Top Books of 2016 – First 6 Months

 

The first half of 2016 is over and we are entering the home stretch. I figured that it would be fun to look back on the top 10 books I have read so far this year out of the 97 I have read so far. These are in the order I read them and not ranked by favorites, etc.

1. Listen To Me – Kristen Proby

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Seduction is quickly becoming the hottest new restaurant in Portland, and Addison Wade is proud to claim 1/5 of the credit. She’s determined to make it a success and can’t think of a better way to bring in new customers than live music. But when former rock star Jake Keller swaggers through the doors to apply for the weekend gig, she knows she’s in trouble. Addie instantly recognizes him—his posters were plastered all over her bedroom walls in high school—he’s all bad boy…exactly her type and exactly what she doesn’t need.

Jake Keller walked away from the limelight five years ago and yearns to return to what’s always driven him: the music. If he gets to work for a smart-mouthed, funny-as-hell bombshell, all the better. But talking Addie into giving him the job is far easier than persuading her that he wants more than a romp in her bed. Just when she begins to drop her walls, Jake’s past finally catches up with him.

Will Addie be torn apart once again or will Jake be able to convince her to drown out her doubts and listen to her heart?

Read My Review here

2. This is WAR, Baby and This is LOVE, Baby by K. Webster

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This is WAR, Baby 

My life had a plan. Until he invaded it and stole it all away. My captor took me and I became a pawn.

His strategy changed and he sent me away to WAR, because money is everything in this world.

In my WAR, though, I found peace.

I couldn’t help but find love where I least expected it, with a man who lived a battle every day of his life
…all inside his head.

But then my captor came back for me.
Yet, this time, battle lines had been drawn and I was protected.

So we thought.
Even though my WAR was raging,
my captor would fight to the death.

The good guys always win, right?
Not always.

All’s fair in love and WAR, right?
Not this time.

Read my Review here

This is LOVE, Baby

My War was over and I had lost. My captor reminded me I was nothing more than his pawn.
His strategy never changed…it was always me.

But what he didn’t know was that LOVE always wins.

In my War, I’d found not only peace
but LOVE as well.

I’d been through a battlefield with my War and LOVE was what brought us to the other side.
Our LOVE was beautiful and pure. Undying.

My captor thinks he has won this war. That I will LOVE him.
What he doesn’t know is this time, I’m the one with a strategy. I’m always thinking several moves ahead of him, my War taught me that.

I will outsmart him and find peace again.
This is a war I will win.
My LOVE will conquer all.

Read My Review here

3. Hate to Love You and Love to Hate You by Isabelle Richards

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Hate To Love You

Opposites in every way, Chase and Arianna have been bitter rivals since childhood. Constantly in competition, they fight incessantly, making it nearly impossible for them to be in the same room with each other. Until they slept together.
Sex changes everything.
In one emotional evening, they go from enemies to lovers. Hate quickly evolves into passionate lust, but old habits die hard. The love growing between them can’t erase a lifetime of animosity. The two quickly fall back into old routines of spite and vengeance, and their relationship crumbles under the weight of their deep-seated distrust.
Chase and Arianna spend the next two years on opposite sides of the globe, avoiding each other at all costs. Despite the lies they tell themselves, neither one is ready to let go. Even though they are both engaged to other people, they can’t find it in their hearts to forgive each other or to move forward.
A family emergency calls Arianna home, where they have no choice but to face each other again. Will they finally admit the truth, or will they remain forever trapped between love and hate?

Full Review to come. 

Love To Hate You 

Some connections are so powerful they will not be denied. Despite doing everything in their power to fight their feelings, Chase and Arianna decide to give their love a second chance. They hope that the long, painful journey back to each other will have taught them not to make the same mistakes again. This time they’ll get it right. All they need is a little time for the wounds to heal.
Unfortunately, life doesn’t stop just because love is in the air. Just as they begin to reconcile, their relationship is bombarded by crisis after crisis throwing their lives into a tailspin. Had they learned from their past, Chase and Arianna would find a way to lean on each other during trying times. But some people never learn.
Instead of revealing their strength, each challenge exposes their vulnerabilities. The cracks in their relationship turn into chasms as they let each other down time and time again. Hurt and betrayal overshadow the love, and they slip back into old habits. Hiding behind hatred for each other is much easier than facing the truth.
Will they find their way back to each other or will they stay trapped in the space between love and hate?

