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In 2016 I discovered several new authors as well as an appreciation for a few I’d almost dismissed.  I looked for humor as well as great character moments in my top ten choices; however there were plenty of standout books that could have pushed this list to a top twenty.

 


 

The Mother Roadthe-mother-road by Meghan Quinn

A humorous look at a woman making peace with her mother’s legacy and finding a deep love with the man she left behind.  I laughed so much at this outrageous family road trip from hell.

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duke-of-my-heartDuke of My Heart by Kelly Bowen

A mature, confident business woman meet her match in a stubborn and intelligent Duke.  I loved the complex dance of their courtship but was more impressed with a fully realized independent woman who doesn’t surrender that strength to get her happy ever after.

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the-hunter

The Hunter by Kerrigan Byrne

No recent author does the dark and damaged Hero better than Kerrigan Byrne.  Her deft hand makes you feel deep compassion for a cold-hearted assassin, and yet there is so much warmth in his emotional awakening.

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usUs by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

After all of the declarations of love in the first book, Him, the author team follows it with a good look at what comes next for a man coming to terms with his bisexuality.  Partners deal with the stress of a relationship forced to remain in the closet and personal successes sometimes come at too high a cost.

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to-lure-a-proper-ladyTo Lure a Proper Lady by Ashlyn Macnamara

Many of my top picks for the year introduced heroes outside of the standard Wealthy Peer/Gentleman mold.  A cynical Bow Street Runner on the case for a Lady protecting her family had enough twists and turns to keep me guessing, but the highlight was the layered portrayal of both main characters finding true love together.

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forevermoreForevermore by Kristen Callihan – The Darkest London series was one of the best all-around Historical/Paranormal hybrids and this final installment was bittersweet to read.  Ms. Callihan wraps up loose ends, gives each character a satisfying ending and lets her fans enjoy one last look at this paranormal world full of incredible things.

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a-spring-deceptionA Spring Deception by Jess Michaels – Another common man finding love among the upper classes, in this case with the added twist of a secret identity throw into the mix.  Jess Michaels was a new to me author at the beginning of the year who quickly became an Auto-buy name by the end.

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do-you-want-to-start-a-scandalDo You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare

Awkward comedic situations, lighthearted characters and a whole lot of joy abound in a story that embraces the idea that opposites attract.  This book was just pure entertainment with no dark subtext or angst to get in the way of all the fun.

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unmasking-miss-applebyUnmasking Miss Appleby by Emily Larkin

When my fellow reviewer Caz recommends an author, I listen!  The typical Woman-in-Pants historical trope is set on its ear by folding in magical elements to create situations that ask interesting questions on personal identity.  Discovering this series was an unexpected treat.

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 Moonshadow by Thea Harrison –A book that revitalizes a popular series with new characters, new adventures and a surprising amount of heart.  Ms. Harrison takes full advantage of her self-published platform to write the story that fans like me will appreciate while also opening the door for new readers to discover this intricate paranormal world.

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