TOP 30 Books of 2019

Dear book-lovers,

It’s time for the big reveal of TOP 30 Books of 2019This list will consist of my favorite books read in 2019. I have been working on this post for way too long 🙈 Also it’s note worthy that only one book per series can be added to this list, no matter if they can be read as a standalone or not.

It was hard to make this list because I read more than 180 books last year and I loved or very much liked about 90 of them. Hence, you can see how it could get very tricky to choose only 30 books out of 90, anyways, I tried my best. 😉 Yup, I gave looots of 4 stars.  Don’t get me wrong, I also had many 3 star reads and bunch of 5 and 2 stars. But at least I enjoyed very much about half of the books that I read in 2019.

The first seven books on this list have their solid places. But the rest of them could be switched around or even exchanged with some of the other books that didn’t get on this list, it’s all depending on my mood and sometimes failing memory. And I have been switching things up way too much while writing this post. 🙈

Not to make this post way too long, I’ll try my best and not go into too much details about each of the books, as there are links for their corresponding Goodreads pages. Which means you can find out more about each book there if by any chance one of these great books catches your eye. So I’ll just stop here my babbling and get to the case with my list of TOP 30 books of 2019.

30. Whiskey Chick (Whiskey #2) by Ryan Ringbloom – 4.25*

wiskey chick

A contemporary romantic comedy, which is a part of a series but can be read as a standalone, but I still would advice to read in order the books, so you wouldn’t to get spoiled about the couples from previous books. There are four books in this series, and all of them made me laugh out loud, cringe with embarrassment and just have a great and fun time with it all. Whiskey chick was my favourite in Whiskey series. My review here.

WHISKEY CHICK
A NIGHT FULL OF HARD FEELINGS

Nothing like this has ever happened to me before. It’s a fluke. Too much whiskey. Believe me when I say, it will NEVER happen again.

I’m trying not to take it personally. Sh*t happens. It was a blind date. She drank too much whiskey. I hope it wasn’t a reflection on me.

Okay, so the first date didn’t work out. But what happens when the second one doesn’t either?

Fate’s a funny thing.
She likes him.
He likes her.
They say the third time’s a charm….

Get ready to laugh, cringe, and swoon as fate blindly intervenes in this lovable Romantic Comedy.

This is a standalone book intended for mature readers.

29. Lady Smoke (Ash Princess Trilogy #2) by Laura Sebastian – 4.25*

lady smokeA YA fantasy with strong heroine, lost kingdom, magic, ruthless ruler, pirates and action. A great and entertaining sequel in Ash Princess Trilogy. I can’t wait to read the last book, which is on its way already. But be aware that this series contains a love triangle, which isn’t something that I like in books, however, it wasn’t that badly done. I must admit that this series was giving me a bit of The Winner’s Curse vibes, just this one I liked better. Not to have any spoilers for those who haven’t red the first book yet, the synopsis is from Ash Princess.

Ash Princess (Ash Princess Trilogy #1) by Laura Sebastian

ash princessTheodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia’s family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess–a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She’s endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.

28. A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers #1) by Brigid Kemmerer – 4.25*

a curse so dark and lovely - bright and big picA YA fantasy romance retelling of Beauty and the Beast. One more love triangle romance, which I do not appreciate at all as you may know it by now, that’s the reason I lowered rating for this book and it doesn’t have a higher spot on this list. Also the female protagonist frustrated me at times. Otherwise it was an entertaining, enjoyable and magical read. But that cover is just gorgeous. 

Fall in love, break the curse.

Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

27. The Wolf King’s Bride (Fate of Imperium #1) by C.A. Worley – 4.25*

the wolf kings bride

 

I won’t say much as it was your usual but very entertaining and fast YA paranormal romance read with some magic, steam, secrets and a bit of action. I enjoyed this little magical gem that whisked me away from reality for a short time. I liked this trilogy, where each book follows a different couple with three sisters and three love stories.

When Kellan, Wolf King of the North, meets his fated mate, she is only a child. He immediately brokers a betrothal and, on the day after her 20th birthday, whisks her away to his castle in the Northland. Kellan is elated, believing he has everything he has ever wanted. His new wife, Nora, doesn’t quite share the same sentiment.

Before Kellan has time to court her, Nora is attacked. An ancient brotherhood refuses to allow an heir of one kingdom onto the throne of another. All four factions in the land of Imperium appear to be involved in a surreptitious struggle for power … while Nora hides a few secrets of her own.

***The Wolf King’s Bride is the first book in the Fate of Imperium Series. Each book is the story of a different king and his fated mate. While the three books do not have to be read in order, it is highly recommended.

26. Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller – 4.25*

warrior of the wild

 

A YA fantasy’s take on survival story in the wild with some battle ax wielding, romance and viking vibes. You’ll find in this standalone also a bit of heart-break, sisterly love and family dynamics, betrayal and action. What can I say more I discovered Tricia Levenseller this year and just love her writing and stories. And I love that cover.

How do you kill a god?

As her father’s chosen heir, eighteen-year-old Rasmira has trained her whole life to become a warrior and lead her village. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged and she fails the test, her father banishes her to the monster-filled wilderness with an impossible quest: To win back her honor, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year—or die trying.

