Hi, everyone! I’m back for my annual Best Reads post. Although I’m retired, I wanted to come back to write this, at least one last time. I may not write anymore, but I still love to read. On that subject, I just got myself a Kindle Paperwhite 3 for Christmas. I’ve had the Paperwhite 1 since the year it was released. Needless to say, I kept it a long time. I hesitated to upgrade because I didn’t think it would be worth it. Now that I have the 3, I am amazed by how much better the screen is. For one, the light looks less like light, if you can picture what that looks like. The result is a whiter, more paper-like look. I really wish I’d upgraded earlier!
I thought I wouldn’t upgrade until the Paperwhite got a color screen. That seems a long way off, though. I think all the Paperwhite 4 will have new is waterproofing and a slightly better processor. Anyway, I’ll get on with my list. I’m starting at #12, and go down to my #1 read. These are closer choices than in previous lists, though. It was a bit hard to pick ones over others; #12 isn’t necessarily worse than the rest, for instance. Here it is:
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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:
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DEFECTOR (Variants, #2)

Author: Susanne Winnacker
Published on: June 26, 2014
Genre: Sci-fi, romance
Published by:Razorbill
Format: E-book, paperback, Audible

Tessa has finally made peace with her life as a Variant. She and long-time love Alec are officially a couple, and for the first time, she has everything she wants.

But the air is tense at FEA headquarters. An agent has disappeared, and rogue variant organization Abel’s Army is likely the culprit.

When Tessa is summoned for her second mission, she is unexpectedly launched into a massive conspiracy. Her best friend Holly is kidnapped and Tessa knows it was meant to be her. But who is after her? And more importantly, why?

When the FEA’s efforts to rescue Holly don’t yield any results, Tessa takes matters into her own hands. Desperate to save her friend and uncover the mystery behind Abel’s Army, Tessa launches her own investigation—but nothing could prepare her for what she finds. Everyone in her life is harboring secrets: Alec, her estranged mother, even the father she never knew.

The truth will take her out on the road and out of her comfort zone, with danger lurking everywhere. Summoning all of her courage and strength, Tessa must decide who can be trusted and what is worth fighting for—even if it means going against the life she thought she wanted. Her final decision will leave readers breathless.


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IMPOSTOR (Variants, #1)

Author: Susanne Winnacker
Published on: May 28, 2013
Genre: Sci-fi, romance
Published by:Razorbill
Format: E-book, paperback, Audible

Can Tessa pose as Madison . . . and stop a killer before it’s too late? 

Tessa is a Variant, able to absorb the DNA of anyone she touches and mimic their appearance. Shunned by her family, she’s spent the last two years training with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI. When a serial killer rocks a small town in Oregon, Tessa is given a mission: she must impersonate Madison, a local teen, to find the killer before he strikes again.

Tessa hates everything about being an impostor—the stress, the danger, the deceit—but loves playing the role of a normal girl. As Madison, she finds friends, romance, and the kind of loving family she’d do anything to keep. Amid action, suspense, and a ticking clock, this super-human comes to a very human conclusion: even a girl who can look like anyone struggles the most with being herself. 


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Once again, we’re approaching the end of yet another year. In that time, I’ve written and published two more novels. One is Devoted to Her, the second entry in the Dream Date series which concludes Amanda Tilley’s and Nathan Ferland’s story. The other is In A Greater Reality, my sci-fi debut. Yeah, 2015 has been a good year for me.
Just as I’ve done since 2013, I made a list of the best books I read this year. Surprisingly, I had a slightly smaller pool to choose from because I re-read the entire Harry Potter series. Those books don’t qualify for this list. Although I like them so much, I prefer not to include uber mega-popular titles here. It’s not really fair. I’ll include a star rating and a short summary about each book that I picked. This time, I’ll start at 12 instead of 1 like I did the previous two years. Here they are:
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blank-slate-tiffanysnowBLANK SLATE

Author: Tiffany Snow
Published on: December 18, 2012
Genre: Mystery, suspense
Published by: Montlake romance
Format: E-book, paperback, audible

Special Agent Erik Langston has been tracking Clarissa O’Connell for nearly a year, always one step behind the cyber hacking thief. She’s escaped his clutches often and easily.

Except tonight.

In the snow-covered switchbacks of the Colorado mountains in a worsening snowstorm, a car crash robs Clarissa of her memory and lands her as Erik’s prisoner.

Riding out the storm in a cabin, Erik is forced to protect someone he knows to be a criminal, though O’Connell isn’t anything like he’d imagined her to be.

In a race to stay one step ahead of those who’ll do anything for what she knows, Clarissa and Erik must dig into her locked memories if they’re going to survive. Can she trust his feelings even when he knows the truth?

Is it really possible to start over with a blank slate?

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Author: Jamie Michele
Published on: November 6, 2012
 Mystery, romance

Published by: Montlake Romance
 E-book, paperback, Audible

Undercover agent Evangeline Quill knows the dangers of getting personally involved in her cases. But this one is unavoidable: someone murdered her parents, and she’s sure she knows the killer. To hunt him down, she’ll need evidence…and someone to lead her straight into the murderer’s lair. Enter handsome and elusive Oliver McCrea, a man with ties to the criminal world.

Although McCrea wears a tough outer shell, Evangeline senses something vulnerable beneath his wounded, golden gaze. He’s the one man she shouldn’t want, but she’s never been big on resisting danger. McCrea knows he should turn Evangeline away, but there’s something about her that calls to the man he used to be before the underworld disintegrated his humanity.

Evangeline is determined to draw out a killer, and McCrea’s going to stay right by her side to keep her safe. But will their passion lead to love…or death?

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