#BookRecommendations 2019 in Review

2019 In Review

Welcome! Welcome!
What a time! 2019 is coming to an end and that also brings the 2010s into retirement! With such an amazing year (and decade!) coming to a close, I figured I might as well do a recap of 2019s best books and some of my best books of the decade!
So. Here. We. Go.

Best 19 of 2019:
1. Kevin Miller’s Water War & The Great Grain Elevator Incident
In 2018 I was introduced to Milligan Creek by the author Kevin Miller. Who knew this reading relationship would blossom into one of my faves?! Lucky me was able to read TWO books from this series in 2019. The Water War and The Great Grain Elevator are full of wacky shenanigans that I wish I could have got into in my childhood. If you love Harry Potter and whimsical books along those lines, pick up this book! It’s less magic but more friendly neighbourhood chaos!
The Water War: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42611727-the-water-war
The Great Grain Elevator: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49004354-the-great-grain-elevator-incident

 

2. Cinder, Scarlett & Cress by Marissa Meyer
I ALMOST finished this series this year. Almost! This is one of my 2020 goals once I finally get my hands on Winter (which I just did when the UPS man strolled up as I was writing this post… so soon…). This fantastical fairy tale YA adaption is absolutely BONKERS. It is packed with alien craziness, technology (STEM at it’s finest!), fairy tale lore, and LOTS of romance (I’m a romance girl, fight me). I struggled with this series initially since my friends absolutely hated it, but when I finally sat down and read the book I was STUNNED. This series is addicting and definitely one of my top 2019 reads! Pick it up people!
The Lunar Chroncies, a.ka. my must read YA of 2019: https://www.goodreads.com/series/62018

 

3. Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead
Back in my teen years, Vampire Academy was on the top of my must read shelf. I re-read that series so many times I’m surprised I can’t quote the books! I knew Richelle Mead had one more adult series I hadn’t gotten my hands on yet, but when I stumbled upon Succubus Blues at a local charity book store I JUMPED ON IT. Was I disappointed? HECK NO! This urban fantasy novel is the adult version of Vampire Academy (but with a succubus, a sexy author, some sexy demons and more sex). If you loved Vampire Academy, pick this book up! It will not disappoint!
Don’t be blue, pick up this book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/235718.Succubus_Blues

 

4. For Her Own Good by Tamsen Parker
What did you expect? I WOULDN’T include one of my favourite authors on my 2019 top list? Tamsen Parker has been one of my faves for years and I was absolutely delighted to include all of her new 2019 books in my 2019 read pile. Her newest trial was a crazy sexy novel following some taboo romance and kinks. Dr. Lowry Campbell and Starla are one horribly sexy couple that break so many boundaries. And with quotes like “tongue like a whip”, this book is an absolute must from me!
If you don’t read this, I will encase you in carbonate: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49461017-for-her-own-good

 

5. Before the Rains by Dinah Jefferies
Historical romance is a touchy subject for me, but Dinah Jefferies may have woo-ed me over to the dark side. Eliza and Jay are one incredibly cute couple in this India inspired novel. I was blown away by Dinah’s incredible writing tone and descriptions and I can’t stop talking about it! It’s the 1930s and Eliza is a photographer. She’s enlisted to take pictures of the Indian royal family, and things don’t go according to plan.. What would you do if you fell in love with a prince?! This is an absolute must read that Goodreads introduced me to!
You’ll love this book as much as me if you just give it a try: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30900820-before-the-rains

 

6. Avalon Hall by Ruth Miranda
Like Tamsen Parker, Ruth Miranda is another author I am totally obsessed with and read with pure addiction. In this book, we follow Yseult, in Scotland, who has recently discovered some magical powers. Oh, and did I mention this book has King Arthur lore all over it? It’s like Ruth wrote this book with me in mind! This series is just getting started, but it’s fantastical and action packed style is an absolute thrill. I can barely hold my excitement, especially since Ruth Miranda left us on one killer cliffhanger…
Join my round table by grabbing this book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47842263-avalon-hall

