Best of 2016

I get the impression I’m missing out on a lot of good books in my attempts to keep up with my review books! However, I did get to read some fantastic books by some of my favourite authors this year.

Yet again, I read more historical fiction than I intended to. I wonder if this is something that will ever change!

In no particular order, here are my favourite reads of 2016:

Marrying Winterborne (Ravenels #2) by Lisa Kleypas

Marrying Winterborne (2016) by Lisa Kleypas

Taking Fire (One-Eyed Jacks #4) by Cindy Gerard

Taking Fire (One-Eyed Jacks #4) by Cindy Gerard

Baron (The Knickerbocker Club #2) by Joanna Shupe

Baron (The Knickerbocker Club #2) by Joanna Shupe

The Summer Bride (Chance Sisters #4) by Anne Gracie

The Summer Bride (Chance Sisters book 4) by Anne Gracie

How to Rescue a Rake (Book Club Belles Society #3) by Jayne Fresina

How to Rescue a Rake (Book Club Belles Society #3) by Jayne Fresina

Sister of Mine: A Novel by Sabra Waldfogel

Sister of Mine A Novel by Sabra Waldfogel

Kiss, Kiss, Bark! by Kim Williams Justesen

(Yes, I enjoyed this Middle Grade book enough to buy a copy after finishing my ARC!)

kiss-kiss-bark-by-kim-williams-justesen

The Wicked Duke (Wicked Trilogy #3) by Madeline Hunter

The Wicked Duke (Wicked Trilogy #3) by Madeline Hunter

Tycoon (The Knickerbocker Club 0.5) by Joanna Shupe

Tycoon (The Knickerbocker Club 0.5) by Joanna Shupe

The Dare and the Doctor (Winner Takes All #3) by Kate Noble

the-dare-and-the-doctor-winner-takes-all-3-by-kate-noble

The Unexpected Marriage of Gabriel Stone (Lords of Disgrace #4) by Louise Allen

The Unexpected Marriage of Gabriel Stone (Lords of Disgrace #4) by Louise Allen mills and Boon Cover

Miss Goodhue Lives for a Night (Winner Takes All #2.5) by Kate Noble

Miss Goodhue Lives for a Night (Winner Takes All #2.5) by Kate Noble

Someone to Love (Westcott #1) by Mary Balogh

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Plus, one that isn’t out until next month, but I have already read and enjoyed:

mogul-the-knickerbocker-club-3-by-joanna-shupe

The Week: 18th – 25th September

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This was about 5pm yesterday. Taken straight after stepping out of the car at the local shopping centre. Pity about the football stadium lights ruining the view!

spring-sunset-canberra-australia-sonya-heaney-garden-sky-clouds-22nd-september-2016

Thursday evening in Canberra.

Weird week. I actually got my days all mixed up and forgot it was Sunday!

I’ve been doing a lot of rereading, and am falling so far behind with my review books. If you’re seeing fewer reviews on here, that is the reason. However, I have a bunch of books I could read a thousand times and still love, and sometimes – especially when I’m too busy to invest in a new story – it’s a comfort to read those.

What have I been rereading? Anne Gracie, Lisa Kleypas… favourite historical romances mostly.

I have not been *sick* this week, but I’ve been something strange. In the past, back in my ballet days, I was so anaemic (or “anemic” in America) that when they did the tests I’d dropped off the bottom of the chart. In high school there were days I was more or less unconscious at my desk, so I got sent home to pass out in bed! And imagine trying to do professional ballet training when you have NO energy whatsoever. None!

I’ve been a bit like that in recent days.

Basically, I’ve been almost fainting when I stand up, and I nearly passed out when walking to lunch with my brother and parents yesterday afternoon. Also – just now – twice I fell asleep at the computer and woke myself up when I dropped forwards and bashed my head on the keyboard (someone should probably film me doing that, because I’m sure it looks hilarious!!).

It’s a good thing my brother’s partner runs a number of pharmacies, so I get information on the super-duper iron supplements that help me a bit!

However, I’m dropping a bit behind on everything at the moment.

Floriade Canberra Australia Spring Sonya Heaney Oksana Heaney 5th October 2015 Purple Flowers Garden Nature

Floriade all sunny and hot last year.

We’ve had some pretty weird weather in the past few days. Some days are gorgeous, and then others are weirdly cool and rainy – it doesn’t usually rain much in Canberra, so it’s a real shock. As Floriade – our massive flower festival near the lake – is on now, it’s not ideal. The last time I went to it there was a serious heatwave, I got sunburnt, and I was dressed for the tropics!

My review of The Rancher’s Texas Match by Brenda Minton

the-ranchers-texas-match-by-brenda-minton

My review of Kiss, Kiss, Bark! by Kim Williams Justesen

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A Downton Abbey Movie?

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Seven reasons to read historical romance.

Christmas Historical Romance Cover Art by Jon Paul Studios - Copy

For the romance reader…

Book Boyfriends Funny Graphic T-Shirt

Kiss, Kiss, Bark! by Kim Williams Justesen

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Mattie has a couple of dilemmas. First (sigh), her parents are making her babysit her humiliating younger brother nearly nonstop. What could BE more awful than the constant company of a 4-year-old brother who acts like a dog? Then, her best friend’s brother begins to show serious interest in her. Mattie thinks all her prayers have come true, that is, until her best friend Livvy stops returning her phone calls. Is this how a best friend should act? Will she have to choose between her best friend and a budding romance, and who should it be? A family crisis will force Mattie to make some difficult decisions. This very funny and very relatable story will appeal to broad swath of young teen girls.

Kiss, Kiss, Bark! by Kim Williams Justesen

Firstly: I thought this was a great book! But why am I reviewing a tween book, you ask?

Because I was doing some research into Middle Grade fiction, and as this one was freely available for anyone with a NetGalley account to download for review, I decided to go for it. With the childish cover I wasn’t expecting much, but I actually enjoyed it A LOT.

Kiss, Kiss, Bark! is very well-written, is entertaining, and I think it would appeal to a much broader audience than the childish pink princess cover would have you believing. It might be that I needed a break from my usual type of books, but I really did like this one.

Our female protagonist is a likeable teen, with a younger brother – a truly unique character – who drives her mad (but he’s very cute!). She has good friends, is crazy about her best friend’s older brother, and is so realistic it was really refreshing after reading a lot of romance. Middle Grade fiction isn’t scared to feature realistic kids.

There’s a little sweet and funny romance here, and this type of fiction comes with a happy ending, even though the book deals with some emotional issues. I loved that even when the friends run into problems over boys and other girls, nobody says anything misogynistic.

I liked the characterisation of the family members, and I liked that nobody was a stereotype.

Basically, I just liked it! If you enjoy Young Adult books, this one doesn’t read that much different. It’s a bit sweeter, but the excellent writing makes up for it for older readers.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.