Friday, January 5, 2018

TBQ's 2017 Favorites

Now that 2018 is well underway, it's time for us to share our 2017 favorites. I've broken this up into three posts, one for each of our lists. You can find Jen and Pat's lists HERE and HERE.


And finally, I'm sharing my favorites romances from 2017:



I am a horrible procrastinator.


No really, I am. I set the date for these lists more than a month ago. Yet I only put together my list, oh, 6 days ago.


I tried to focus on the books that made me happy, left me in a major book hangover, hit me with allllll the feels, or just plain made my reading year better. I didn't approach this list as "Which 2017 books were the best written?" or "Which 2017 books were the best books EVER?", and because of that I ended up with the books that I am genuinely glad that I read this year, rather than just ones that I liked/enjoyed/loved at the time but remember jack shit about now.


Also, favorite quotes *might* have went into the picking process. Because Reader Priorities: I have them. Especially the sexy quotes . . . . Which surprise exactly NO ONE EVER.


Much like Jen's list, I am NOT going to rank these in any sort of order. You just get them as they appeared during my GR search. Enjoy!





Nine Kinds of Naughty by Jeanette Grey
My Review


Why?


This was my first 5 star read for 2017, as well as my first time reading Grey. And I am so damn glad I found this book, and this author, because DAMN, this was perfect. Seriously sexy, deliciously dirty, and emotionally satisfying. BDSM done very, very well.

Basically, this entire story is as much about the hot, kinky sex as it is the deeper emotions -- both the emotions they experience together in their relationship and the emotions that they each go through while coming to terms with who they are and what they want.









Ashwin by Kit Rocha


Why?


Oh, Ashwin. God, I have a total weakness for the super-protective-but-not-an-alphahole hero. I also have a weakness for the Strong, Silent, and Nearly Robotic hero who slowly thaws because of his partner.

This book gave me:
~ FEEEEELS
~ Intense fucking chemistry. And intense fucking, period.
~ A new brotherhood, and the fun dynamics within it, to explore
~ Also, a tiny peek at Rachel/Ace/Cruz

As hot as this was, their relationship development isn’t just about the sex, and I loved all of that, too. Who wouldn’t fall for a hero who can turn washing clay off her hands into an erotic experience? Or a hero who spends years filling a safehouse with things that she’ll love? Oh, Ashwin.






Daily Grind by Anna Zabo
Review


Why?


Ridiculously hot. SERIOUSLY. And I loved it. But it's also sweet/charming, and there's great flirting (especially the first few chapters). There's angst, yes, but it comes in the form of Brian struggling to balance job/life/relationship -- and more importantly, realize that asking for help is OKAY.


This was my first time with Zabo, and I'm so glad I found their books this year. I still need to binge their backlist, but what I have read, I've loved.










Royally Matched by Emma Chase


Why?


My wickedly fun playboy with a heart of gold, brought to his knees by a shy librarian. *happy sigh*


Loved their story -- especially the last chapter or so (including epilogue) which gave me ALL the happy sighs for these two.


Sexy -- though it's a slow burn for a while; nothing until around 70% or so -- but funny and sweet and with some punches of good emotion, too.








Driven to Distraction by Olivia Dade


Why?


This wasn't my first Dade book, but it was my favorite. Again, loved that I found a new author!

Con and Sam's story so much. Fun and super sexy and I could relate to Con on a few things.

I loved their banter and the fight-'em-and-fuck-'em tension that they had going on.

I loved that Con was the one who just wanted sex and took control of her own sexual agency. Also, Same is such a great match for her; she's sexually confident, but he's her equal and their scenes were ridiculously sexy. I mean, really, really sexy. There's even a desk quickie in the bookmobile.






Royal Affair by Marquita Valentine


Why?


I loved these two -- such a sexy read, and lately I'm a sucker for royalty romances. This one hit the spot for me perfectly.

There's a scene or two where the heroine is the one telling the hero to let go and orgasm and I just . . . damn, that's a weakness for me.

I’ve been a long-time fan of Valentine’s work, and I love that she’s done a royal series, and one that’s different – their being in exile, the crown passing through the women rather than the men, etc. And let’s not forget the dirty-smutty-goodness, which was fantastically done. Royal Affair is my first Valentine in a while, but it reminded me all over again why I love her writing. If you need a new royal series to enjoy, this one should be on your list!