25. The Risk (Briar U #2) by Elle Kennedy – 4.25*

the riskA NA Contemporary Sports Romance, which was very steamy, sexy sweet and entirely entertaining with my favourite enemies-to-lovers trope. And it continues with my favourite sports theme of ice-hockey, I just want to keep reading forever about Briar’s students and hockey team. Both main characters felt like real humans and they were so cute as a couple. This book can be read as a standalone, but I still recommend to read the original  Off-Campus series and the first book in Briar U series, just because they all are amazing. If you are a hockey fan, these books are a must read for you. 😉

A sexy standalone novel from New York Times and international bestselling author Elle Kennedy. THE RISK takes you back to the world of hot hockey players, feisty heroines, bro banter, and steamy scenes…

Everyone says I’m a bad girl. They’re only partly right—I don’t let fear rule me, and I certainly don’t care what people think. But I draw the line at sleeping with the enemy. As the daughter of Briar’s head hockey coach, I’d be vilified if I hooked up with a player from a rival team.

And that’s who Jake Connelly is. Harvard’s star forward is arrogant, annoying, and too attractive for his own good. But fate is cruel—I require his help to secure a much-coveted internship, and the sexy jerk isn’t making it easy for me.

I need Connelly to be my fake boyfriend.

For every fake date…he wants a real one.

Which means this bad girl is in big trouble. Nothing good can come from sneaking around with Jake Connelly. My father would kill me, my friends will revolt, and my post-college career is on the line. But while it’s getting harder and harder to resist Jake’s oozing sex appeal and cocky grin, I refuse to fall for him.

That’s the one risk I’m not willing to take.

24. Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – 4.25*

illuminaeA YA science fiction romance that is written in an amazing and unique way. I liked both main characters and the other side characters as well, but I just LOVED AIDAN the ships AI. When we got to read from his perspective it was just so mind-blowingly real, scary and heart-breaking as well. Aidans POV was written so beautifully that at times it reminded me of the most wonderful poetry. This story had action, twists and turns, some blood and gore and death, computer hacking, space ships, romance and an addicting way of story telling. But most probably you have already read this one, I’m just late to the party of boarding this amazing space-ship.

Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the worst thing she’d ever been through. That was before her planet was invaded. Now, with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra are forced to fight their way onto one of the evacuating craft, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But the warship could be the least of their problems. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their biggest threat; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady plunges into a web of data hacking to get to the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: Ezra.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents–including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more–Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

23. Sky in the Deep (Sky in the Deep #1) by Adrienne Young – 4.25*

sky in the deep

 

Another Viking inspired YA fantasy with some sword wielding battle action, betrayal, survival in the heart of the enemy territory, forbidden romance with enemies-to-lovers trope, which is my favourite trope, so of course I had fun time reading this book. It was heart-breaking, heart-stopping and heart-warming at times.

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

Part Wonder Woman, part Vikings—and all heart.

22. Hideaway (Devil’s Night #2) by Penelope Douglas – 4.25*

hideawayA NA contemporary suspense romance, which was a very dark themed romance story with steamy hot sexy scenes, nail biting suspense, sweet and heart-breaking moments. It’s thrilling, scary, twisted and full of darkness with trigger warnings lightning the sky like neon sign of a motel as it includes grey areas in consent, rape, abuse, incest, violence, and misogyny. Be aware that this book is for mature audience only and won’t sit right with many readers.

DEVIL’S NIGHT is returning! Hiding places, chases, and all the games are back…

BANKS

Buried in the shadows of the city, there’s a hotel called The Pope. Ailing, empty, and dark—it sits abandoned and surrounded by a forgotten mystery.

But you think it’s true, don’t you, Kai Mori? The story about the hidden twelfth floor. The mystery of the dark guest who never checked in and never checks out. You think I can help you find that secret hideaway and get to him, don’t you?

You and your friends can try to scare me. You can try to push me. Because even though I struggle to hide everything I feel when you look at me—and have ever since I was a girl—I think maybe what you seek is so much closer than you’ll ever realize.

I will never betray him.

So sit tight.

On Devil’s Night, the hunt will be coming to you.

KAI

You have no idea what I seek, Little One. You don’t know what I had to become to survive three years in prison for a crime I would gladly commit again.

No one can know what I’ve turned into.

I want that hotel, I want to find him, and I want this over.

I want my life back.

But the more I’m around you, the more I realize this new me is exactly who I was meant to be.

So come on, kid. Don’t chicken out. My house is on the hill. So many ways in, and good luck finding your way out.

I’ve seen your hideaway. Time to see mine.

*Hideaway is a romantic suspense suitable for ages 18+. While the romance is a stand-alone, the plot is a continuation of events that began in CORRUPT (Devil’s Night, #1). It is strongly recommended that you have read Corrupt prior to reading this.

21. A Holiday by Gaslight by Mimi Matthews – 4.5*

a holiday by gaslight

A historical romance novella set in Victorian England that managed to warm my heart and entertain me on a dark winter’s night. Historically accurate and atmospheric read with sweet and innocent romance. It was an entertaining holiday read. Now I just want to reread it. And that cover is just gorgeous.

A Courtship of Convenience

Sophie Appersett is quite willing to marry outside of her class to ensure the survival of her family. But the darkly handsome Mr. Edward Sharpe is no run-of-the-mill London merchant. He’s grim and silent. A man of little emotion—or perhaps no emotion at all. After two months of courtship, she’s ready to put an end to things.

