As the year rounds down, I am reflecting on some of my top reads for 2017. There were SO many great reads this year but I am narrowing it down to my top 10.
These are 10 books that either impacted my life, or were just so amazing that I can’t stop thinking about them.
Whisper and the Roars – K. Webster
Whispers and the Roars is a dark romance. Strong sexual themes and violence, which could trigger emotional distress, are found in this story. The abuse written in this story is graphic and not glossed over, which could be upsetting to some. This story is NOT for everyone. Proceed with caution.
So with that being said, this review is going to be a bit different than some of my other reviews because this book was just so amazingly good that I will probably just ramble about the book as much as I can without giving away the plot twist.
Unconditional love, understanding, and ultimate dedication are the themes of this novel. – K. Webster
Kady is a twenty-nine year old woman that is living with demons from her past. She had a terrible childhood and lost her mother when she was young. Her father was abusive and she endured more than anyone, especially a child, should have too.
People in the town judge her. They think that she’s crazy. They think she’s a monster.
She just a broken girl who is trying to get by.
As you read Kady’s story, you learn about the people in her life that keep her going but you also learn about the people that scare her.
Officer Joe, Agatha, Presley, and Whiskers are the people (and cat) that keep Kady safe. They make her feel at ease and she loves them all.
Then you have Bones. He is her best friend and the person she leans on the most for support. He is there for her anytime she needs him and he never lets her down (except for that one time).
But then you have the people that scare her; Norman, Pascale, and Kenneth.
Bones helps keep them away and Yeo used to before he left.
Years ago, her boyfriend Yeo left to go to college. She has refused to talk to him since then, even though she was the one who pushed him to leave. She knows he can do better than her. His family doesn’t understand her and what she has been through and she doesn’t want them judging him for being with her. She just wants what is best for Yeo and she believes that she isn’t what is best for him.
Yeo is now back. After finishing school and becoming a doctor, Yeo wants his life with Kady back but he knows it is going to be a hard fight to get it. He has been keeping up with how she is doing from Bones and Agatha but she always avoids him when he comes to town. He knows Kady thinks he can do better but he only wants her. He was only ever wanted her. Yeo plans to do whatever is needed to get Kady back into his life.
“Love and my moral compass duel in the dark night. Love is more fierce and unstoppable and fucking crazy. Love always wins. That moral compass never stood a chance.”
WOW!! What a book. I can honestly say that in the beginning, I wasn’t totally feeling the book. I kept reading because I know K. Webster’s work and I knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed.
About 46% into the book I started to get very confused. I was like “What in the world is going on?” Then at about 60% I was like “I totally understand now!”
WHAT A PLOT TWIST!!!!
I never saw it coming. Like ever. But once it was reviled, everything made sense.
K. Webster is a genius. This story was amazing but it was also such a hard story to read. I takes you places that no-one would ever willing go and shows you what some people go through. This book is dark and can make you feel uneasy but it is totally worth it.
I wish I could put into words how much I loved this book but words cannot describe how this book made me feel.
At first I was only going to give this book like 3 1/2 stars but then I read the plot twist and everything made sense so…….I give this book 5 huge stars!!!
This is my top read of the year!
Heartbreaking. Heart wrenching. Dark. Wonderful. Captivating.
Ghost [ghost] noun: the soul of a dead person, a disembodied vague, shadowy spirit wandering among or haunting living persons; a mere shadow or semblance; a trace
This definition describes Ghost perfectly.
He supposed to be dead. He was so badly injured he had a closed casket. But he wanders among others, staying in the shadows.
Because he’s alive.
We all know from the last five books that Ghost is someone from a past book. We have been getting bits and pieces of him over time and now we finally find out who he is.
Ghost was dead. Clinically dead but he somehow survived with luck and amazing medical treatment. But because of his injuries, he does not look like himself anymore. He looks like a different person all together. This helps him stay hidden.
Ghost keeps to himself and he does this for many reasons.
To keep his past hidden.
To keep his family safe.
Even though his family thinks he is dead, he’s always been there. He’s been to every school play, every event, everything. But he always stays in the shadows, like a Ghost.
But when something happens and his family could be in danger, Ghost comes out of the shadows.