 

7. 100 Tiny Tales by K. Kris Loomis
Ah, time for something a little different! Anthologies are one of my guilty pleasures because you get to read so many things in one collection. And then there’s K. Kris Loomis. She wrote one hundred stories with one hundred words (exactly one hundred. Get counting!). All of these bite sized fictions are so incredible (and if you haven’t heard about Flash Fiction before, you’ll be stunned – pun intended). Whether you want to binge the book like I did, or want something to keep you tied up to weeks, 100 Tiny Tales is a must read for fiction lovers!
Click this link 100 times (or not… that’s excessive): https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43526260-100-tiny-tales

 

8. Tiny House, Big Love by Olivia Dade
I love Property Brothers, which is a house building and fixing show housed on HGTV. So when I found out a twitter friend of mine had a book based on finding a home (similar to my Property Brothers addiction) I WAS IN. I’m so proud of this little book because it’s such a gem! It’s sweet, short and full of ooey gooey romance that makes me turn into a puddle! Lucy and Sebastian are the cutest friends to lovers couple that you’ll ever see! Plus, help out my indie author friends, they deserve all of the love!
Tiny Book, Big Love: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47158436-tiny-house-big-love

 

9. Fly With Me by Hudson Lin
Another romance, Briar?! Yes! Another cutie patootie romance! Hudson Lin wrote one flawless romance featuring the flight attendants Marco and Vivian. This contemporary romance finds these two getting entangled with one another and is just too darn cute not to share! I love Hudson Lin’s writing and I love that she features characters that feel REAL. If you love romance and haven’t checked out Hudson’s books, get on it!
Read with me:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43823638-fly-with-me

 

10. Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite
YA novels are hit and miss with me these days, but Dear Haiti, Love Alaine broke the mold! Years back in high school I had to do a presentation on Haiti, so I was more than excited to pick this book up. Ever since that grade nine project, I’ve been interested in Haiti and learning more about it. Seeing this book pop up in my local book stores made me giddy with excitement! Alaine is sent to live in Haiti due to some devastating circumstances (teenagers and their wild antics… I tell ya), and she learns a lot about her history and family values. I highly recommend this book! It’s one of the few 2019 reads I picked up twice because it’s just that good!
Dear Readers, Love Briar – read this book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41861731-dear-haiti-love-alaine

 

11. The Long, Hot Summer by Kathleen MacMahon
I stumbled upon this book by Goodreads (it’s recommendations can be absolutely amazing sometimes) and I was blown away. This miraculous story followsm ultiple generations of the MacEntrees family. There’s so much drama, big personalities, mischief and insanity that it was hard to put down! Think Big Little Lies but more comedy – it’s a definite must read from me. It’s such a shame this book barely has 60 reviews at the time I’m writing this post, because it was one stellar reads and tops my 2019 list!
Must read of the decade: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27416003-the-long-hot-summer

 

12. The Last Straw by Ed Duncan
I love a good thriller, but I rarely pick them up. Probably because romance makes my heart sing… but then came Ed Duncan. This requested review brought back the mystery and thriller genre into my life, and I was not disappointed! This is the second book in a series, but it was an easy book to jump into. When a young girl witnesses a bad carjacking, chaos ensues. A feud is brought to light and things will never be the same… If you love mysteries, thrillers and crime novels then grab this book!
This is the last straw if you don’t check out this book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36671089-the-last-straw

 

13. Peter Green and the Unliving Academy by Angelina Allsop
In 2019 I told myself I would read more middle grade and YA books, and that promise brought me many beautiful novels. Peter Green and the Unliving Academy is definitely in my top list for the year. I was floored by how magical this book was and surprised me by how much I needed a book like this in my life. In my personal, humble opinion it’s better than Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and a Series of Unfortunate Events. It tops my list with the amazing themes (friendship, family and growing up) and the fun fantasy it paints throughout the book. This book barely has 40 reviews on Goodreads, so help that book get its share of reviews! Pimp this book out my readers!
Find life in this Middle Grade Novel: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41824802-peter-green-and-the-unliving-academy

