Tuesday, December 31, 2019

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

The New Year is almost here and we're sharing our favorite books of 2019! Here are Lexi’s favorite reads from the year, did any of her picks make your list?

Historical Fiction: THE HUNTRESS was another fabulous read by Kate Quinn. A post WWII novel that follows two women that were on opposite sides of the war.

The Huntress
by Kate Quinn
Paperback, 530 pages
Published February 26th, 2019 by William Morrow 
Bold and fearless, Nina Markova always dreamed of flying. When the Nazis attack the Soviet Union, she risks everything to join the legendary Night Witches, an all-female night bomber regiment wreaking havoc on the invading Germans. When she is stranded behind enemy lines, Nina becomes the prey of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, and only Nina’s bravery and cunning will keep her alive.

Transformed by the horrors he witnessed from Omaha Beach to the Nuremberg Trials, British war correspondent Ian Graham has become a Nazi hunter. Yet one target eludes him: a vicious predator known as the Huntress. To find her, the fierce, disciplined investigator joins forces with the only witness to escape the Huntress alive: the brazen, cocksure Nina. But a shared secret could derail their mission unless Ian and Nina force themselves to confront it.

Growing up in post-war Boston, seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride is determined to become a photographer. When her long-widowed father unexpectedly comes homes with a new fiancΓ©e, Jordan is thrilled. But there is something disconcerting about the soft-spoken German widow. Certain that danger is lurking, Jordan begins to delve into her new stepmother’s past—only to discover that there are mysteries buried deep in her family . . . secrets that may threaten all Jordan holds dear.

In this immersive, heart-wrenching story, Kate Quinn illuminates the consequences of war on individual lives, and the price we pay to seek justice and truth.

Fairytale Retelling: THE BEAST'S HEART by Life Shallcross took me back to the magic that was BEAUTY by Robin McKinley, but told from the Beast's POV. It was everything I'd wanted in a Beauty and the Beast retelling.

The Beast's Heart
by Life Shallcross
Paperback, 416 pages
Published February 12th, 2019 by Berkley
A sumptuously magical, brand new take on a tale as old as time—read the Beast's side of the story at long last.

I am neither monster nor man—yet I am both.
I am the Beast.

The day I was cursed to this wretched existence was the day I was saved—although it did not feel so at the time.

My redemption sprung from contemptible roots; I am not proud of what I did the day her father happened upon my crumbling, isolated chateau. But if loneliness breeds desperation then I was desperate indeed, and I did what I felt I must. My shameful behaviour was unjustly rewarded.

My Isabeau. She opened my eyes, my mind and my heart; she taught me how to be human again.
And now I might lose her forever.

Lose yourself in this gorgeously rich and magical retelling of The Beauty and the Beast that finally lays bare the beast's heart.

Sci-Fi Romance: AURORA BLAZING by Jessie Mihalik is the second book of the Consortium Rebellion series and it was so much fun to jump back on board with this space opera world filled with battling High Houses and a very crafty intelligence collector.

Aurora Blazing
(Consortium Rebellion #2)
by Jessie Mihalik
Paperback, 381 pages
Published October 1st, 2019 by Harper Voyager
Bianca von Hasenberg did her duty for High House von Hasenberg and ended up trapped in a terrible marriage. When her husband dies unexpectedly and leaves her a happy widow, she vows never to marry again. Instead, she uses her connections to save other young women. Information is power and Bianca has a network that would be the envy of the ’verse—if anyone knew about it.

After an attack, Bianca’s oldest brother, the House von Hasenberg heir, disappears from Earth without a trace. Determined to find him, Bianca leaves against orders. When she refuses to return, her father sends Ian Bishop, the director of House von Hasenberg security, to haul her home like a recalcitrant child.

Bianca leads Ian on a merry chase across the universe, but when their paths finally collide, she persuades him that they would be far more successful at finding her brother if they worked together. She will do anything to save her sibling, even if it means spending time alone on a small ship with the handsome, infuriating man who once broke her heart.

As clues lead them deep into rival House Rockhurst territory, Bianca must decide if she can trust Ian with the one piece of information that could destroy her completely. . .

Contemporary Romance: THE UNHONEYMOONERS by Christina Lauren had me laughing out loud and was the perfect escape I needed. 

The Unhoneymooners
by Christina Lauren
Paperback, 400 pages
Published May 14th, 2019 by Gallery Books
Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion . . . she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas.

Olive braces herself for wedding hell, determined to put on a brave face, but when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. Suddenly there’s a free honeymoon up for grabs, and Olive will be damned if Ethan gets to enjoy paradise solo.

Agreeing to a temporary truce, the pair head for Maui. After all, ten days of bliss is worth having to assume the role of loving newlyweds, right? But the weird thing is . . . Olive doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, the more she pretends to be the luckiest woman alive, the more it feels like she might be.

Young Adult Fantasy: SPIN THE DAWN by Elizabeth Lim was so much fun to read! And the amazing world building was a delight to wrap myself up in. Perfect if you're looking for magic and romance.

Spin the Dawn
(The Blood of Stars #1)
by Elizabeth Lim
Hardcover, 392 pages
Published July 9th, 2019 by Alfred A. Knopf Books 
Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she'll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There's just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia's task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor's reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

Amazingly, I didn't read any Historical Romance this year! Which is difficult to believe because I have some in my TBR pile that I'm excited to dive into, but my 2019 stacks were heavier in thrillers and fantasy than normal. Did your 2019 reading trends vary for you?  Mixing up the genres makes it all the more fun, that and trying new wines to pair with my current read. So, cheers to your 2020! May it be filled with laughter, love, and books!


  1. I loved The Unhoneymooners as well! You can't go wrong with Christina Lauren!

  2. You really can't go wrong with Christina Lauren!


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