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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

The Best of 2019 : Crystal's Top Reads of the Year

The New Year is just around the corner and we're sharing our favorite books of 2019! Here are my favorite reads from the year, did any of mine make your list?




I'm pretty sure that this was the most anticipated book of the series and boy did it deliver! It was an all-consuming tale steeped in love, violence, friendship, and the unknown. I couldn't put it down! Find out more in my REVIEW.

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Archangel's War
(Guild Hunter #12)
by Nalini Singh
Mass Market Paperback, 471 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by Berkley
ISBN0451491661

Wings of silver. Wings of blue. Mortal heart. Broken dreams. Shatter. Shatter. Shatter. A sundering. A grave. I see the end. I see. . .

The world is in chaos as the power surge of the Cascade rises to a devastating crescendo. In furiously resisting its attempts to turn Elena into a vessel for Raphael’s power, Elena and her archangel are irrevocably changed. . .far beyond the prophecy of a cursed Ancient.

At the same time, violent and eerie events around the world threaten to wipe out entire populations. And in the Archangel Lijuan’s former territory, an unnatural fog weaves through the land, leaving only a bone-chilling silence in its wake. Soon it becomes clear that even the archangels are not immune to this deadly evil. This time, even the combined power of the Cadre may not be enough. . .

This war could end them all.



A dark past, a daring adventure, and an unimaginable allure. Kerrigan Byrne doesn't pull any punches in this must-read historical romance!

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How to Love a Duke in Ten Days
(Devil You Know #1)
by Kerrigan Byrne 
Mass Market Paperback, 440 pages
Published August 27th 2019 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
ISBN125031884X

These men are dark, bold, and brave. And there is only one woman who can bring them to their knees...

Famed and brilliant, Lady Alexandra Lane has always known how to look out for to herself. But nobody would ever expect that she has darkness in her past—one that she pays a blackmailer to keep buried. Now, with her family nearing bankruptcy, Alexandra strikes upon a solution: Get married to one of the empire’s most wealthy eligible bachelors. Even if he does have the reputation of a devil.

LOVE TAKES NO PRISONERS

Piers Gedrick Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne, is seeking revenge and the first step is securing a bride. Winning a lady’s hand is not so easy, however, for a man known as the Terror of Torcliff. Then, Alexandra enters his life like a bolt of lightning. When she proposes marriage, Piers knows that, like him, trouble haunts her footsteps. But her gentleness, sharp wit, independent nature, and incredible beauty awakens every fierce desire within him. He will do whatever it takes to keep her safe in his arms. 




This was a captivating and vivid tale of a second chances that pulled at my heart strings and left me craving more. I was immersed in this tale from beginning to end, living what the characters lived, feeling what they felt. I read well into the the wee hours of the morning because I simply could not put this book down. My only complaint; that it ended too soon. I wanted so much more of Tate and Sam, a hundred pages more wouldn't have been enough though...

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Twice in a Blue Moon
by Christina Lauren 
Hardcover, 358 pages
Published October 22nd 2019 by Gallery Books
ISBN1982135700

Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.

With Christina Lauren’s signature “beautifully written and remarkably compelling” (Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author) prose and perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner, Twice in a Blue Moon is an unforgettable and moving novel of young love and second chances.



This may be my favorite Misadventures in Matchmaking books. Ainsley was sort of a closed-off character in the beginning of the series, but this book showed just how much depth she truly has. Reed was such a fun hero as well! 

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The Rogue to Ruin
(Misadventures in Matchmaking #3)
by Vivienne Lorret 
ebook, 400 pages
Published July 30th 2019 by Avon
ISBN0062685538

The Bourne Matrimonial Agency has one rule: Never fall in love with a client, which shouldn't be a problem when one’s faking an engagement to the rogue across the street . . .

Ainsley Bourne needs the family business to succeed. But one obstacle stands in her way—Reed Sterling, the huge, handsome, former prize fighter and owner of the gaming hell across the street. His scandalous customers scare off all her marriage-minded patrons and since the devilish brute has no intention of relocating, she sets out to ruin his unsavory establishment. Yet when a vile suitor from her past reappears, Ainsley hastily claims an attachment to the first man who comes to mind . . . Mr. Sterling, to be exact.

Reed doesn’t know who is more surprised by Miss Bourne’s declaration. She clearly hates him, and he’d never admit their arguments simmer with unrequited attraction. Something about the pleading look in her eyes calls to Reed, and against his better judgment, he quickly plays the part of the besotted fiancΓ©.

Pretending to be in love requires a convincing charade. But with each tantalizing touch and every scandalous kiss, Ainsley starts to wonder if Reed was ever really the enemy at all.



Author Maxym M. Martineau delivers THE must-read fantasy romance of the summer with this darkly seductive and uniquely magical tale. Find out more in our REVIEW.