A Last Chance for Love

But severing ties with her taciturn suitor isn’t as straightforward as Sophie envisioned. Her parents are outraged. And then there’s Charles Darwin, Prince Albert, and that dratted gaslight. What’s a girl to do except invite Mr. Sharpe to Appersett House for Christmas and give him one last chance to win her? Only this time there’ll be no false formality. This time they’ll get to know each other for who they really are.

20. His Royal Highness by R.S. Grey – 4.5*

his royal highness

 

An adult contemporary romantic comedy that is set in fictional fairy-tale amusement park. It was cute, sweet, fun, and steamy read. It has a bit of hate-to-love vibe, and about 10 years age difference between our protagonists. There was no unnecessary drama, which I appreciated.

A full-length STANDALONE romantic comedy from USA TODAY bestselling author R.S. Grey.

I’ve spent eight years wishing I’d fall out of love with Derek Knightley. Blowing out birthday candles, chasing after shooting stars, making it rain spare change into mall fountains—every time it’s the same wish: forget about Derek.

But the day he walks back into my life, I realize there are two things time has yet to soften: my feelings for him and his chiseled jawline.

It’s infuriating that my heart still races when he walks into a room. I refuse to fall prey to old unrequited love, so I decide the less I’m around him, the better. Avoidance is key.

Unfortunately, Derek isn’t going to make it easy. As a teenager, I would have crawled on my hands and knees to attract his attention. Now I can’t seem to escape it.

I’m not sure why he’s bothering. He’s not just out of my league—he’s out of my tax bracket. As the sole heir to the Knightley Company, he’s as close to American royalty as you can get. As for me, I’m just a part-time princess at Knightley’s flagship magical theme park.

I spend my days playing make-believe, but Derek has no use for fairytales. His unwavering confidence makes it clear he thinks I’ll surrender in the end.

He’s just biding his time.
Making me sweat.

His Royal Highness always gets what he wants.
And he wants me.

19. I Knew You Were Trouble (Oxford #4) by Lauren Layne – 4.5*

i knew you were troubleAn adult contemporary romance part of Oxford series, which I enjoyed a lot. This novel was my favourite book from this series, even though these books can be read as standalone, I would recommend reading them in order and starting even with Stilleto series. This was heart-breaking, heart-warming, swoony, fun and entertaining read with a bit of angst,  fun banter, drama and steam. Includes my favourite hate-to-love trope.

New York City’s hottest bachelors are stirring up trouble in this fun, flirty Oxford Novel, as a love triangle forces a feisty beauty to choose between winning back Mr. Right or giving in to Mr. Wrong.

Taylor Carr has it all—a sleek job in advertising, a stunning Manhattan apartment, and the perfect man to share it with: Bradley Calloway. Even after Bradley dumps her for a co-worker on move-in day, Taylor isn’t worried. She’ll get her man eventually. In the meantime, she needs a new roommate. Enter Nick Ballantine, career bartender, freelance writer—and longtime pain in Taylor’s ass. Sexy in a permanent five-o’clock-shadow kind of way, Nick knows how to push Taylor’s buttons, as if he could see right through to the real her.

Nick’s always trying to fix people, and nobody could use a good fixing more than Taylor. Sure, she’s gorgeous, with mesmerizing silver eyes, but it’s her vulnerability that kills him. Now that they’re shacking up together, the chemistry is out of control. Soon they’re putting every part of their two-bedroom apartment to good use. Then Taylor’s ex comes crawling back to her, and Nick figures she’ll jump at the chance to go back to her old life—unless he fights for the best thing that ever happened to him.

Don’t miss any of Lauren Layne’s juicy Oxford Novels:
IRRESISTIBLY YOURS | I WISH YOU WERE MINE | SOMEONE LIKE YOU | I KNEW YOU WERE TROUBLE

“Irresistibly Yours has it all: fun banter, hot chemistry, and a couple that you just can’t help but want to be together!”—New York Times bestselling author Marquita Valentine

“A smart, sexy, and absolutely irresistible read!”
—USA Today bestselling author Mira Lyn Kelly, on I Wish You Were Mine

“Lauren Layne is a new auto-buy author for me. I can’t get enough of the men of Oxford!”—Christi Barth, author of the Naked Men series

And look for her exhilarating Sex, Love & Stiletto series:
AFTER THE KISS | LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH | JUST ONE NIGHT | THE TROUBLE WITH LOVE

18. Hotshot Doc by R.S. Grey – 4.5*

hotshot doc

 

An adult contemporary romantic comedy. R.S. Grey always knows how to write a great doctor’s romance because she has background in medicine and family members working in different medicine fields, so her writing is spot on the subject. It was adorable and fun read with hate-to-love trope.

Dr. Russell has a bad reputation around our hospital. The scrub techs say he’s cold-blooded, the nurses say he’s too cocky for his own good, and the residents say he’s the best surgeon in the world—really, just a swell guy!—on the off chance he’s within earshot.

I try to avoid him and his temper at all costs. It’s just as easy to admire his sexy, grip-it-while-he’s ravishing-you hair and chiseled jaw from a healthy distance, preferably from the other end of the hallway half-hidden behind a plant.