 

14. Virals by Kathy Reichs
Another YA/Middle Grade book apart of my 2019 goals: Virals. I love Kathy Reichs – she made Bones famous and Temperance Brennan was one of my teenage idols. In this book, we meet Tory Brennan (grandniece of Temperance) and her buddies. They become Virals (think of werewolves but not werewolves and demons but not demons… it’s complicated) while trying to save their town. I’ve almost finished this entire series, but it’d be a shame to only include half, so meet the introduction novel! This must read is super addicting and surprisingly a quick read (for having almost 500 pages… yup, it’s a long one but totally worth it!).
Get Exposed to this series: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17829789-virals

 

15. NYV: Goth by K.D. McQuain
This book on the list is kind of cheating. Overall, this entire series should be read but I only read the newest addition in 2019. It’s the second in the New York Vampire series but it is totally worth your time! R rated vampire drama packed with action and adventure. If you don’t become addicted to this book, I’d be surprised and disappointed! This series is dark, twisted and absolutely brutal!
Don’t make me bite you…: https://www.goodreads.com/series/182541

 

16. Yara’s Tawari Tree by Yossi Lapid
I might be an adult, but children’s books still get me feeling youthful and nostalgic! Yossi (Or Yosef) Lapid is a must read children’s author! If you’re looking to read an environmentally friendly novel that features excessively beautiful water colour pictures, this book will wow your socks off! This book is cute, light hearted and brings a smile to my face!
Picture books aren’t just for adults these days: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46373335-yara-s-tawari-tree

 

17. Nobody Gets Out of Catering Alive by Joe Montaperto
Joe’s a comedian, but my gosh does he write with style! This book follows catering (did the title give it away?) yet is super raunchy and hilarious. All of Joe’s books always knock my socks off, but this one was a real treat! If you’re looking for a memoir full of hilarity, insanity and realism, this book should be perched up on your shelf.
Comedy at it’s finest:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46002329-nobody-gets-out-of-catering-alive

 

18. Love Comes for the Bodyguard by Savannah Adams
Ah, romance again! Yes, I’m predictable! Tyler and Brianna are a match made in heaven, but they just don’t know it. If you’re looking for a brother’s best friend trope, you’ve got it! This super sweet, super sexy and super addicting book is a must read for my romance lovers. Childhood crush tropes always get me all giddy and this book was no exception! It’s the first in a series, so you know it’s only going to get better with more books on the way! Pick up this romantic comedy with a splash of suspense, and emphasize with my addiction:
Love Comes for the Reader: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45361462-love-comes-for-the-bodyguard

 

19. The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong
To finish with a strong Canadian author, here’s Kelley Armstrong’s YA stand alone: The Masked Truth. This book was INSANE (pun intended). After a brutal murder, Riley is struggling with some mental health issues. Her parents put her into a group therapy camp, and things go wrong fast. The teenagers with a variety of mental health issues are taken captive and being murdered left and right. Will the teens survive? Will they get out? Is there a bigger plot going on than they know? I was stunned by how insanely fast this thriller moves and I was floored by the surprise ending. Even I didn’t figure that one out! It’s a must read from me, as always with the marvelous Kelley Armstrong.
A+ for The Masked Truth: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24733600-the-masked-truth

So, that’s it! 19 books from 2019! It was hard to pick since I read almost 200 books this year. Some of my fave 2019 books weren’t here because I felt like they deserved a bigger spot on the 2010s summary list.

Am I right? Am I wrong? Did I forget something? Let me know! There’s so many books out there I’m sure I missed some epic 2019 books I will need to put on my TBR!

#BookReview Fly With Me by Hudson Lin

 

If you’re looking for the cutest romance ever, pick up this tremendously amazing book by Hudson Lin.