By The Hour by Roni Loren


Why?


Super sexy but also angsty-complicated. Loren does both so well.

Their story starts with a one-night stand that was inevitable – the two throw sparks whenever they’re in the same room, but they also throw jabs. It’s quite literally a hate-fuck dynamic at first, though it’s 100% consensual, I assure you. They can’t stand one another, but in this one area, in the privacy of a bedroom, they can’t fight that attraction. Even so, it’s not like they’re suddenly cuddly and sweet when alone. Oh, hell no. They may not be able to turn away from the sexual pull, but they don’t back down, either, still sparring and clashing all the way to the post-orgasm glow.


I loved their dynamic, their banter and chemistry and delicious friction. Lane is a dominant, but Elle is no submissive. However, when they’re together, she somewhat submits to him, while still maintaining her own strength and dominance, too. Needless to say, it causes a ton of heat. I mean, A FUCKING TON. And because it’s Roni Loren, you bet your ass it’s A++ dirty-smutty-goodness going on here.






Silver Silence by Nalini Singh


Why?


*insert fangirl squeeing*

*insert ALL THE HEART EYES*

^ My feelings on this book, basically.

Valentin is EVERYTHING a good hero should be. BRB, still swooning over him. He’s a strong, compassionate, and hella competent alpha but he’s NOT a pushy alpha to anyone, especially to Silver. He fucking WOOS her, is patient as hell with her, and does all these little things to take care of her during the course of the book. He is truly perfect and I love him and he had my ass swooning so many times through the book. I mean for goodness sake, he nicknames himself her teddy bear!






Small Change by Roan Parrish


Why?


Oh damn, I loved this book. Absolutely, completely loved it. It's sexy and emotional but is also ridiculously adorable and sweet. Christopher is such a sexy sweetheart and I want to keep him! :)

There were so many great moments between these two, so many quotes that I highlighted (….like, a shit ton and I’m not even sorry for it). I just loved these two, loved seeing them slowly open up to each other. Ginger’s knee-jerk reaction is always to pull away, to lash out, because she fears having people get close and then hurting and leaving her. And she does do this to Christopher; I saw that “Oh, shit, no, Ginger” moment coming and it definitely hurt me almost as much as it hurt both of them. But they do get through it in the end, and I believed in their relationship 100%.






Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai


Why?


FEELS. Angst. Sexy. Lovely.

SO DAMN GOOD.

Yet I was still surprised when I reached the end of Hate to Want You and had to control myself and my feels – I wasn’t expecting so many feels! I knew there was going to be enemies(kinda)-to-lovers drama between them, but I didn’t realizing the level of angst and emotions that would be there, too. And that’s not a complaint! I loved every angsty moment between these two. As well as loving their complicated relationship (second chance + we-shouldn’t-be-doing-this-but-shit-I-can’t-move-past-you-so-where-does-that-leave-us + family drama still going strong).


And their chemistry! Oh, fuck, but the chemistry though. Rai knows how to write a fantastic dirty book, and she proves that once again. They spark -- in and out of the bedroom, of course. But in the bedroom? It’s a damn wildfire of dirty-smutty-goodness.






Citywide by Santino Hassell


Why?


I freakin' loved all three stories here. They all gave me feels. They were all hot and sweet and just perfect. (Or, almost perfect -- they are novellas, after all, and I'm always a bit harder on my grading for them, and solid 5s are really rare for me.) But these 3 novellas came awfully close, I assure you!


Diverse stories and pairings, tons of sex (also very diverse and unashamed and super sex positive, yay!), all wrapped up in Hassell's fantastic writing and snark.

I could have put any of Hassell's books on my list -- they are all excellent, whether he's writing alone or his series with Megan Erickson -- but I decided to go with this one because it's not just an M/M story, like all his previous books, but rather one M/M (er, technically M/M/M), one F/F (technically she is genderqueer but uses she/her pronouns), and a M/F. I'm so looking forward to Hassell writing more of the latter two stories -- and any other gender pairing -- in the future!











This is by no means the only books I loved in 2017, but hey, I had to narrow it down somehow!

If you want to see ALL the books I read in 2017, check out my GR.

And if you want to see ALL the books I read in 2017 and gave 4 1/2 and 5 stars to, check out this GR page.



What books made YOUR list for 2017?




Enjoy!





Until Next Time,

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