Full Review to Come. 

4. Edge of Chaos and East of Redemption by Molly E. Lee

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Edge of Chaos

Blake Caster has been in an emotionally abusive relationship with Justin for so long, she can’t tell what is normal anymore, and so she clings to the one thing that is solidly hers—her passion for extreme weather.

Three years into her Meteorology degree, Blake meets professional storm chaser, Dash Lexington, who is as gorgeous as he is daring. Instantly recognizing her passion and skills in analyzing weather data, he makes a spot for her on his tight-knit storm chasing team. Dash and Blake form a fast friendship and it forces her to realize just how toxic her relationship with Justin is. She can’t deny the lightning-worthy chemistry she has with Dash or how her heart stalls every time he gets too close to a tornado.

With each chase and the cherished moments with Dash, Blake discovers her own self-worth and gains the strength to end things with Justin for good. But he won’t go easily. As Blake tries to sever ties with one man, she fears she’ll lose the other to his dangerous obsession—and she doesn’t know if she’ll be enough to save him from the impending storm that could end them all.

Full Review to Come.

East of Redemption

Easton Wells has spent years burying his guilt by digging up some of the world’s most renowned treasures while surviving the dangerous terrains in which they’re located—all captured for television. When his producers threaten to axe the show, he has no choice but to turn to the last person he still trusts—the girl he left behind.

Rain Walker has made a name for herself documenting wild and endangered animals, and the last voice she expects to hear while shooting in South Africa is Easton’s. He’s more gorgeous than she remembers, but the pain in her heart is as fresh as ever. They’d once planned on spending the rest of their lives together, but after her father’s tragic death while on expedition in Israel with him, Easton bailed on their future together without an explanation. It’s been nine years, and yet the intense love they shared seems only a moment ago.

When he asks her to film his latest treasure hunt, Rain wants to turn him down instantly. But when he explains it’s to the same cave that swallowed her father, she can’t say no. She wants to experience the last place her father was alive, and she’s beyond curious about what happened to the boy she used to love.

They’ve got two weeks to locate a treasure that’s been lost for centuries, or Easton will lose the one thing in his life he’s come to depend on. As their old passion is reignited—and dark secrets uncovered—they face the extreme terrain of the mountain range that threatens them at every turn. As more than the wildlife and sharp drop-offs tries to kill them, Rain starts to question if the legendary treasure they seek—the same one her father had died trying to unearth—is truly meant to be found, or if some things, including their feelings for each other, are better left buried.

Read My Review here

5. Moto by M. Never

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What’s harder than resisting one Dane man? Resisting two.

I don’t date bikers. It’s my one cardinal rule. No rough, rugged, tattooed egotistical maniacs on two wheels. Even if they are gorgeous, brilliant, and sport the prefix Doctor. Bottom line, bikers are nothing but trouble.

T.R.O.U.B.L.E

Dr. Devlin Dane has had his sights set on my panties for months. But I’ve done a stellar job of fending him off. As Mercy Medical’s most eligible bachelor, he has no problem in the panty dropping department. He’s tall, dark, and inked all over. I get the appeal, I’m not dead. I’m not stupid either. He’s a walking heartbreak waiting to happen.
But when Reese Dane comes crashing into my life – literally- the game suddenly changes.
Reese, the dark, brooding, motorcycle racing champion, knows exactly how to apply the right pressure on and off the track.

The two have an unstoppable pull like centrifugal force, and both bad boy bikers are determined to take me on a high-powered ride I’ll never forget…

Full Review to Come.

6. Good Girl by Lauren Layne

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Jenny Dawson moved to Nashville to write music, not get famous. But when her latest record goes double platinum, Jenny’s suddenly one of the town’s biggest stars—and the center of a tabloid scandal connecting her with a pop star she’s barely even met. With paparazzi tracking her every move, Jenny flees to a remote mansion in Louisiana to write her next album. The only hiccup is the unexpected presence of a brooding young caretaker named Noah, whose foul mouth and snap judgments lead to constant bickering—and serious heat.