Unfortunately, my plan crumbles when my trusty ol’ boss decides to swap his white coat for a Hawaiian shirt. His retirement leaves me with two terrible options: switch specialties and spend months retraining, or take an open position as Dr. Russell’s surgical assistant.

That means I have to stand near him in the OR for hours on end and anticipate his every need without letting his biting words and bad attitude intimidate me. Oh, and as if that’s not difficult enough, my silly crush on him—the one I’ve tried to stomp on until it disappears—might just be reciprocated.

It’s fine.
I’m fine.

I take my job seriously. There will be no smoldering bedroom eyes across the operating table, no angry almost-kisses in the storage closet. (Well, no more of those.)

What’s the phrase? An apple a day keeps the doctor away?
Maybe I should go for a whole damn bushel.

17. For Crosby (For You #3) by J. Nathan – 4.5*

for crosbyAn NA contemporary sports romance with steamy, sweet, funny and swoon worthy moments. I enjoyed this story and the rest of the books in this series. This book can be read as a standalone but I would still recommend to read all of the novels in order. This series is centered around football players, however, in this book the male hero was ice-hockey player, maybe that’s why it’s my favourite book in the series. Or actually more likely that crazy beginning of the book 😂 also I loved both of the main characters, so this was just a perfect NA contemporary sports romance for me.

A STANDALONE New Adult Sports Romance in the For You series. Each book follows a new swoonworthy couple.

Crosby Parks had the life. A wealthy family, girls vying for his attention, and pro scouts after his hockey skills. But when that life comes crumbling down, he’s sent to Alabama to escape the media storm and to rebuild his life. If Crosby has any shot of playing professional hockey, he must keep a low profile and graduate from college. But the second he steps foot on campus, keeping a low profile becomes impossible.

Sabrina’s mind is made up. After encouraging Alabama’s star wide receiver to friend-zone her and pursue someone else, she’s determined to focus on herself and stop being everyone’s trusty sidekick. But when she stumbles upon a naked hockey player tied to a tree in the middle of the night, Sabrina’s life is thrown upside down. Because when you leave someone tied to a tree, they eventually get free.

16. Dream Keeper (The Dark Dreamer Trilogy #1) by Amber R. Duell – 4.5*

dream keeper

 

A YA fantasy with romance, magic, murder, and suspense. The book was thrilling, dangerous, dark but beautiful and imaginative at the same time. A great beginning to a new and exciting YA fantasy. You can read more of my thoughts and the first chapter of the book here.

The Sandman is seventeen-year-old Nora’s closest friend and best-kept secret. He has to be, if she doesn’t want a one-way ticket back to the psychiatrist. It took her too long to learn not to mention the hooded figure in her dreams to her mother, who still watches Nora as if she’ll crack. So when Nora’s friends start mysteriously dying gruesome deaths in their sleep, she isn’t altogether surprised when the police direct their suspicion at her. The Sandman is the only one she can turn to for answers. But the truth might be more than she bargained for…

For the last five years, the Sandman has spent every night protecting Nora. When he hid the secret to the Nightmare Lord’s escape inside her dreams, he never expected to fall in love with her. Neither did he think his nemesis would find her so quickly, but there’s no mistaking his cruel handiwork. The Nightmare Lord is tired of playing by the rules and will do anything to release his deadly nightmares into the world, even if that means tormenting Nora until she breaks.

When the Nightmare Lord kidnaps Nora’s sister, Nora must enter enemy territory to save her. The Sandman is determined to help, but if Nora isn’t careful, she could lose even more than her family to the darkness.

(Please note: This story contains vivid death scenes.)

15. The Matrimonial Advertisement (Parish Orphans of Devon #1) by Mimi Matthews – 4.5*

the matrimonial advertismentAn adult contemporary historical romance set in Victorian England. This was a perfect historical romance story because it was historically accurate, atmospheric and all around entertaining. The romance, the plot, the writing and characters were great, well developed and real. I absolutely loved this series. This book is my favourite HR book and Mimi Matthews – my favourite HR writer. I recommend this series and the rest of her books to all historical romance fans.

She Wanted Sanctuary…

Helena Reynolds will do anything to escape her life in London, even if that means traveling to a remote cliffside estate on the North Devon coast and marrying a complete stranger. But Greyfriar’s Abbey isn’t the sort of refuge she imagined. And ex-army captain Justin Thornhill–though he may be tall, dark, and devastatingly handsome–is anything but a romantic hero.

He Needed Redemption…

Justin has spent the last two decades making his fortune, settling scores, and suffering a prolonged period of torture in an Indian prison. Now, he needs someone to smooth the way for him with the villagers. Someone to manage his household–and warm his bed on occasion. What he needs, in short, is a wife and a matrimonial advertisement seems the perfect way to acquire one.

14. Protect Me (The Rossi Crime Family #1) by J.L. Beck and Cassandra Hallman – 4.5*

PMA very dark adult contemporary romantic suspense and mafia novel with a hard-core criminal as a hero, who is not your usual knight in shining armor but more like a big alpha a-hole, and still I fell for him. The heroine was a young and naive girl who managed to grow on me with time. Their relationship was a bit dark, twisted but sweet as all of this book and series. This novel can be triggering for some readers and meant only for mature audience. All books in this series can be read as standalone but I would recommend to read them in order for better and more enjoyable experience. To appreciate this series you just have to put aside your moral standards and enjoy this dark, exhilarating, hot and naughty ride.

