I read for personal pleasure a lot more this year than I have in years past. That’s a good and a bad thing. It means that I didn’t write a review of all the books I read, but I kept track of all the stories on my Goodreads Read List.
According to Goodreads, I read over 200 books this year. Most of those books are in the romance category, but quite a few are mystery or suspense. I’m sure there were other books in there, too. But for my purpose here, I will share my favorite books of 2019.
In no particular order, here are my faves of the year.
BEARD NECESSITIES by Penny Reid
Oh, my heart. This book was what we (as a collective) needed. Read my full review and an excerpt here.
No one deserves a happily-ever-after quite as much as the second oldest Winston brother and his lady love, Claire McClure (aka Scarlet St. Claire). Cruelty and circumstance tore them apart almost twenty years ago. Secrecy and bitterness kept them separated.
But you know who’s tired of their separation and stubbornness? Everyone. Especially Billy Winston’s family. And now they’re going to do something about it.
Well-meaning interference means the star-crossed lovers can’t stop tripping over each other in the hills of Tuscany, the catacombs of Rome, and the waterways of Venice. Billy and Claire find themselves thrown together and at the mercy of the Winston siblings’ shenanigans.
But will their forced proximity bring them together? Or push them even further apart?
This second-chance romance brings back the entire Winston gang, playing cupid in one last story of love, hi-jinks, and family collusion.
BEARD NECESSITIES is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, and can be read as a stand-alone, but it’s probably best read after books 0.5, 2, 3, 5, and 6 of the Winston Brothers series.
DEBASE by Rachel Van Dyken
The beauty of this story is that it is a journey of epic proportions – think of it as a gentle roller coaster starting out and then ramping up, coming back down, throwing in a few loops and making you hold your breath. Read the full review here.
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With blood on my hands, I held her.
With death in my soul, I took from her.
With the devil in my heart, I coveted her.
There are many definitions of Hell.
My list was exhaustive, my definitions tragic.
Tonight I was adding something new to the very top.
Girl number six thirty-two.
She arrived on my birthday, the same day, every year, I play Russian Roulette and pull the trigger.
She was my omen.
My end game.
She made it personal.
And for the first time in my life, I gave in.
A virgin mob boss with no soul.
My name is Andrei Petrov.
They call me the devil.
All I want is for the pain to end.
All she wants is for me to share it.
I am the last remaining heir to a dynasty that should burn in Hell.
And my last wish remains for it to die with me.
**All books in the Eagle Elite Series are Standalones about different couples. This book is technically book one in a brand new Russian/Italian mafia series that takes place in the Eagle Elite world… this is Andrei Petrov’s story**
CRIME AND PERIODICALS by Nora Everly
This is my first time reading a Nora Everly book and I was enchanted with her storytelling ability. Add that to the fact that it’s set in the Green Valley World and I was hooked.
In Green Valley, Tennessee everybody knows everybody, but nobody knows Sabrina Logan.
Sabrina has been hiding in plain sight for years. Living her life inside of books, dutifully helping her family, and hoping no one will notice her. So far? Mission accomplished!
Yet when sexy—and distrustful—sheriff, Wyatt Monroe returns to town with his daughters, he definitely notices the quiet librarian everyone else overlooks. The single dad can’t seem to shake thoughts of shy Sabrina. Without quite understanding the impulse, Wyatt makes his mission finding her again, so he can . . . well, he’ll just have to reckon with that later.
What Wyatt discovers is a woman who trusts too easily, but who’s afraid to live. Trust doesn’t come easily to Wyatt. But living? That’s never been a problem.
And he’d sure like to show her how.
‘Crime and Periodicals’ is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book #2 in the Green Valley Library series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.
TWISTED MARRIAGE by Alessandra Torre
Twisted Marriage is the hottest book of 2019. Hands down. Read my full review here.
Some sexual actions have consequences…
We thought we could branch outside of the norm. Explore my sexual fantasies. Dip our toes in a kinky pond just to see how it felt.
But you can’t have sex with your husband’s best friend in front of him without consequences. Ripples in the pond. A subtle shifting of events and feelings and triggers that will eventually affect every core molecule of your marriage. Your friendships. Your life.
Once I knelt down between the two of them, everything changed. And now, I’m faced with wading in deeper or drying off my pink manicured toes and trying to pretend it never happened.
They say that three is a crowd, but what about four?
What about more?
*Twisted Marriage is the sequel to Filthy Vows and the final book in the duet.*
THE SETUP by Rachel Van Dyken
Okay, so this is a no-brainer. Rachel Van Dyken is my go-to storyteller and THE SETUP gives us my favorite couple since THE DARE (RVD). Read my full review here.
The first day she was sitting by herself — I felt sorry for her. After all, it couldn’t be easy wrangling all the testosterone at Wingmen Inc as one of the only female office managers.
The second day she literally counted her carrots during a break — she had seven by the way, right along with seven sips of her drink in between taking seven tiny little bites of the first carrot.
Now I’m not one to brag, or maybe I am, but math and science fascinate me, so do problems. And this woman screamed puzzle from the way she ducked her head every time anyone looked at her, to the way she counted food and tapped the table when she didn’t think anyone was watching.
I’d like to think I took pity on her that day when, in fact, she was the one that took pity on me and asked if I needed a friend. She assumed I had a learning disability since I’d been staring so damn hard.
Things would have ended there, except, my bosses need someone to test the new Wingmen App and since I was the only single guy on the floor — I was nominated, right along with the only single woman, the same one who thinks I need to use my fingers to count.
Apparently rumors of my sexcapades throughout college reached even her ears because she wants nothing to do with me, which makes beta testing a bitch. I have thirty days to win her over and prove myself to my bosses.
One thing’s for certain, I’m going to have to buy a hell of a lot of carrots.
These are my top 5 romance reads of 2019. I am by no means an expert, nor have I read every book published this year. This is just my personal list of favorites. Feel free to share your favorites with me if you’d like.
Want to see how the books stacked up? Check out my Goodreads read list with star ratings.