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The Best of 2021: Lisa’s List

This was one heck of a weird year, and yet it was filled with wonderfully smooth and solid writing. I had to do a bit of judicious trimming to get to ten favorites this year, but I managed.  These books are listed in no particular order of preference and all are excellent.

Wild Rain by Beverly Jenkins

You know it’s been a solid year for romance when this is the first book I mention. My favorite Jenkins of all time, with an unforgettable heroine.

Buy it at: AmazonAudible or your local independent retailer

The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary

Beth O’Leary, like Gregory Ashe and Kate Clayborn can do no wrong in my eyes.  The Road Trip is no exception to that rule.

Buy it at: AmazonAudible, or your local independent retailer

How to Wed a Courtesan by Madeline Martin

Talk about tugging heartstrings.  This beautiful second-chance love story about did me in.

Buy it at: Amazon or your local independent retailer

After Dark with the Duke by Julie Anne Long

Julie Anne Long put out two historicals this year and this one – which has gotten well-deserved As across the board – is fabulous to the core.

Buy it at AmazonAudible or your local independent retailer

So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix by Bethany C. Morrow

My only A+ of the year, and for good reason.  An amazing book.

Buy it at: AmazonAudible, or your local independent retailer

My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones

I love horror movies.  I adore the tropes attached to them.  “My Heart is a Chainsaw” is about an abused teenager who realizes her town is being subjected to serial murders and tries to help train a local popular girl as a ‘final girl’.  Wonderful, heartbreaking, gorgeous.

Buy it at: AmazonAudible, or your local independent retailer

The Sentence by Louise Erdrich

Louise Erdrich is another author who can do no wrong. The Sentence is a perfect novel about enduring love, fresh  starts, and the hell that was 2020.

Buy it at AmazonAudible or your local independent retailer

Not Quite a Marriage by Bliss Bennet

The best historical romance I’ve read all year.  Literate, grown-up, filled with yearning and lust and beauty.

Buy it at Amazon or your local independent retailer

Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

I’ve never read a better novel about what love truly means. A teenager gifted with the ability to know how any love affair will end must decide if she wants to risk her heart on her ballroom dance partner.  Gorgeous.

Buy it at: AmazonAudible, or your local independent retailer

Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong

This second part of Gong’s retelling of Romeo and Juliet provides the most satisfying conclusion to a YA series I’ve read since Mackenzi Lee’s Gentlemen’s Guidebooks.  A perfect novel,

Buy it at: Amazon, Audible, or your local independent retailer

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