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Kingdom of Exiles
(The Beast Charmer #1)
by Maxym M. Martineau 
Mass Market Paperback, 438 pages
Published June 25th 2019 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN1492689386

Fantastic Beasts meets Assassin's Creed in this epic, gripping fantasy romance from debut author Maxym M. Martineau.
Exiled beast charmer Leena Edenfrell is in deep trouble. Empty pockets forced her to sell her beloved magical beasts on the black market—an offense punishable by death—and now there's a price on her head. With the realm's most talented murderer-for-hire nipping at her heels, Leena makes him an offer he can't refuse: powerful mythical creatures in exchange for her life.

If only it were that simple. Unbeknownst to Leena, the undying ones are bound by magic to complete their contracts, and Noc cannot risk his brotherhood of assassins...not even to save the woman he can no longer live without.




Get swept away in 1820's Scotland! Highland Crown was a tale wrought with danger and passion as two people find a cause worth fighting for, and a love worth sacrificing for, all in a land rife with unrest. Find out more in our REVIEW.

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Highland Crown
(Royal Highlander #1)
by May McGoldrick 
Mass Market Paperback, 312 pages
Published April 30th 2019 by St. Martin's Press
ISBN1250314976

Inverness, 1820
Perched on the North Sea, this port town―by turns legendary and mythological―is a place where Highland rebels and English authorities clash in a mortal struggle for survival and dominance. Among the fray is a lovely young widow who possesses rare and special gifts.

WANTED: Isabella Drummond
A true beauty and trained physician, Isabella has inspired longing and mystery―and fury―in a great many men. Hunted by both the British government and Scottish rebels, she came to the Highlands in search of survival. But a dying ship’s captain will steer her fate into even stormier waters. . .and her heart into flames.

FOUND: Cinaed Mackintosh
Cast from his home as a child, Cinaed is a fierce soul whose allegiance is only to himself. . .until Isabella saved his life―and added more risk to her own. Now, the only way Cinaed can keep her safe to seek refuge at Dalmigavie Castle, the Mackintosh family seat. But when the scandalous truth of his past comes out, any chance of Cinaed having a bright future with Isabella is thrown into complete darkness. What will these two ill-fated lovers have to sacrifice to be together…for eternity? 



This is a delightful tale of two unlikely hearts colliding in the midst of their parents machinations, enveloping readers in a wonderfully fun historical romance that they are sure to savor. Find out more in our REVIEW.

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It's Getting Scot in Here
(Wild Wicked Highlanders #1)
by Suzanne Enoch
Mass Market Paperback, 342 pages
Published February 26th 2019 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
ISBN1250296374

HAPPILY-EVER-AFTER
London socialite Amelia-Rose Baxter is nobody’s fool. Her parents may want her to catch a title, but she will never change who she is for the promise of marriage. Her husband will be a man who can appreciate her sharp mind as well as her body. A sophisticated man who loves life in London. A man who considers her his equal―and won’t try to tame her wild heart...

IN THE HIGHLANDS
Rough, rugged Highlander Niall MacTaggert and his brothers know the rules: the eldest must marry or lose the ancestral estate, period. But Niall’s eldest brother just isn’t interested in the lady his mother selected. Is it because Amelia-Rose is just too. . . Free-spirited? Yes. Brazen? Aye. Surely Niall can find a way to soften up the whip-smart lass and make her the perfect match for his brother for the sake of the family.

JUST GOT A WHOLE LOT HOTTER.
Instead it’s Niall who tempts Amelia-Rose, despite her reservations about barbarian Highlanders. Niall finds the lass nigh irresistible as well, but he won’t make the mistake his father did in marrying an Englishwoman who doesn’t like the Highlands. Does he have what it takes to win her heart? There is only one way to find out...




Wicked Saints was a dark and seductive debut from Emily A. Duncan, brimming with magic and mayhem. Dark and light. Saints and sinners. You honestly won't want to miss this spellbinding fantasy! Find out more in my REVIEW.

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Wicked Saints
(Something Dark and Holy #1)
by Emily A. Duncan
Hardcover, 385 pages
Published April 2nd 2019 by Wednesday Books
ISBN1250195667

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.. 





Honorable Mentions:

Nightchaser (Endeavor #1) by Amanda Bouchet  | Amazon
The Savior (Black Dagger Brotherhood #17) by J.R. Ward  | Amazon
The Rogue King (Inferno Rising #1) by Abigail Owen  | Amazon
Highland Jewel (Royal Highlander #2) by May McGoldrick  | Amazon - Review
The King (A Wicked Trilogy #3.6) by Jennifer L. Armentrout  | Amazon - Review
Death of Darkness  (Immortal Guardians #9) by Dianne Duvall | Amazon
Wicked Bite (Night Rebel #2) by Jeaniene Frost {January 28th 2020} | Amazon
Loki Ascending (Viking Warriors #3) by Asa Maria Bradley {December 31st 2019} | Amazon
A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh | Amazon
The Burning Shadow (Origin #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout | Amazon
Radiance (Wraith Kings #1) by Grace Draven | Amazon



3 comments:

Sue G. said...

Fun list! I read Twice in a Blue Moon and loved it too!

Alexia Chantel said...

KINGDOM OF EXILES was such a fun read!! Nice list! :)

shelleyrae @ book'd out said...

Thanks for sharing your list!