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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Linda's Picks for Best of 2018!



These were my top favorite reads of calendar year 2018.




Please know that there were many more books that I read and thoroughly enjoyed this past year. I’m looking forward to many more wonderful reads in 2019!


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A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas is everything I expected from this bridge novella in the series. Maas is one of my favorite authors. Not surprisingly, this is a heartwarming, well-crafted tale which whets my appetite for the books to follow. I actually read A Court of Frost and Starlight twice before returning it to the library: Inhaling it first and then re-reading it, savoring every page as I just couldn’t say goodbye to Prythian yet. This book had me laughing and crying tears of happiness, as it renders foreshadows and hope for the future.


Again the Magic (Wallflowers) by [Kleypas, Lisa]


After listening to The Devil in Winter and becoming hooked on Lisa Kleypas’ writing and Rosalyn Landor’s narration, I vowed to go back and enjoy this series from the beginning starting with the audio edition of Again the Magic, the prequel to the series. Oh my! I loved it! It wrenched my heart, thoroughly wrung it out, and then, thankfully, knit it back together again. Again the Magic is entrancing. It’s heartbreaking and romantic to the extreme. I could not put it down.


Awaken the Darkness (Immortal Guardians Book 8) by [Duvall, Dianne]


Dianne’s Immortal Guardians’ series is earth-shattering awesome and Dianne has quickly become one of my favorite authors. Each of the stories – and I’m still catching up – has been heart-stopping, intense, humorous and powerfully romantic. Awaken the Darkness is the latest installment. It’s fast-paced, action-packed and, even though parts of it are hard to read with the hero’s torment, there’s also an abundance of comic relief that serves to keep the story light and entertaining.


Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha Book 1) by [Adeyemi, Tomi]


Children of Blood and Bone is the wonderfully written debut of this author with tenacious, complex characters.  The story is a fast-paced and action-packed adventure with plenty of unexpected twists. I read the hard cover edition, but, would like to re-live the story with the audio edition in the future – perhaps just before the movie releases. If cultural YA mega-fantasies with bold magical overtones stoke your fancy, pick up this book and see what you’re missing!


Curiouser and Curiouser: Steampunk Alice in Wonderland (Steampunk Fairy Tales Book 1) by [Karsak, Melanie]


Imaginative fractured fairy tales are one of my favorite genres and I have loved Alice in Wonderland tales since my childhood. I’d never previously picked up anything by this author – but, after inhaling this superb tale set in Victorian England, I vowed to read everything she’s written! Please not that this book is not for young children. However, I absolutely loved this fantastically dark Alice with a strong steam punk flare! This also marked the first time I’d ever listened to anything narrated by Lesley Parkin. Her south London accent made listening to this audio book a pure pleasure.


Flashpoint (3 Book Series) by  Rachel Grant


I listened to these three books in audio. All were excellently narrated by Greg Tremblay. Each of these stories is a sweet and caring, hot and steamy romantic thriller on steroids and an eye-opening lesson on social responsibilities, status and consequences. If you enjoy riveting edge-of-your-seat romantic suspense set in exotic locales with excellently-plotted intricate storylines, I’d highly encourage you to check out Rachel’s Flashpoint series!


Holly Danger (6 Book Series) by  Amanda Carlson


I listened to the audio editions of this addictive dystopian sci-fi fantasy series. This fantastic series with extraordinary characterizations just keeps getting better and better with each installment. Each book has been fast-paced with wall-to-wall action. I’m anxiously waiting for the 6th installment now.


Lionheart (Moonshadow Book 3) by [Harrison, Thea]


Lionheart was intense, passionate, magical, entertaining, fast-paced and action-packed. It was a truly fabulous but bittersweet ending to Thea’s Moonshadow trilogy which spotlighted the always fascinating fae in a spin-off to her Elder Races’ world. 


Sentinel of Darkness (Darkness Series Book 8) by [Reus, Katie]


It’s a paranormal urban fantasy delight! While the story is told in just under a hundred pages, Katie packs an awesome punch with Sentinel of Darkness with fully-developed characters and a fabulous story line. I can’t think of a higher compliment to a book and to an author than to say that I can still feel a warm glow when I think about Sentinel of Darkness even now. Have I mentioned how much I love dragons?


Tiger's Curse (5 Book Series) by  Colleen Houck


A truly epic YA romance, a unique and dangerous adventure, overflowing with history and lore set mostly in the lush beautiful jungles of India. I inhaled the first four books in CY2018 and have the fifth and final installment ready to listen to soon!


Vampire Blood (4 Book Series) by  Juliette Cross


This entire series is magical and pits epic romances and dominion in an epic battle of good versus evil. Every installment in this wonderful series is a sensual paranormal fractured retelling of a popular fairy tale. The resulting new versions are no longer tales for children. As a recap, The Black Lily retold Cinderella. The Red Lily was the author’s parody of Little Red Riding Hood complete with wolves. The White Lily recounted Snow White. AND The Emerald Lily features a revised Sleeping Beauty. Who knew that vampires and favorite childhood fairy tales would mix so jaw-droppingly well?



1 comment:

Lexi H said...

Children of Blood and Bone has been on my radar. And I remember your review of Curiouser and Curiouser, it had me adding that book and subsequently all of the Steampunk Fairy Tales to my TBR pile ;)