for a world that didn’t understand.
Finally, we were successful…
Until we were forced to bury our son.

We were left broken, battered, and destroyed.
They say love is in the details, but it was the details that ruined us.

This is the story of how I took back what had always been mine.
The retrieval of my wife and our family.

Michelle's Review | Buy Retrieval

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With all the angst and emotion and incredible and inspiring characters that we've come to expect after Bright Side and Gus, So Much More everything I could have asked for from Kim Holden and SO MUCH MORE! If you were to look up emotional rollercoaster in the dictionary, you would find a picture of this book, with endless ups and downs and a rawness and intensity that will leave you both drained and exhilarated by the time you round that last corner and turn the last page. If you haven't had the chance to read this phenomenal book yet, I recommend you push it straight to the top of your TBR, you will be so glad you did!

So Much More by Kim Holden:

Love is strange. It comes out of nowhere. There’s no logic to it. It’s not methodical. It’s not scientific. It’s pure emotion and passion. And emotion and passion can be dangerous because they fuel love…and hate.
I’m now a reluctant connoisseur of both—an expert through immersion. I know them intimately.

When I fell in love with Miranda, it was swift and blind. She was the person I’d elevated to mythical status in my head, in my dreams.
Here’s the thing about dreams, they’re smoke.
They’re spun as thoughts until they become something we think we want. Something we think we need.

That was Miranda. She was smoke.

I thought I wanted her. I thought I needed her.

Over time reality crept in and slowly dissected and disemboweled my dreams like a predator, leaving behind a rotting carcass.

Reality can be a fierce bitch.
So can Miranda.

And I can be a fool...
who believes in dreams.

And people.

And love.

Note from the author: Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is recommended for mature audiences only.

Buy So Much More

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An intricately and brilliantly pieced together story within a story that will have you enraptured from the start and wholly and completely wrapped up in this unique story until the very last word. Renee Carlino never disappoints, but she reaches all new heights with this gripping, consuming, spellbinding read.

Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino:

From USA TODAY bestselling author Renée Carlino (Before We Were Strangers), a warm and witty novel about a struggling writer who must come to grips with her past, present, and future after she discovers that she’s the inspiration for a pseudonymously published bestselling novel.

When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J. Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.

Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio.

That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending.

The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction?


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So completely overwhelmed by this rollercoaster of emotion, so invested in these engrossing characters and the anxiety of this unique and spellbinding situation, I could not put this book down if I tried. A marvelously compelling, exceptionally emotional, stunningly beautiful story of love after loss, perseverance, growth, and self discovery, One True Loves is a remarkable and thought-provoking book with absolutely every feel imaginable and it is not to be missed.

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid:

From the author of Maybe in Another Life—named a People Magazine pick and a "Best Book of the Summer" by Glamour and USA Today—comes a breathtaking new love story about a woman unexpectedly forced to choose between the husband she has long thought dead and the fiancé who has finally brought her back to life.

In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.

Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?

Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.

Michelle's Review | Buy One True Loves

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Guaranteed to make you laugh one minute and tug at your heart strings the next. Packed with feels of every kind, The Baller is an addictive masterpiece that is not to be missed. If adorably arrogant is really a thing, it would describe Brody Easton to a T. Endearingly overconfident? Delightfully cocky? Charmingly full of himself? Yes, yes, and yes. Brody Easton is one heart-melting, panty-dropping, drool-inducing, swoon-worthy, devilishly delicious bad boy with an ooey gooey center.

The Baller by Vi Keeland:

The first time I met Brody Easton was in the men’s locker room.
It was my first interview as a professional sportscaster.
The famed quarterback decided to bare all.
And by all, I don’t mean he told me any of his secrets.
No. The arrogant ass decided to drop his towel, just as I asked the first question. On camera.
The Super Bowl MVP quickly adopted a new hobby—screwing with me.
When I pushed back, he shifted from wanting to screw with me, to wanting to screw me.
But I don’t date players.
And it’s not because I’m one of the few women working in the world of professional football.
I’d date an athlete.
It’s the other kind of player I don’t date.
You know the type. Good looking, strong, cocky, always looking to get laid.

Brody Easton was the ultimate player.
Every woman wanted to be the one to change him.
But the truth was, all he needed was a girl worth changing for.
Turned out, I was that girl.
Simple right?
Let’s face it. It never is.
There’s a story between once upon a time and happily ever after…
And this one is ours.

Michelle's Review | Buy The Baller

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An intriguing story of murder, mystery, lies, and betrayal. One in which double lives are led, everyone is a suspect, and no one can be trusted. The first half of He Will Be My Ruin is a steady, meticulous stream of information that will keep you hooked as you frantically search for the next clue, while the last half is a real page turning, nail biting adventure that will make your pulse race, leave your palms sweaty, and keep you glued to its pages.