Mrs. Ghost (you didn’t really think I would tell you his wife’s name, did you?) has never moved on. Ghost was her one true love and she hasn’t been with anyone since. They meet when she was sixteen and never looked back.
But her whole life changes when a new neighbor tries to get close to her. She had no idea that agreeing to a dinner with this neighbor would set off a chain of events that would change her life all over again.
When Mrs. Ghost find out that Ghost is still alive….HOLY COW!!!!
That is probably one of the most powerful moments in the entire book. Probably one of the most powerful moments in the entire series.
What would you do to keep your family safe?
What would you do to right the wrongs from the pasts, even if they are not your wrongs?
What happens when you can’t fight the pull anymore?
What happens when you can’t stay away any longer?
You’ll have to read to find out……and when you do…..OHHHH MAN!!!!
When you find out who Ghost is, you are going to say “HOLY CRAP!”
When you find out why he stayed hidden for so long, you are going to be shocked! Like totally, completely shocked.
This book was absolutely amazing. Sebastian has always been my favorite but now I’m pretty sure Ghost has taken that number one spot.
I was crying by chapter two. Actually, I probably cried like every two to three chapters.
I loved how characters from the past made their way into this book. I love how all of Lani’s books tie together and you never know who is going to make an appearance.
Lani never lets me down with her books. She always out does herself and keeps me wanting more. Luckily, she always has more just around the corner to give us.
This story truly touched my heart. It is about true love and doing that needs to be done to protect your family. One underlying theme in all of Lani’s books is family. She shows that family is the most important thing in life. Whether it be blood family or a family that has bonded over the years, you stick together and help each other through the good times and the bad.
To the men and women who have fought for our country:
We see you, we thank you, we remember you, and we will never let you go.
I don’t even know where to start this book.
This book is heart wrenching and beautiful and breathtaking and amazing.
The story of Eli and Shelby is one of the most heart touching stories I have ever read.
Eli and Shelby fell in love at a young age but were never allowed to be together. Shelby came from a family of wealth and power while Eli came for my family just trying to get by.
When Eli left for the Marines, hearts were broken and lies were told.
What Shelby didn’t realize is that Eli would not come home. Eli would not survive the war.
So when she saw on the news one day that Eli had been rescued after being gone for over five years, her whole world turned upside down.
Eli never forgot about Shelby.
Shelby helped him survive his time with the enemy. His memories of her helped him get through each and every day. He knew it would not be easy coming home to her. He knew he broke her heart when he left but he was hoping he would be able to explain to her why he left the way he did.
Eli made promises and told lies to protect Shelby.
Shelby made promises and told lies to protect Eli.
But neither one of them know what the other has done.
With other people pulling the strings, can two people who are so broken find happiness? Can they heal each other or are they too far gone?
So let me tell you…… I cried so many times during this book. I had tears in my eyes before I was finished with the epilogue. That’s how I knew that this book ws going to touch my heart.
Eli went through terrible times while he was captured for those five year and Shelby went through her own terrible times while he was away.
And let me tell you, holy plot twist.
Reading their story and seeing all the pain they both went through was heartbreaking. They each went through different challenges during those five years but neither of them knew that they were what was keeping the other one going.
This is honestly one of the best books I have read this year and maybe one of the best books I have ever read.
Tara did an amazing job telling the story and making you feel what the characters were feeling.
It was raw and deep and truly amazing.
A Love Letter to Whiskey – Kandi Steiner
This book was just like a glass of whiskey. At times it was too strong and the burn hurt going down. And at other times, it was a smooth and perfect and the burn felt so good.
It was just him —the old friend, the easy smile, the twisted solace wrapped in a glittering bottle. It was just me —the alcoholic, pretending like I didn’t want to taste him, realizing too quickly that months of being clean didn’t make me crave him any less. But we can’t start here. No, to tell this story right, we need to go back. Back to the beginning. Back to the very first drop.
I don’t even know where to start on the story of Jamie and B (Brecks).
Their story isn’t rainbows and butterflies. Their story is deep and painful and dark but wonderful.
When Jamie and B first meet, she knows there’s something about him that special. She gets drawn into his eyes but then before her eyes, she watches Jamie fall for her best friend Jenna. This is not the first or only time that Jamie and B will watch each other fall for other people.