Damon Rossi is a ruthless leader, and an even more ruthless man to my body, and heart. The moment I meet him I know he could kill me with nothing more than his hands. He controls the room, demands attention and when my brother is murdered for a debt he owes I’m forced into his protection. But that doesn’t mean he has to care about me.

Or pretend he values my life, which he doesn’t.

He’s a savage, over the top, and scary as hell, and even as I’m pushed further and further down the rabbit hole and into his dark dangerous world of criminals, thieves, and sex. I cling to him, knowing he’s the only one that can protect me from them all.

And yet when secrets are exposed, and lines are crossed Damon proves to me just how deep his protection for me goes… but his protection comes with a price that I cannot afford, and so I become his property making the chances of escaping this dark world slip further and further away from me.

Damon might protect me from his enemies but who’s to protect my heart from falling for him?

**This is book two in the The Rossi Crime Family Series. It contains a happily ever after and is a complete standalone. It contains dark themes such as dubious content, sexual themes, violence, and swearing. Do not read this book if you dislike antiheroes.*

13. The Foxe & the Hound by R.S. Grey – 4.75*

the fox and the hound

An adult contemporary romantic comedyOne more book with some hate-to-love vibe, which is exactly what I enjoy the most. Sweet, fun, and steamy read with a bit of heart-break and drama. If you are a dog lover then this book is perfect for you or anyone else for that matter. However, I must admit that Adam, the male lead, was not my favourite character of R.S. Grey, but still I loved the book.

When your life is a hot mess at twenty, it’s cute. At twenty-seven… well, not so much.

It’s just that my lofty dreams—making it as a real estate agent, paying rent on time, showering daily—have stayed just that: dreams. Oh, and love? I’ve decided love might be a little ambitious for me at the moment. Instead, I’ve settled for the two guys who will never leave me: Ben & Jerry.

That is until Dr. Adam Foxe takes up residence as the town’s new vet.

With his strong jaw, easy confidence, and form-fitting scrubs, it’s not long before every housewife in Hamilton is dragging neglected tomcats in for weekly checkups.

Like everyone else, I’m intrigued. Even after I spoil my chance at a good first impression, he still offers me a proposition I can’t refuse: play his girlfriend at a family function and he’ll hire me as his real estate agent. Welcome to love in the 21st century.

It’s too bad I underestimated Adam’s irresistible charm and the undeniable attraction that burns between us. The day he pins me to the wall and silences me with a kiss, the line between reality and ruse begins to blur. Every teasing touch brings me to my knees. Every kiss promises more.

It looks like my hot mess of a life is about to get a little hotter.

12. The Allure duology by R.S. Grey – 4.75*

the allure of julian lefray the allure of dean harper

An adult contemporary romantic comedy dualogy, both books can be read as standalone, but I would recommend to read in order. They were super cute, fun and adorable with sad and sweet moments, without unnecessary drama and entertaining. Those characters were flawed perfection and the romance so entertaining. If after reading these two books you don’t fall in love with Grey’s writing then there is no hope for you in this whole world 🙈😉 And those covers as always R.S. Grey’s trade mark  gorgeous.

The Allure of Julian Lefray (The Allure #1) by R.S. Grey

From: JosephineKeller@LLDesigns.com
To: LilyNBlack@gmail.com
Subject: Justin Timberlake Nudes!

Lily, you predictable perv. I knew you’d open this email faster if I tempted you with a glimpse of JT’s “PP”. Well, put your pants back on and grab some bubbly because I have much better news to share.

I GOT A JOB!

As of tomorrow, I’ll be the new executive assistant at Lorena Lefray Designs. I am SO excited, but there’s one itty bitty problem: I won’t be Lorena’s assistant. I’ll be working for her older brother, Julian.

I know what you’re thinking- “But Jo, what’s the problem?”

Google him. Now. He’s the man in the fitted navy suit whose face reminds you that there’s hope yet for this cruel, ugly world. Keep scrolling…Do you see those dimples? Yup. That’s the Julian Lefray I will be reporting to tomorrow morning.

Lord, help us all…

XO,
Jo

The Allure of  Dean Dean Harper (The Allure #2) by R.S. Grey

From: LilyNBlack@Gmail.com
To: JosephineKeller@VogueMagazine.com
Subject: You’re a flippin’ idiot

Good morning my dear, naive friend, I hope you’re enjoying a breakfast of regret and sorrow.

Why?

Because you sent me to work for Dean Harper, aka a control freak in a tailor-made suit. Sure he owns the trendiest restaurants in NYC, but c’mon Jo, his ego makes Kanye West look like the Dalai Lama.

He’s the type of guy that only hears the word “no” when it’s followed by “don’t stop.”

Working for Dean Harper would be like selling my soul to the devil… and before you say anything, I don’t care if the devil has punch-you-in-the-gut brown eyes and an ass to match. My soul isn’t for sale.