He Will Be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker:

The USA TODAY bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series makes her suspense debut with this sexy, heartpounding story of a young woman determined to find justice after her best friend’s death, a story pulsing with the “intense, hot, emotional” (Colleen Hoover) writing that exhilarates her legions of fans.

A woman who almost had it all . . .

On the surface, Celine Gonzalez had everything a twenty-eight-year-old woman could want: a one-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a job that (mostly) paid the bills, and an acceptance letter to the prestigious Hollingsworth Institute of Art, where she would finally live out her dream of becoming an antiques appraiser for a major auction house. All she had worked so hard to achieve was finally within her reach. So why would she kill herself?

A man who was supposed to be her salvation . . .

Maggie Sparkes arrives in New York City to pack up what’s left of her best friend’s belongings after a suicide that has left everyone stunned. The police have deemed the evidence conclusive: Celine got into bed, downed a lethal cocktail of pills and vodka, and never woke up. But when Maggie discovers a scandalous photograph in a lock box hidden in Celine’s apartment, she begins asking questions. Questions about the man Celine fell in love with. The man she never told anyone about, not even Maggie. The man Celine believed would change her life.

Until he became her ruin.

On the hunt for evidence that will force the police to reopen the case, Maggie uncovers more than she bargained for about Celine’s private life—and inadvertently puts herself on the radar of a killer. A killer who will stop at nothing to keep his crimes undiscovered.

Michelle's Review | Buy He Will Be My Ruin

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From the moment you meet Paris and Mr. McQueen you will be hooked, but once Tamara and Levi are introduced there is absolutely no chance of putting this book down or even taking a breather. You will be flipping pages so compulsively, so absorbed by this shocking tale, the real world doesn't even stand a chance of seeping in or luring you away until the very last word. Then comes the fun part. Try moving on any time soon. No matter how hard I try, I still find my mind wandering back to this story, recounting events, and getting caught up in all of the emotions time and again.

The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz:

From the internationally celebrated author of the Original Sinners series comes a brand-new tale of betrayal, revenge and a family scandal that bore a 150-year-old mystery

When Cooper McQueen wakes up from a night with a beautiful stranger, it's to discover he's been robbed. The only item stolen—a million-dollar bottle of bourbon. The thief, a mysterious woman named Paris, claims the bottle is rightfully hers. After all, the label itself says it's property of the Maddox family who owned and operated Red Thread Bourbon distillery since the last days of the Civil War until the company went out of business for reasons no one knows… No one except Paris.

In the small hours of a Louisville morning, Paris unspools the lurid tale of Tamara Maddox, heiress to the distillery that became an empire. But the family tree is rooted in tainted soil and has borne rotten fruit. Theirs is a legacy of wealth and power, but also of lies, secrets and sins of omission. The Maddoxes have bourbon in their blood—and blood in their bourbon. Why Paris wants the bottle of Red Thread remains a secret until the truth of her identity is at last revealed, and the century-old vengeance Tamara vowed against her family can finally be completed.

Michelle's Review | Buy The Bourbon Thief

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Aleatha Romig never ceases to amaze me with her unique and brilliant stories, her immensely clever and addicting plotlines, and her awe inspiring ability to captivate from beginning to end. Be warned, this is a one sitting read so be sure to clear your schedule before starting and don't even think about opening this book up right before bed as you are virtually guaranteed to be sleep deprived the next morning after being completely absorbed by the story and unable to put this book down for anything, least of all sleep.

Away from the Dark by Aleatha Romig:

Nine months ago, Sara Adams awoke with no memory. The man holding her hand told her she’s a member of The Light, a tight-knit religious group led by the terrifying and charismatic Father Gabriel. As a woman in the community of The Light, her duty is to be unquestionably obedient and to submit to the will of her husband.

But as Sara’s memory starts to return and she remembers her past, she sees that everything she’s been told is a lie. The Light is an insidious and dangerous organization, and its corrupting influence reaches well beyond the confines of the remote campus where Sara is being held.

With everything at stake, Sara struggles to sort out her true memories from her indoctrination. The desire to escape consumes her, but who can she trust? And which other followers of The Light were forced into this life, brainwashed to believe they belonged? The more she remembers, the more it becomes clear that Jacob, the man who calls himself her husband, is keeping shattering secrets of his own.

But Sara cannot flee alone, leaving innocents behind. She must fight to extinguish The Light.

Michelle's Review | Buy Away from the Dark

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Bonus! Honorable mentions: Beneath These Lies by Meghan March | Stealing Home by Nicole Williams | Where Lightning Strikes by A.L. Jackson