2017 was an unusual reading year for me. Outside of the plethora of romance novels that have fallen into my hands, most of my ‘new books’ have been classics that I’m finally taking out of the TBR pile. While Wuthering Heights and Frankenstein were highlights of my reading year, they don’t exactly qualify as ‘Best of 2017’. In terms of newly published books, everything I could think of was a romance. Among those, I’ve realized my choices invariably involve either a favorite trope, or characters dealing with more serious, thought-provoking issues. I guess that’s what it takes for a book to still be on my mind months later.

The Sea King by C.L. Wilson

I think I could write my own novel just explaining things I liked about this book. It’s the second book in Ms. Wilson’s Weathermages of Mystral series, focusing on Princess Summer and her unique set of magical gifts. I don’t want to say too much about the plot, because one of my favorite things about this book was the many unexpected twists. The story is longer than average and feels like an epic, so prepare to settle in for a few days of reading.

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Still by Kennedy Ryan

This book is a strong contender for my Favorite Book of 2017. It’s the follow-up to Ms. Ryan’s Grip, continuing the story of rapper Grip and his manager Bristol, and thus doesn’t really stand alone. This book made me think, laugh, and cry. While definitely a romance novel, it touches on so many other issues, and it has stayed with me long after I set it down.

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Bountiful by Sarina Bowen

In a way, 2017 was the Year of Sarina Bowen for me. I began by catching up on her backlist when I was on vacation in January, and by the time she released Bountiful I was more than ready for it. Everyone – from the hero to his toddler— – does a lot of growing in this book, which I loved.

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Spellbinder by Thea Harrison

Fantasy novels filled my Kindle this year, and Thea Harrison is one of my favorite authors. I loved the insight into a previously villainous character in this book, and the way she deftly wove in the lore of Camelot. It’s a must-read for any fan (of fantasy or Ms. Harrison).

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Beard In Mind by Penny Reid

This was a riveting, if not always easy, book to read, as I expect it must have been to write. The heroine, Shelly, struggles with OCD—and I do mean struggles. While she clearly has a difficult time, it’s also wonderful to see Shelly reclaiming her life, and moving forward.

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A Touch of Frost by Jo Goodman
I’m a sucker for a Jo Goodman Western, and this book was no exception. A clever woman, a dashing and capable man, and some intrigue rustled up by bank robbers. I think there are few better ways to spend a weekend afternoon.

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Silver Silence by Nalini Singh

Here’s yet another favorite paranormal book I just couldn’t leave out. I’ve been following the Psy-Changeling series for ages, and I loved seeing its world shift in this book. There’s a lot going on in the universe Ms. Singh created, but in this book specifically there’s a new clan of charming, stubborn bears to fall in love with.

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