Regretfully yours, Lily

11. The Trouble with Love (Sex, Love & Stiletto #4) by Lauren Layne – 4.75*

the trouble with love

An adult contemporary romantic comedy. Last book in Stiletto series and my favourite one of them. They can be read as standalone but please read this series in order to have more emotional and better reading experience. I loved Alex and Emma the most. (I just noticed that the heroine has my favourite female name 😍) These two charters were heart-breaking and heart-warming disasters. This book was an emotional read for me. I was rooting for both of them a lot. It was sweet and funny at times, and overall entertaining book with beautiful but painful love story. And now I just want to reread them all 🙈

As Lauren Layne’s salacious Sex, Love & Stiletto series returns, a jaded columnist discovers a steamy way to get over an old flame: falling for him all over again.

As Stiletto magazine’s authority on all things breakup-and-heartache, Emma Sinclair writes from personal experience. Five years ago, Emma was Charlotte, North Carolina’s darling debutante and a blushing bride-to-be. Now she’s the ice queen of the Manhattan dating scene. Emma left her sultry Southern drawl behind, but not even her closest friends know that with it she left her heart. Now Emma’s latest article forces her to face her demons—namely, the devilishly sexy guy who ditched her at the altar.

After giving up everything for a pro-soccer career, Alex Cassidy watches his dreams crumble as a knee injury sidelines him for good. Now he’s hanging up his cleats and giving journalism a shot. It’s just a coincidence that he happens to pick a job in the same field, and the same city, as his former fiancée . . . right? But when Emma moves in next door, it’s no accident. It’s research. And Alex can’t help wondering what might have been. Unlike the innocent girl he remembers, this Emma is chic, sophisticated, and assertive—and she wants absolutely nothing to do with him. The trouble is, Alex has never wanted her more.

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

10. Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber – 4.75*

finaleA YA fantasy romance. With this book I have love to hate relationship. I should have given it lower rating because of those stupid love triangles, I just hate them, but I simply loved this world, the strangely beautiful writing and Jacks too much to do so 🙈 Still love triangle is the reason for Finale being here in TOP 10 and not TOP 5, maybe it should have been number 13 on this list, but I chose it to put here because of my sentimental love for  world of Caraval. It was a decent ending to the series, I just wanted more for Jacks and no annoying triangles. However, I was entertained with the fates and those twists and turns this book took on. Could it be better? Yes, but I still enjoyed the story, so it is what it is. At the end I loved it more than I hated it. Not to have any spoilers for those who haven’t red the first book yet, the synopsis is from Caraval.

Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber

caravalScarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic.

9. Curse of the Fae Queen (Curse of the Fae Queen #1) by Delia Castel – 4.75*

Curse-of-the-Fae-Queen-1000

A new adult fantasy romance book that starts a reverse harem series. An enchanting and captivating story with danger, curses, secrets, treachery, magic and romance. It had ACOTAR by Shara J. Maas and Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa vibes but still kept an originality of its own. I liked Neara more than Feyre from ACOTAR. You can read my full review here.

A Huntress of Faeries. Five cursed Fae Princes. An evil that will destroy the world.

When Eighteen-year-old Neara saves a villager from the clutches of a deadly faerie, the Fae Queen sends warriors to abduct her dying father in revenge. To gain his freedom, Neara must venture into the Shadowlands and obtain three enchanted objects under the supervision of the bestial Prince Drayce.

As Neara and Prince Drayce grow closer, she discovers the Queen’s scheme to release an ancient evil and enslave the mortal world. To thwart these plans, she must break the curses of five Fae Princes, but the cost of doing so is her Father’s life.

Torn between saving the human realm and saving her father, Neara must navigate this treacherous world and choose between love, liberty and power.

Curse of the Fae Queen is a reverse harem fantasy adventure for fans of A Court of Thrones and Roses and A Song of Ice and Fire!

8. Anything You Can Do by R.S. Grey – 4.75*

anything you can doAn adult contemporary romantic comedy. I have listened to an audio book (2018) and read the eBook (2019), and now I have a paperback that I’m planning to read this year (2020), so you can see that I really, really enjoy this story. I love both main characters a bunch, and their love story is very entertaining with a bit of heart-break and lots of swoon and steam. This was such a fun and entertaining read, which I love even more with each time I reread it. However, I couldn’t give it full 5 stars because there is one public scene close to the ending that made me cringe, and I actually kind of hated it. But still it couldn’t overshadow all the parts that I loved about this wonderful book. And I must admit that Lucas Thatcher is one of my all time favourite characters.

Lucas Thatcher has always been my enemy.

It’s been a decade since I’ve seen him, but our years on opposite coasts were less of a lasting peace and more of a temporary cease-fire. Now that we’re both back in our small town, I know Lucas expects the same old war, but I’ve changed since high school—and from the looks of it, so has he.

The arrogant boy who was my teenage rival is now a chiseled doctor armed with intimidating good looks. He is Lucas Thatcher 2.0, the new and improved version I’ll be competing with in the workplace instead of the schoolyard.

I’m not worried; I’m a doctor now too, board-certified and sexy in a white coat. It almost feels like winning will be too easy—until Lucas unveils a tactic neither of us has ever used before: sexual warfare.

The day he pushes me up against the wall and presses his lips to mine, I can’t help but wonder if he’s filling me with passion or poison. Every fleeting touch is perfect torture. With every stolen kiss, my walls crumble a little more. After all this time, Lucas knows exactly how to strip me of my defenses, but I’m in no hurry to surrender.