In the beginning, they become friends. They surf together they, they hang out together, they have a great friends relationship.
But B has secrets, family secrets and they will affect her relationships even when she doesn’t realize that they are.
As life goes on, Jamie makes B a proposition. That when he turns 30, if he’s not in a relationship or married, that they will get married. She thinks this is the craziest thing ever. He’s a hot, sweet man. There’s no way he’ll be single when he’s 30.
THE THING ABOUT WHISKEY is that the longer it sits in the barrel, the more it changes —and it never stops.
Throughout the story they grow. They graduate high school and move on to college. But no matter where B goes in life, Jamie somehow always shows up.
The problem is, every time they run into each other, someone is in a relationship or the timing is just not right.
But they do you have a few moments. A few moments that make you think “they’re going to be together, they can do this” but something always happens.
But as we all learn at a young age, what goes up, must come down. And oh how we crashed.
When they became adults, they both made promises and decisions that would affect the other person. Promises that ended up being broken and decisions that ended up breaking hearts.
Kandi, what in the world did you do to me during this book?
I don’t know how Kandi did it, but she was able to make me feel connected to these characters. Like I knew them. At times during this book she had me laughing, crying, yelling, crying some more, frustrated, and all the other emotions that you ever thought you could have. I’m pretty sure my husband thought I was crazy while I was reading this book.
The love they had for each other but would never admit it to each other drove me crazy. The back and forth, the arguing and fighting, but the love and affection showed you that there was something there, something true that was worth fighting for.
There were times when I wanted to throw the book across the room and yell “just to be together.”
That’s all I’m gonna say about the book because I don’t want to give more away than I already have.
This is a must read!! If you haven’t read it or you’ve debated reading it, don’t wait any longer, go read it!!
I also caught how Kandi references PSU in the book. Nice sneaking there.
Burn, Surrender, Shattered, and Twisted (Which releases on Dec. 26th, I had an ARC) (Books 5-8 of the Steel Brothers Saga) – Helen Hardt
In order to understand these books, you have to read them in order. These are books 5-8 of the series. Every three book is about a different brother.
First was Talon (Books 1-3), then Jonah (Books 4-6) and finally Ryan (Books 7-9….book 8 releases on Dec. 26th and book 9, not pictured, release on Feb. 13th)
These bothers will captivate your heart. You will love each one for different reasons and in a different way.
I can’t really talk to much about each book without giving major parts away, especially id you haven’t read them yet, but you will not be disappointed in this saga. (But you HAVE to start with book one, Craving)
Maverick: Mountain man, handsome, tattooed.
“He’s pure, beastly, godly, sculpted perfection from head to toe”
Riley: Sassy, tattooed, strong, sexy.
Maverick and Riley are instantly attracted to each other the first time they meet. Riley makes it known that she is interested in Maverick but Maverick knows the rules. He knows that he can’t have any type of relationship with someone he works with, especially because he is the boss.
What happens when you want something or someone you can’t have? What happens when the attraction becomes to much? What happens when the rules get broken?
Maverick and Riley find out the hard way what happens when you break the rules.
The question is, will they survive what happens or will it be the end of them?
Maverick and Riley have one of those relationships that everyone wants. But they also have struggles and hardships that get in their way. You want so badly for them to work out but you know there are obstacles that they have to overcome to get there.
I really enjoyed this book. I have always loved Karina Halle’s work and she did not disappoint in this one.
I know this is an older read but I read it for the first time this year.
Bree and Archer……Long story short – this was an exceptional book.
“Sometimes an understanding silence was better than a bunch of meaningless words.”
This story touched my heart.
Both Bree and Archer had been though events during life and both where fighting through them.
I fell in love with Archer during this book. He’s such a kind soul.
This book shows you that with love, anything is possible.
First you had Dylan, then a Garrett, and now Cole. What a group of men!!
I knew that I would fall in love with Cole from what I had read about him in the first two books.
You have Cole. He is still heartbroken from where Julia left him seven years earlier without an explanation. She was the love of his life and still is. He never moved on from her and now that she’s back in town he doesn’t know how to handle it.
You have Julia. She came back to town to help her pregnant sister and realizes that it some point she’s going to face her past. She left Cole without an explanation and doesn’t know how to handle her feelings when she sees him for the first time.