The always fabulous Tamsen Parker introduced me to Hudson Lin, and one thousands thanks for her! Hudson Lin has been a recent favourite of mine so I jumped at the chance to pick up another book by this incredible author.

Fly With Me is an adorable, short novella by Hudson Lin following two flight attendants in Europe. Vivian Ng is a headstrong, feisty lady who can hold up her own. Marco Chang is a sexy, well intended man who forgets he met Vivian years ago. When their lives collide, they collide hard!

I love that this book features diverse characters – Asian-Canadians, a bisexual man, Asians from Peru, just to name a few. This book doesn’t force the diversity upon you, it just is. It’s natural, which is absolutely lovely. It felt like the world I live in – there are many diverse people all around, and we get to follow the story of two of them.

Vivian being so head strong made me relate to her on a very personal level. She loves her parents, wants to make sure they are taken care of and doesn’t want anybody telling her what to do. She butts heads with Marco a fair bit, but they end up building quite the friendship. Add a dash of romance, and this book just screams “BRIAR YOU NEED TO READ THIS”.

Overall, I loved this sweet book! It’s short enough to binge, lovely enough to fall in love with and fits wonderfully on my always decreasing space on my Kindle (haha…whoops!).

I highly recommend this book if you love short romances, diversity, novels set in Europe, and Canadian stories.

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book via Hudson Lin’s subscriber list.

 

You can find this book on:

Kobo
Barnes & Noble
Indigo, Chapters, Coles – Canadian Bookseller
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

 

If you liked this book or review, check out another you might enjoy!
#BookReview Three Months to Forever by Hudson Lin
#BookReview The Inside Track by Tamsen Parker
#BookReview Dare to Dream by Hudson Lin from the Rogue Nights Anthology Collection

 

And give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

 

#BookReview Rogue Ever After Anthology Collection by Tamsen Parker, Hudson Lin, et al.

This final collection in the Rogue series has proven to be another lovely addition!

This LGBTQ+ book is full of sweet (and sometimes sexy!) stories. F/F, M/M, poly and more, with each having a different focus. Some of the stories center around politics, Hollywood and even just good, old-fashioned relationships.

I can’t get enough of these short stories, because they are so easy to slip into. They aren’t difficult to follow, they make me smile, and I just love these authors. Since every story is different, you get a really good mix of romance and erotica.

I focused on three stories from the collection, but all of them were marvelous.

Hudson Lin’s Ipso Facto ILU follows Jonny and Brandon, who are OMG levels of cuteness. Brandon is a political science PhD candidate and Jonny is a famous podcaster. Following their super sweet love story was such a treat! Brandon’s shyness and adorable nature made me love this couple oh so much! Throw in some funny lines about Zest body soap and Canadian references and you’ve got me totally engaged in this story. Honestly, it felt like a fan girl’s heaven. This story was definitely a 5 out of 5 stars for me!

Ainsley Booth’s Love Your Love was a lovely poly romance which following Win and Penny (and Tanya, you can’t forget about Tanya). Cute crushes, spooning and fun quotes about beaming and blooming flowers fill this little story up. I like Ainsley’s way with words – it somehow felt so elegant yet so natural! This story moved very quickly and felt a little shorter to me, but it was still super sweet. 5 out of 5 stars!

And to top it off, Tamsen Parker’s Starlet Struck shed some light on causes AND included some super sexy F/F romance. Archer and Hadley make one wild pair – an activist and a Hollywood actress. The characters bring up causes dear to their heart, like the Rivera House which helps homeless LGBTQ teens, and I have to say that made me respect this book even more! At the end, we get the hottest ending that will rock most erotica fan’s socks off. The tension that built up to that part made it even better than I expected! Five out of five stars!

Overall, this is a great anthology for romance and erotica lovers. It’s definitely an R rated book, but it’s worth the read if you love some sexy scenes.

Five out of five stars.

Thank you to Tamsen Parker for providing me a copy of this book to review.