Noah really should tell Jenny that he’s Preston Noah Maxwell Walcott, the owner of the estate where the feisty country singer has made her spoiled self at home. But the charade gives Noah a much-needed break from his own troubles, and before long, their verbal sparring is indistinguishable from foreplay. But as sizzling nights give way to quiet pillow talk, Noah begins to realize that Jenny’s almost as complicated as he is. To fit into each other’s lives, they’ll need the courage to face their problems together—before the outside world catches up to them.

 Read My Review here

7. Charged by Jay Crownover

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Avett Walker and Quaid Jackson’s worlds have no reason to collide. Ever. Quaid is a high powered criminal attorney as slick as he is handsome. Avett is a pink-haired troublemaker with a bad attitude and a history of picking the wrong men.

When Avett lands in a sea of hot water because of one terrible mistake, the only person who can get her out of it is the insanely sexy lawyer. The last thing on earth she wants to do is rely on the no-nonsense attorney who thinks of her as nothing more than a nuisance. He literally has her fate in his hands. Yet there is something about him that makes her want to convince him to loosen his tie and have a little fun…with her.

Quaid never takes on clients like the impulsive young woman with a Technicolor dye job. She could stand to learn a hard lesson or two, but something about her guileless hazel eyes intrigues him. Still, he’s determined to keep their relationship strictly business. But doing so is becoming more impossible with each day he spends with her.

As they work side-by-side, they’ll have to figure out a way to get along and keep their hands off each other—because the chemistry between them is beyond charged.

 Read My Review here

8. Style by Chelsea M. Cameron

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Kyle Blake likes plans. So far, they’re pretty simple: Finish her senior year of high school, head off to a good college, find a cute boyfriend, graduate, get a good job, get married, the whole heterosexual shebang. Nothing is going to stand in the way of that plan. Not even Stella Lewis.

Stella Lewis also has a plan: Finish her senior year as cheer captain, go to college, finally let herself flirt with (and maybe even date) a girl for the first time and go from there.

Fate has other plans for Kyle and Stella when they’re paired up in their AP English class and something between them ignites. It’s confusing and overwhelming and neither of them know what to do about it. One thing they do know is that their connection can’t be ignored. The timing just isn’t right.

But is there ever a good time for falling in love?

Read My Review here

9. Out On Good Behavior by Dahlia Adler

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Frankie Bellisario knows she can get anyone she sets her sights on, but just because she can doesn’t mean she should—not when the person she’s eyeing is Samara Kazarian, the daughter of a southern Republican mayor. No matter how badly Frankie wants to test her powers of persuasion, even she recognizes some lines aren’t meant to be crossed.

But when Frankie learns she’s been on Samara’s mind too, the idea of hooking up with her grows too strong to resist. Only Sam’s not looking for a hookup; she wants—needs—the real thing, and she’s afraid she’ll never find it as long as Frankie’s in her head.

Forced to choose between her first relationship and losing the girl who’s been clawing her way under her skin, Frankie opts to try monogamy…under her own condition: 30 days of keeping things on the down low and remaining abstinent. If she fails as hard at girlfriending as she’s afraid she might, she doesn’t want to throw Samara’s life into upheaval for nothing. But when neither the month nor Frankie’s heart go according to plan, she may be the one stuck fighting for the happily ever after she never knew she wanted.

Full Review to Come.

10. Restored by Kate Canterbary

Restored

Can a reformed player ever truly play by someone else’s rules?

Sam Walsh has finally put an end to decades of self-destruction, turned over a healthy new leaf, and now he’s ready to call himself a married man. But love and marriage are only the beginning, and life is about to get much more complicated.

Will tying the knot tie down a free spirit?

Tiel Desai never imagined herself getting married again, and before she can blink, she’s swept up into the Walsh wedding whirlwind. If that chaos isn’t enough, she’s also busy winning over her future in-laws, grappling with a bumpy adjustment to her new job, and staying afloat when a string of disappointments hit.

They’re building a future, but can they ever fully demolish the past?

Sam and Tiel beat back their demons and learned to love each other, but love might not be enough to solve every problem that crawls their way.

Full Review Coming Soon.

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