A love of reading, actually a love of Kristen Ashley books, brought us together and that same love of reading (and for each other) helped us not only face a difficult year but completely kick its ass.
2017 was not kind to the three of us at Edgy Reviews. Sparkles and I both had some serious health battles to fight and Lily not only went back to work full time, she lost a loved one right before Christmas. Being on different continents, you’d think we wouldn’t be as close as we are, but that is not the case. As we each battled our own personal wars, the others were with us every step of the way, soothing fears, crying tears, and celebrating each and every step forward. Despite the difficult situations we each faced, we did find things to celebrate. Not only personal triumphs but also some damn good reads.
Although we each differ in which romance genres we gravitate too, there is plenty of overlap to keep us chatting and doing buddy reads. The anticipation of waiting for a highly looked forward to new release, the teasing, the trash talking involved when only one of us got an ARC, the all-nighters pulled along with the late night discussions, and the handholding through the darker reads provided needed distractions for some of those tough days.
There can be only ten, but we had many great books that could have been on here. With all that being said, I’d like to thank every author who made it onto our Top Ten lists, and many who didn’t. Each word written is a gift given. You give us the means to escape, even if for just a little while, our trials, tribulations, and problems. The book buzz you create within us can and did give us the energy to fight another day or face another battle. You put smiles on our faces when we were feeling down, and made us cry tears for characters who faced even worse and then persevered. Best of all, the authors we’ve discovered since we came together continue to help sustain and feed our friendship as we chat about the latest reads we happen upon.
We have lots of plans for 2018, but if it throws us some curveballs, we’ll make it through with each other and some good books.
Each book on this list was read and adored by at least two of us, and several got the nod from all three. Over the next several days, we’ll also give you each of our individual Top Ten Reads of 2017.
Edgy’s Top Ten of 2017 (well, twelve if you are really counting)
This is why we do buddy reads. Fury had the love story Sparkles needs, the darkness and suspense Lily craves, and the grit and action that I love. Believe me, this is one dark read. We urged each other on, talking about the places along the way where things eased up. It’s the survival of an impossible but enduring love despite the circumstances that made the darkness fall away for all three of us. This is a must read book and a spinoff of one of our favorite series.
Like all of Kristen Ashley’s Rock Chicks, we had been waiting for Daisy and Marcus’ story and were thrilled to finally get it. We knew this wasn’t going to be an easy story, but as only KA can do, she filled it with beauty. Marcus was every bit the alpha hero Daisy deserved and won us over with his own brand of romantic badass. Even though it’s a prequel to the Rock Chick series, it serves as the best epilogue ever.
We know when we start a Suzanne Wright book we get a story full of hotness, sexy times, dirty, dirty mouths and lots of action and Fierce Obsession did not disappoint. With Tao, we hit the dirty talking alphahole motherlode and we also got a strong heroine more than up for the challenge of taking Tao on. Both Sparkles and I read this in practically one sitting. This is a must read book and one hell of a good series.
We can’t tell you how excited we are that KA is giving us a new series to devour. After reading the synopsis we were a bit nervous, but once again KA gave us pure romance gold. This was a mostly relationship driven romance along with lots of feels. Oh, and it was sexy—really sexy.
Both Lily and I are huge Lauren Gilley fans, but even we were surprised she could make us, the queens of dark and grit, fall in love with an 88 page M/M holiday romance. It’s hard to call a book sweet when the main character has to work through such a dark past, but this fits the bill. Shaman was quick, dark, and delightful plus it brought home what the holidays are all about: family, in whatever form it comes.
In a perfect world, every woman would have her own personal version of Knox: he’s a hot, sexy, driven, completely overprotective, alpha hero and best of all he has magic psychic hands and he knows how to use them. Harper is his perfect heroine: she’s badass in her own right, loyal, driven, and strong enough to stand up to Knox, but aware that without her he’d burn the world down, literally. Action-packed and filled with secondary characters that are fascinating in their own right, both Sparkles and I loved Ashes. I finished with a goofy-assed grin on my face. We can’t wait for the next one.
American Hellhound by Lauren Gilley
American Hellhound has everything you want in an MC/Biker Romance: action, suspense, an anti-hero, a strong heroine, brotherhood, anarchy and danger. As I read, I decided that the story could have been titled Atonement. This was Ghost atoning for the sins and decisions of the past, but also a healing of sorts brought on by forgiveness – not only for wrongs done but a forgiveness of self. It was beautifully written, gritty, and showcased an imperfect couple who were perfect together. This is a case of a book being completely worth the wait.
No prissy Prince Charming to be found here! Shade didn’t topple Horse from his throne, but he got close. Shade’s Lady was sweet, witty, funny and sexy as hell with just a touch of grit and ended up being my idea of the perfect little biker fairytale.
This is a story that has stayed with Sparkles even weeks after she’d read it. She even described it as the best secret baby book she’d ever read. This is a story of broken trust and how not all breaks can be mended along with fantastic and funny writing, sexy shenanigans, and compellingly quirky characters. Since both Sparkles and Lily are enthralled by this series, I know it’s going at the top my of TBR list for 2018.
Dear Aaron is much more than a slow burn romance, weaving in fun banter, realistic life struggles, and situations where characters strive to be better people. Get ready for several corny jokes, some OTT personal revelations, and awkwardness between a couple as they get to know each other in a gentle and caring way. Ms. Zapata managed to get both Lily and me to slow down a bit and enjoy life in the slow burn lane.
Yes, I said there can be only ten, but there were actually 12 books worthy of our Top Ten. Ten is such a relative thing, right?
Gifts blew away Sparkles to the point she had a hard time writing her review. This thrilled me to no end because Gifts was a book I actually beta read for Brynne Asher. I generally don’t rate books that I beta read. I will say if I did rate Gifts, it would be 5+ stars. Asa was the perfect alpha hero: funny, bossy, and sexy as hell. His chemistry with Keelie, who was pretty awesome in her own right, was off the charts. It made me sad that it didn’t make our top ten on a technicality. As my favorite beta read ever and the fact it’s a fantastic book, it deserves a spot.
Complicated was an old school Kristen Ashley romance that both Sparkles and I absolutely loved. It came out during a time when we both sorely needed a pick-me-up. It was a five-star read for us both but neither of us was up for reviewing it. Since we don’t actually have a review on the blog for it, it was another casualty of a Top Ten technicality. I can tell you this had everything we love about KA in it: an alpha-hole who needs to get his head out of his nether regions, hot chemistry, quirky characters, and a great location.
- Pivot by Kat Martin, Alexandra Ivy, & Rebecca Zanetti - July 22, 2020
- The Unseen by Thea Harrison - July 16, 2020
- Desolation Road by Christine Feehan - July 7, 2020
- Healing of the Wolf by Cherise Sinclair - July 3, 2020
- Ancient Protector by Katie Reus - June 29, 2020
- Lone Star by Lauren Gilley - June 5, 2020
- Dream Maker by Kristen Ashley - May 26, 2020
- Prodigal Son by Lauren Gilley - May 20, 2020
- When He’s Dark by Suzanne Wright - May 4, 2020
- Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh - February 24, 2020