Knowing thy enemy has never felt so good.

7. The Next Flame (Fall Away #4 & 4.5) by Penelope Douglas – 5*

the next flameA new adult contemporary romance that consist of a full novel ‘Aflame’ and a novella ‘Next to Never’. ‘Aflame’ was the third book in Tatum and Jared’s love story. This was just heart-breaking and heart-shattering experience that shattered my heart in million pieces and at the end put it back together. Jared and Tatum’s story starts in ‘Bully’ and ‘Until You’. Then we get glimpses in their lives trough two other books – Madoc’s story (‘Rival’) and Jaxon’s story (‘Falling Away’). I reread all books in this series and this one is the most emotional of them all, so it ended up being my favourite. Also it introduced as to the next generation and showed as the very beginning (story of their parents) with ‘Next to Never’. I can’t wait for spin-off series, fingers crossed that the first two books will come this year.

New York Times bestseller Penelope Douglas introduces the next generation in her Fall Away series in Next to Never, together for the first time with her bestselling novella, Aflame….

Next to Never
Under the close watch of the men in her family, Quinn Caruthers has found it nearly impossible to spread her wings—or even date—without her three older brothers, Jared, Madoc, and Jaxon, jumping in to hover. And when a family friend—several years older—from her childhood still holds her heart, she knows they’re going to be a problem. Lucas Morrow is a man, and knowing her brothers, he may as well be forbidden.

But years ago, Lucas left town and shows no signs of returning. Quinn knows she shouldn’t wait for him anymore.

Until a package turns up on her doorstep with no return address and its contents reveal family secrets that threaten to turn her world upside down. She’s never asked about the path of her parents’ romantic history, but she soon learns their happy marriage had a very rocky and passionate start.

As she starts to see things around her with new eyes, Quinn will have to make tough choices about whether she’ll keep waiting…or finally go after what she really wants.

Aflame
Tatum Brandt finally has everything she wants. Acceptance to medical school, a circle of friends she would never replace, and contentment that every day is now hers.

All through high school, Jared Trent called the shots. He decided if she would be happy or sad, fearful or free. He owned her heart, and he played with it like one of his cars.

Never again.

Two years ago, Jared left town, and Tate’s life is exactly where she wants it to be. Or that’s what she tells herself…

Because two years ago, her heart also stopped beating, and no matter the success in school or the support of her friends, there’s only one time every week she can feel that same rush in her blood. Friday nights on the track.

That’s hers, not his, and to hell with anyone that gets in her way again.

Especially him.

*Please note: The Next Flame is not a new story. It is Aflame and Next to Never together in one book. For those readers who desired paperbacks of Aflame to complete their collections, this is it.

**Also Note: Next to Never is not Quinn’s story. That will be a full length novel eventually. This is simply a novella to catch up with all the characters and give a lead-in to the coming spin-off series.

6. Coldhearted Boss by R.S. Grey – 5*

coldhearted boss

An adult contemporary romantic comedy that made my heart swoon and sing. This was sweet, funny and without any unnecessary drama (the best part), oh and my favourite hate-to-love trope. It was pure entertainment and cuteness. Obviously, I loved it! My favourite book by R.S. Grey so far.

I’m desperate and destitute when Lockwood Construction rolls into my small town with an offer too good to pass up: high wages to any able-bodied man willing to join their crew.

Say no more. I throw on baggy clothes, tuck my long hair under a baseball hat, and apply for a job. Unfortunately, my half-baked idea of disguising myself as a guy is flawed from the beginning. As Shakira says, these hips don’t lie.

Still, I like to think I might have pulled the whole thing off save for one thing:

I know my boss.

Last month, we met at a bar, and after a fiery first encounter, it seems we’re destined to be sworn enemies.

Ethan Stone is ruthless and arrogant, a man I never would have crossed had I known how much he likes to toy with his prey.

He should just fire me and be done with it. Instead, he decides to make me his personal slave. Oh right, I think they’re calling it personal “assistant” these days.

It’s torture, all of it—his bad attitude, his ruggedly chiseled face, his desire to grind me into dust.

Every one of our friction-filled battles burns hotter than the last.

A girl can only hold out for so long. Soon, I’m bound to go up in flames.

My objective? Survive the heat long enough to send home a paycheck.

My real objective? Stop having X-rated fantasies about my coldhearted boss.

5. Feather (Angels of Elysium #1) by Olivia Wildenstein – 5*

FeatherA new adult urban fantasy romance, a Romeo and Juliet retelling with angels. Oh, WOW. I received an ARC of this book, and was very anxious to read it, because usually I hate books with unhappy endings with a few exceptions, including Romeo and Juliet. And in synopsis we are warned about the ending, so it’s not exactly a spoiler that probably this story won’t end on too happy note. But this book blew me away. The story was unique in the way of how angels gain their wings and in general the world of angels. The romance was steamy hot and sweet. There was hate-to-love vibes, there were twists and turns, some secrets, action, magic and forbidden but beautiful romance. This book broke my heart and made me cry for quite a while after finishing it. I mean, really cry, like ugly cry. I fell in love with Leigh, Jarod and side characters. There was great character growth and an intriguing plot line. Also that ending made the book with its kind of a bit of unexpected twist at the end. I can’t wait for Asher and Celeste’s story. ‘Feather’ almost broke me, but I’m glad that I read it and got a chance to experience this heart-felt story.