Cole and Julia’s story touched my heart.
In the beginning I was so mad at Julia for leaving Cole. I was wondering how she could leave such a great man behind with no explanation. But then the story deepen and I started to understand better why she did what she did. I was still mad at her but after hearing her explanation it made more sense to me.
Cole and Julia get a second chance at love, but can they get over the heartbreak and mistrust from their past? Can he forgive her for leaving him all those years ago, and can she forgive herself?
I absolutely loved the story. I had a feeling Cole would be one of my favorite stories from this group of men, and I was right. Without giving too much away this book talks about an issue in relationships that many people face, but thats never talked about publicly.
Karla outdid my expectations with this book.
Do you ever read a book and think “I know what happened”.
That’s what I did with this book and I was totally wrong!!
Evi Devil experienced a terrible childhood trauma.
She has alway wondered why her life was the way it was. Why she acted the way she acted.
“I was nine when I lost my memory. So whatever caused the scarring, or who, was lost. A blessing. A curse. Not remembering my life, even if it was horrible, is something that has shaped who I am.”
When information turns up about her past, Evi doesn’t know how to process it.
Is her past different than she had been told? What happens when everything she thinks she knows changes?
Ker is an evil genius. This book was amazing. You never knew what was coming next.
The plot twist in this book was crazy!!
I don’t want to give anything away but if you like dark and crazy, this book is for you!!!
For readers 18+
Trigger is a dark, sexy, MC book that will leave you craving more. It starts with a bang and holds your attention the entire time.
I love MC books. Sometimes though, they have the same theme over and over, but this one was very different.
First you have Trigger………He’s rough, scary, and sexy. He knows what he wants and he goes for it. He doesn’t do relationships or love, he screws and then moves on to the next one. He kills and smokes pot and doesn’t care what others think. Trigger had a rough life growing up and that has turned him into the man he is today. He is the president of the Devil’s Reach MC and knows no other life then this one. But when Tess shows up to his bar for a job, she might just be a game changer.
“Trigger was the kind of man power just seemed to ooze from, like Christian Grey, but different. Trigger’s was more raw and unpredictable. He screamed danger and sexy all at once.”
Then you have Tess………Tess is strong and beautiful, but most of all she is tough. She is not your typical heroine. She speaks her mind, even when it gets her in trouble and she isn’t afraid to do what needs to be done. Tess has escaped a rough life with the help of her friends Brick, who is also in the MC. When Tess meets Trigger, she is instantly drawn to him. Even though he says he doesn’t want a relationship, his actions say something different.
When Trigger and Tess’s pasts catch up to them, will they be able to survive? Will one wrong decision change everything?
This book does end with a cliffhanger and I am dying to see how their story ends.
J.L. Drake, what have you done to me with this book? This book will take you on a wild ride. Once I started it, I didn’t want to put it down. This is not J.L. Drake’s usual writing. She has written some dark stories before but this is way darker than anything she has ever done, and I loved it!
“I’ll break you” “Can’t break something that is already broken, Trigger.”
I love duel POV. The push and pull between Trigger and Tess will pull you into their story. The sexual tension is crazy. I loved how she made Tess a strong woman. Most MC books have a heroine that is weak and fragile but Tess is strong and tough. I think that really helped this book from being the “typical” MC book.
I loved who she incorporated her book Broken into this book and even had a character make an appearance.
P.S.: I am in love with Brick. I mean, who wouldn’t be in love with that man.
I definitely see a theme in your books! Looks like most are too dark for me. 🙂
These all look good. I think I need to go to an island somewhere just to read and catch up on my TBR
Interesting list. Not read any of them.
It would be too painful for me to try to narrow it down to 10 – excellent job!
Two of mine also made your list!
Cole looks absolutely amazing! Definitely one I need to read 🙂 Great list!
A love letter to Whiskey has been in my tbr list for sometime. I am going to start that one soon
All new books for me! I’m glad you found so many to love in 2017. 🙂
I hate books that end with a cliffhanger. Especially when you are all geared up to smash the antagonist down or something right?
Good list, I’ve read most of these and am awaiting DR2,
Some authors to check out are K Webster, Pepper Winters, T L Frazier, Helen Hunt, so many more that I found this year!!