MY BEST READS OF THE YEAR, 4th EDITION

bestbooksof2016-banner

Another year is almost at an end. This just doesn’t cease to amaze me, though with less intensity. When it’s the start of the year I can’t wait for it to end. Then when the year ends, I wish it lasted longer. Part of the reason is that I wish I could accomplish more. In 2016, I’ve published no more novels. My last one was In A Greater Reality, back in November ’15. This year, I canceled a project I was working on, so that slowed me down. Now I’m writing a new sci-fi novel I’m very excited about.
As 2016 is the fourth year I’m tracking my books finished in Goodreads, I finished less new books. I’ve been instead re-reading old ones. Three years is, well, pretty long to go without revisiting novels I liked in the past. So once again, the pool to choose my best reads from is smaller. That means that this year, the list will be 10 books long. As usual, I include a star rating and a short summary of the books chosen. I’ll start at 10 and go down until reaching my #1 read of the year. Without further ado:


dissonance-drewelyse10. DISSONANCE BY DREW ELISE

4 stars: Seriously liked it!

This book drew me by the synopsis and its positive reviews. It is told from the first-person POV of the main protagonists, Logan and Charlotte. The former is your typical ladies’ man with a fondness for music and an earnest attitude. As for Charlotte, she’s a damaged girl with good looks and an even more beautiful voice. Logan meets Charlotte after her brother Eli (Logan’s friend) asks him to be her roommate, to keep an eye on her. When Logan first sees Charlotte in person, he is drawn to the intense beauty he perceives in her. Unbeknownst to him, Charlotte has awful self-confidence and trust issues. To make things harder, Eli makes it clear his sister is off-limits. How will Logan get the girl with odds like that? This was part of the book’s excitement for me. I liked the characters and the way the story was handled. The songs throughout the book were a nice addition, too.

9. RIPPLER BY CIDNEY SWANSONrippler-cidneyswanson

4 stars: Seriously liked it!

Here’s another of those books I’d looked forward to read for some time. I just wanted to have the whole series on my Kindle first. Rippler is about Samantha Ruiz, an average high school girl hiding a secret: she can turn invisible. She can’t control this power, though. A boy, Will, notices one of Sam’s random disappearances. Sam is surprised when Will protects her secret. Will later tells Sam that she’s a rippler, and that there are others in the world–including him. Will and his sister, Mickie, are in hiding because there’s a group out there searching for and killing ripplers. The answers Will and Sam need seem to be in a book left by a vanished researcher whom Mickie used to work for. In addition, Sam must uncover secrets from her past, going all the way back to her origins. The occasional use of French in the book was also a nice bonus for me. I was a learner of the language at the time I read this series.

10yearslater-jsterling8. 10 YEARS LATER BY J. STERLING

4 stars: Seriously liked it!

I’d read J. Sterling’s The Perfect Game series before, so when this book was published I got my copy. I liked 10 Years Later better than the aforementioned series. This novel is a second-chance romance about two former high school sweethearts. The main character is Cammie, who now works at a radio station. She is about to attend her first high school reunion. Cammie is really nervous because she hopes to see Dalton, the boy she loved. He’s been off the grid for the past ten years. Despite that, neither of them were able to stop thinking about each other. Dalton has been waiting for the chance to reunite with Cammie and win her heart. Will it be an easy task, or has Cammie moved on? The book was relatively short, but well-written, and the characters were also great. There’s also some suspense added in, related to Dalton’s job. It improves the story, in my opinion.

7. FINDING FOCUS BY JIFFY KATEfindingfocus-jiffykate

4 stars: Seriously liked it!

This is a debut novel by Jiffy Kate, who are two female authors. I liked the book cover, and the story’s premise. The main character is Sheridan Reed. Her friends call her “Dani,” though I much prefer her real name. I’m not too fond of “Dani” as a girl name. Anyway, Sheridan is a photographer who works at a magazine in NYC. Lately, though, Sheridan has been enjoying her work less and less. She loves photography, but has struggled to regain inspiration. So when a freelance job lands on Sheridan’s lap, she flies down to Louisiana. While on the job photographing a plantation, Sheridan bonds with the owners, especially Micah Landry. The latter is also drawn to Sheridan, admiring her beauty and her obvious love for her work. This was an excellent story with compelling characters. Sheridan and Micah’s relationship grows steadily, too, not too fast or quick. And there’s also some French in the book, because, well, it’s set in Baton Rouge.

agoodkilling-allisonleotta6. A GOOD KILLING BY ALLISON LEOTTA

4.5 stars: A stunning page-turner!

This is the latest novel in a series I’ve been reading over a long time. I’ve wanted to finish it because the stories and characters are really good. The series is about Anna Curtis, a federal prosecutor from DC. In this new book, Anna will have to handle a case more personal than any she’s worked so far. Anna’s just canceled her imminent wedding, so the new case is a great excuse to leave DC. Anna goes to Detroit, since her sister Jody is in trouble. A popular local coach was found dead in suspicious circumstances. Evidence and witness testimony points to Jody, so she’s arrested. Anna will have to risk everything, including her job, to be Jody’s defending attorney and clear her name. A Good Killing was a thrilling new installment in the series. This is a story where not everything is as it seems, as Anna uncovers shocking secrets. I recommend this book to fans of well-crafted mysteries and characters. I enjoyed A Good Killing as much as the previous books in the series.

