BookSmitten’s Best of ’16

1. Teddy Bears (2016 Advent Calendar “Bah Humbug”) by Brandon Witt

Teddy Bears went against the norm with interesting, non-typical o-teddy-bearsromance MCs in that they were both over forty and one was a reserved, dorky geek who struggled with body image. It ended up being a sweet romance and a lovely journey to self-acceptance.

2. Murmuration by TJ Klune

With flawless writing, a brilliant premise, clever twists and fascinating characters, Murmuration was captivating from start to finish. The author did not put a single foot wrong while juggling the tale of a sweet romance within a complex plot.

3. Glass Tidings by Amy Jo Cousins

 I really enjoyed spending time with Eddie and Gray. This was an endearing story of opposites attract, done in a completely believable way. I could absolutely feel their connection and see how they fit together and complimented each other. Well, once they got past some personal issues that threatened to get in the way!

4. Come Back to Me (Lost and Founds #5) by Edmond Manning

31125976Once again, Edmond Manning delivers a wonderful book beautifully written with a compassion and insight that resonates throughout the story and the characters. In this book, secrets and mysteries are revealed, but although some of the mystique of Vin resolved, the magic of who is becomes even more amazing. And then there’s Vin’s match in the sweet, strong, playful, vulnerable force of nature that is Mark.

5. Interborough (Five Boroughs #4) by Santino Hassell

Interborough is the story of what happens after a couple gets their HEA. It’s written with a gritty realism that gives the story and the characters complete believability, but in amongst the slowly unravelling threads of their relationship are the reminders of their love for each other and why they are worth fighting for.

6. Wolfsong by TJ Klune

TJ Klune makes a second appearance in my best if 2016 with this tale of werewolves and witches. Gorgeous writing make this book a joy to read, and my favourite part is Ox’s journey to realising how he could possibly smell of candy and pinecones, be both epic and awesome. How he could actually matter. TJ Klune writes emotion superbly. From laughing out loud to tears in my eyes in just a couple of sentences, the raw emotion is captured perfectly. And it’s that deft portrayal that makes this book such a captivating read.

7. Snakes Among Sweet Flowers by Jason Huffman Black
o-snakes-among-sweet-flowers

I thoroughly enjoyed this debut novel by Jason Huffman-Black. Cam was a complex and intriguing character and the slow burn romance between he and Jackson as they found their way from distrust to love was positively delicious.

8. Five Times my Best Friend Kissed Me by Anna Martin

Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me (And The One Time I Kissed Him First) is the author’s homage to her fanfic roots where the 5+1 writing trope is popular, and it’s used to great effect in this story of childhood bonds and second chances. I found this book an absolute delight to read. It was fun and sweet, and I totally fell in love with both Evan and Scott.

9.Withered + Sere (Immemorial Year #1) by TJ Klune

Since this seems to be the year of TJ Klune for me, I’ve just included the first of this series for my best of list, although it’s sequel, Crisped+Sere, is equally as brilliant. The writing in this book is absolutely stunning. The author doesn’t mute the starkness of Cavalo’s existence in a post apocalyptic world, but he also balances it by showing the beauty that is found in moments. I cannot recommend this story enough.

10. Trailer Trash by Marie Sexton

Nate and Cody’s coming of age story set in the 80s is heartbreaking at times, but through it all the wonderful love Nate and Cody find with each other provided moments of such beauty and joy.

Wildcard: Reaping Havoc (Reaping Havoc #1)  by AJ Rose 2015

I found the whole premise of this story fascinating with good world building and well-developed characters. I adored both MCs and loved them as a couple. I plan on catching up with Mitch and Nate again in the near future in the second book of the series.

 

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