 

Check out this anthology on:
Goodreads
Kobo
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
Indigo / Chapters / Coles – Canadian Retailer

 

Check out my other reviews from this series:
#BookReview Rogue Hearts (Anthology) by Tamsen Parker, Amy Jo Cousins, and more
#BookReview Rogue Affair by Adriana Anders, Tamsen Parker and more!
#BookReview Rogue Desires by Tamsen Parker, Adriana Anders, Amy Jo Cousins and more!

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview Three Months to Forever by Hudson Lin

 

I have instantly found a new author to binge read! Hudson Lin has created one fantastic novel that has blown my mind!

Three Months to Forever is a short yet sweet novel about two impressive men falling in love in in Hong Kong. Add in the fact that Canada is also a big part of this book, and you have me instantly hooked! Hudson Lin really did these communities justice with this book, since it is beautifully crafted and respects the cultures.

If I had to compare it, I’d say it was a beautiful Romeo and Juliet -esque story with a splash of Fifty Shades of Grey (but way better, of course). It is R rated though, due to the incredibly sexy scenes Hudson depicts throughout the book. I did find the dominance aspect of the book to be a little repetitive (since it seems to be in every book these days), but that didn’t make me want to put the book down.

One major part of this book was the relationship between Sai and his parents. I think the book managed to pull this relationship off and explain the subtleties in an understanding tone. I felt like I understood how Sai felt, even if I hadn’t experienced a similar relationship before. I also really liked that there was some ethical issues being discussed. Bringing light to some of the darker sides of business within a romance novel was a nice change within this genre!

It’s a fast paced book and follows a very typical narrative, but it still felt so different and real. It’s rare to find a good book that opens itself up to so many different communities AND that’s a good read. I’d highly recommend it, especially if you love romance! It’s high tier reading, and it’s not too long so you can easily binge it.

This book is worth every single penny! I want more by Hudson Lin ASAP and I want more readers to be picking up this author’s book! What a gem! This book deserves all of the stars!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author Hudson Lin in exchange for an honest review.

 

Find out more about this book and Hudson Lin on:

Goodreads – Three Months to Forever

http://www.hudsonlin.com/

Twitter – @hudsonlinwrites

Amazon.com – Three Months to Forever

Amazon.ca – Three Months to Forever

 

Are you going to read this book? Do you have another suggestion for a book you want to be featured on this blog? Give me a shout out on Twitter! @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview Dare to Dream by Hudson Lin from the Rogue Nights Anthology Collection

Due to time constraints, I was only able to read Hudson Lin’s story. But, if the rest of these stories are half as good as Dare to Dream by Hudson Lin, then this anthology is absolutely fantastic!

This story follows Diego and Derek, two laws students, and their growing bond. Diego is a DACA recipient who learns the importance of standing up for what you believe in. Not only is there some super sexy scenes between Diego and Derek (because, we all know how magical Hudson Lin is with her romance/sexy writing abilities) but there is a lot of character growth within this short story.

I would definitely recommend this anthology series – I’ve read many of the previous ones. The political themes that are mixed in with romance (and sometimes erotica) make this a unique set of stories that don’t fit the typical romance mold. Not all stories will work for all readers, but you are guaranteed to have at least one story you love or can relate to.

My biggest problem was that this story was way too short! I want more from each of these stories!

Five out of five stars!

I received an advanced reader’s copy because I am apart of Hudson Lin’s ARC review team!

 

If you are interested in this book, you can locate it on:

Goodreads

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Kobo

Barnes & Nobles

Chapters/Indigo/Coles

 

Check out my other review of the Rogue anthology series:

#BookReview Rogue Hearts (Anthology) by Tamsen Parker, Amy Jo Cousins, and more

#BookReview Rogue Affair by Adriana Anders, Tamsen Parker and more!

#BookReview Rogue Desires by Tamsen Parker, Adriana Anders, Amy Jo Cousins and more!

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter and Facebook!