5. SHATTERED TIES BY K.A. ROBINSONshatteredties-karobinson

4.5 stars: A stunning page-turner!

If you’re a fan of Romeo and Juliet-type stories, this book is for you. The story centers on Emma Preston and Jesse Daniels. The two couldn’t be more different when it comes to social status. Emma is a rich heiress, daughter of a supermodel and a rockstar. Jesse lives with his mother in a trailer park. He has something Emma lacks, though: a loving mother. Emma’s own mother is too preoccupied with climbing the social ladder. Jesse and Emma meet when the former wins a scholarship to the best high school in the city. Emma is intrigued by Jesse when she first meets him. Her mother would never let her have anything to do with someone like him. Determined to be a better person, Emma strikes a friendship with Jesse. She doesn’t remember that they’ve met many, many years before. That coincidence wouldn’t raise an eyebrow, but there’s another that I thought was too much. Despite this, the story was great. I liked Emma’s character. She treats everyone with kindness, whether they’re privileged or not. In fact, she distrusts well-to-do people a bit. Jesse admires this in Emma, making him fall for her eventually.

imitation-heatherhildenbrand4. IMITATION BY HEATHER HILDENBRAND

4.5 stars: A stunning page-turner!

Another of those books I looked forward to reading. I was drawn to the intriguing premise: a world where wealthy people can buy “Imitations” of their loved ones. These are clones meant to replace their originals–Authentics–in case of danger or death. The main character is Ven. She’s the Imitation of Raven Rogen, a rich eighteen-year-old girl. As an Imitation, Ven knows everything there is to know about Raven. After the latter suffers an attack on her life, Ven goes to the real world for the first time (Imitations live in a closed-off location somewhere unknown). Ven’s mission is to take Raven’s place in hopes of luring out the attackers. There’s just one detail: though Ven is identical to Raven, the former is her own unique person. Ven is not a robot, she has her own personality and likes. And she isn’t sure she wants to keep up the façade. Inevitably, Ven is the start of a rebellion to free the other Imitations. I wish I’d had this story idea myself. The author did a fabulous job with it.

3. BLINDSIDED BY CLYDE PHILLIPSblindsided-clydephillips

4.5 stars: A stunning page-turner!

Mystery/thriller series with female characters working in law enforcement are among my favorite. Since I’d already read the Nikki Heat and Anna Curtis series, among others, I bought this one. The protagonist is Jane Candiotti, an Inspector for the LAPD. The first book in the series was great, and this one ups the ante. Jane’s precinct will be up against a serial killer who pops seemingly out of nowhere. This killer has a specific MO, and is targeting cops. When the killer’s pace starts increasing, Jane and the other precinct officers must work harder to catch him. This puts a strain on Jane’s relationship with Kenny, a fellow officer she’s dating. They’ve recently moved in together. Kenny isn’t taking well to being ordered around by Jenny, who has a higher rank. She’s just doing it to keep him safe, because he’s a little impetuous. Overall, this book is full of thrills and suspense. There are also a lot of twists that’ll keep you reading just one more chapter.

aninfiniteloop-danrix2. AN INFINITE LOOP BY DAN RIX

5 stars: Absolute must-read. It’s amazing!!!

This is book three in the Timeloopers series by Dan Rix. I thought it was excellent because of the suspense, and the urgency to resolve the main problem. If you’ve read Dan Rix, you know he writes really well-researched and explained sci-fi. The Timeloopers series is about a group of high schoolers who discover a time machine in their school. It was put there with claims that it was really a quantum computer. Cory Holland, one of the main characters, is a genius tech geek and so he’s drawn to the “quantum computer.” He and his friend/rival Iris Strasser already know of the machine’s true nature. They’ve done some exploits with it already. This time, though, Cory royally screws up. He locks Iris into an infinite time loop, essentially wiping her out of existence. Terrified, Cory must now use all of his brainpower to get Iris back. The experience will also make Cory realize he’s falling for the girl he once couldn’t stand.

1. EXTREME MEASURES BY ELISABETH NAUGHTONextrememeasures-elisabethnaughton

5 stars: Absolute must-read. It’s amazing!!!

My favorite read of 2016 was Extreme Measures. It’s the first book about a group of operatives from Aegis Security, a private special ops agency. The main character is Zane Archer, who works at Aegis. He’s been endeavoring to track down Eve Wolfe, a CIA operative he once loved. They were involved in a special mission that went south, almost costing Zane his life. Realizing that she is now believed a traitor, Eve vanishes. A year later, Zane finally manages to capture Eve after she suffers an attack. Zane wants answers, and he’s not letting Eve go until she tells the truth. They can’t deny the attraction they still have for each other, though. Eve is able to convince Zane she’s not his enemy. After Zane is blamed for an attack he didn’t commit, he works with Eve to find out who’s framing them. There’s a lot of action and twists in this book. Romance fans won’t be disappointed either, as there’s plenty of it. The chemistry between Zane and Eve is sizzling, and the action’s top notch. I strongly recommend this series.

***

So, that’s it for this year. These are the books I enjoyed reading most. As usual, they are all from a variety of genres. Mystery, sci-fi, and romance are my favorites, so they encompass the majority of the books that I buy. You could find something to like here. My previous Best Reads of the Year lists are here: the list for 2015, the one from 2014, and the list from 2013.

Advertisements

Leave a 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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s