It was supposed to be a quick mission. The only thing quick about it was how rapidly I failed.

With only a month left to earn her missing feathers, twenty-year-old Leigh embarks on a trip to Paris to meet her newest project, twenty-five-year-old Jarod Adler, leader of the Parisian Mafia and the worst kind of sinner . . . a Triple.

If Leigh can get Jarod to accomplish a single act of kindness, she stands to win 100 feathers, more than enough to complete her wings and ascend to Elysium, the land of angels.

What she doesn’t count on is Jarod’s dark charm costing her feathers.

She’s dead set on saving him, and he’s dead set on destroying her.

Until he realizes destroying her wings is also destroying her heart.

A heart he longs to hear beat only for him.

Trigger warnings: graphic sexual scenes and a difficult ending. Not recommended for Young Adults.

4. Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove #1) by Shelby Mahurin – 5*

serpent and doveA young adult fantasy romance debut that takes place in the world inspired by 17th century France. I loved it. World-building, magic system, characters and plot was all well done. Serpent & Dove has become one of my favourites. This was a great debut for Shelby Mahurin, so I can’t wait for the next book in this series. Even though, I did see all the twists coming, I still was entertained and enjoyed the story immensely, especially the romance and hate-to-love trope.

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

3. Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King #1) by Tricia Levenseller – 5*

daughter of the pirate king

A young adult fantasy romance with pirates, sea adventure and a kick-a** heroine. This was such a treat. I enjoyed every single part of this book, the romance, the characters, the plot with its twists and turns, action and non stop entertainment. This is one of my all time favourite books and I can’t wait to reread it some day soon.

There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

2. The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black – 5*

the wicked kingA YA urban fantasy romance with faeries. I very much loved The Cruel Prince, I loved The Wicked King a bit less than the first book, and The Queen of Nothing even less than second book, but I still loved them all. The Wicked King was entertaining read with some twists, with some secrets, betrayals, action, magic and heart-break. That ending just about killed me. This series is one of the best books about faeries that I have ever read. Not to have any spoilers for those who haven’t red the first book yet, the synopsis is from The Cruel Prince.

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black

the cruel princeOf course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

1. Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves #2) by Mary E. Pearson – 5*

vow of thievesA YA fantasy romance and my all time favourite doulogy/series. This was an amazing ending to the duology. I loved everything about this book especially all of the characters and romance, the world-building and plot were great too. It was full of action, some twists and surprises, a bit of magic and lots of emotions. Dance of Thieves is pretty much my favourite book of all time and this one came close to taking the throne. Not to have any spoilers for those who haven’t red the first book yet, the synopsis is from Dance of Thieves. You can read my review for Dance of Thieves here.

Dance of Thieves (Dance of Thieves #1) by Mary E. Pearson

dance of thievesA stunning new young adult adventure set in the kingdoms of the Remnant, by the author of the New York Times-bestselling Remnant Chronicles and the Jenna Fox Chronicles.

A formidable outlaw family that claims to be the first among nations.

A son destined to lead, thrust suddenly into power.

Three fierce young women of the Rahtan, the queen’s premier guard.

A legendary street thief leading a mission, determined to prove herself.

A dark secret that is a threat to the entire continent.

When outlaw leader meets reformed thief, a cat-and-mouse game of false moves ensues, bringing them intimately together in a battle that may cost them their lives―and their hearts.

The Remnant Chronicles
The Beauty of Darkness
The Heart of Betrayal
The Kiss of Deception

Here you go, my TOP 30 books of 2019. This post took me almost two months to write 🙈 Deciding the right spot for each book was not an easy task. And I’m still not sure whether  or not some of the books should be moved around. Only the first seven books are in solid places, then it all gets hard as hell to be sure. Bottom line is that I loved all of these books and would recommend them to the right readers, as some of them will take a certain type of reader to enjoy, like, for example, the darker and more triggering type of books.

Basically this list consist of adult, new adult and young adult books. You will find here mostly fantasy or paranormal romances, romantic comedies, and dark romance suspense, but also a sci-fi romance and historical romance.

Have you read any of these books? Did you love any of these books? What was your favourite read of 2019? Thank you for checking out this list, and I hope that you found one or more new books that could became one of your next favourite reads.

Happy reading,
Lady of Bookland

000 lady of bookland

5 thoughts on “TOP 30 Books of 2019

  1. So hard to choose a favorite for 2019. I really got into more high fantasy in 2019 and discovered a lot of new favorite authors. Some top books are Mistborn, Name of the Wind, The Merciless Crow and Crown of Feathers. I did just read The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller and I want to read her other books ASAP and was super hype to see them on your list!!

    Like

      1. I didnt think I’d like The Shadows Between Us nearly as much as I did because I’m typically not a huge romance girl but I loved the whole thing. It was just so much fun to read and I loved the main character so much. She was so bold!

        Mistborn was incredible and I cant believe I’m just now learning of Brandon Sanderson bc hes quickly become a favorite of mine. The magic system in Mistborn is just the coolest thing I’ve ever heard about

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to devouringbooks2017 Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s