How can you measure love? Is it by numbers? Hell No!
Therefore no explanation is required for my Top 20 reads for 2017 ❤️
Let me share how I narrowed my list down to twenty!
The books below reflect my love of suspenseful, action packed, forbidden and dark reads. I was pleasantly surprised (and somewhat relieved) to discover a couple of not so dark reads in amongst my list.
What works for me in a Contemporary based story is the calibre of the writing. The Ghostwriter exemplifies my need for content over steam. The Cad and The Co-ed fed my yearning for misunderstood characters whom no one expected would make it as a couple. Then there was Sincerely Carter which represented my need for escapism!
Argh, but now to lament about the books that put the jewels in my Edgy Dark Queen crown. The darkness and mind f#cks I am addicted to are my trope of choice. More often than not they are set in organised crime, a genre which filled my metaphorical stable of thoroughbred melt your iPad/Kindle worthy heroines and their men. This is a collection of characters who won me over with their strength, wit, resilience and the goodness I like to believe exists in all people, no matter what path life takes them down.
Without further ado (insert drum roll, a possible trumpet and bring on a few fireworks!) here’s my list of my favourite 2017 books!
BTW: All books I’ve noted as being available on Kindle Unlimited or Freebies were as it appeared on my view of Amazon Downunder at the time of writing this post, always check before 1-Clicking x
Lily’s Top Ten…Or So
(In no particular order)
Lord have Mercy! Dartmoor is a biker series which stands out because of Lauren Gilley’s fantastic writing, and her ability to bring to life the hottest, sweetest and feared Cajun Lean Dog, namely, Mercy! An epic read, American Hellhound has everything you want in an MC/Biker Romance: action, suspense, anti-hero, strong heroine, brotherhood, anarchy and danger.
Second generation books are akin to the icing on a red velvet cake. Cross and Catherine are a couple of offspring that didn’t fall far from the family tree. Their story is a beautiful saga of love succumbing personal and family obstacles. The characters are larger than life, entrenched in a dangerous life and yet they go about their day as if the business exchanges they are embroiled in are akin to an enthusiastic walk in the park. This is Mafia family drama at its best!
If you enjoy your characters on the ruthless side, let me introduce you to London Miller’s mercenaries. They play just as hard as they love. Calavera is a woman who radiates confidence, ability, and determination. This book kept my heart racing and my mind constantly in a state of alert.
This is not a romance but a story within a story with the love featured being platonic in nature and beautifully depicted. The challenging subject matters broached in this story will be tough for readers with triggers but be assured that the majority of the content took me on a selfless journey of healing. This story will stay with you well beyond the final chapter but I recommend this is a book to go into blindly!
Unraveled is a fine example of why I hold back from rating each book I love 5 stars. This is the story of how Gian Guzzi, the smooth-talking and well attired mobster meets Cara Rossi, the strong-willed redhead who wants nothing to do with ‘this life of theirs’! It deals with loss, love and detachment with all the intensity you would expect in a mafia romance.
Undeserving’s true beauty was in the poignant conversations shared between father and daughter as well as the humour interlaced during the brief time sunshine filled Preacher’s world. The Undeniable series features in just about every top MC/Biker recommended reading list out there. When I rate books 5 stars in a favourite series, it has either met or exceeded my expectations, making Underserving a 5+ star read.
The Original Sinners is my benchmark for all other erotic tales. The essential ingredient is the storytelling, not the lifestyle. My true love for this story lay in Nico’s gentlemanly mannerisms and the grounding effect he has on Nora. He lives for simplicity while indulging Nora every step of the way.
Mateo, Mateo, Mateo. A villain who possesses charm and confidence suffice to blindly woo me into his trust. His ability to coerce and corrupt is beyond comprehension at times, but here I am talking about him. This is more about a powerful man and his family rather than the business side of the mob. If you crave a dark, dominant and devious man, let me introduce you to Mateo Morelli.
Cat Porter mustered up an emotional whirlwind in Fury. Fury is an MC/ biker story with the spotlight more on a couple than the brotherhood. It features the tale of two tortured souls, their survival, and their ability to not allow the evil acts of others to impair the strong connection they built. While they survived, their journey was marred with the aftermath depicted in the first chapters.
Susan Fanetti writes her MC/biker reads just the way I like them. Jenny has a tough story to tell. Maverick has an equally rough time. Together their stories bring together a heartfelt story of survival and trust. This is a book full of raw emotion, with the characters who encounter hardship and danger in their lives. The details aren’t sugar-coated but neither has anything been added for shock value.
I avoid beginning a review with the word ‘wow’ but then there are times when I simply have no other way of conveying my reactions to a book. Menace showed how a man was defined by nature not nurture. Be prepared for a harsh introduction to these characters before being rewarded with a reassuring strong resilient hero who battles hard for the woman he loves. A good example of good radiating brighter because of the contrasting darkness it had to travel through.
The Cad and the Co-Ed (Rugby, #3) by L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid
I fell for the forbidden aspect of this story as well as the fun light times melded into a scenario that was potentially doomed, or would be if word got out about their relationship to family and friends. The Cad and the Co-Ed was a page turner that had me smiling more than I can recall while reading a book in a long time. I can’t recommend this series highly enough. It is fresh, well-paced and downright entertaining.
This story is raw, sensual and harrowing. Knowing more about the ending then the characters did was a strange way to approach a book. What pleasantly surprised me was despite the details available through previous books, I still found my inner Nancy Drew was awakened as the suspense continued to build. What I loved about this story, is it provided the back story to a mysterious woman connected to a notorious mafia man.
Time travel wasn’t my catalyst to read this book, rather a well grounded respect for Tiffany Reisz’s writing. This is one of the few time travel books that have captured my heart since reading Outlander. The Night Mark upheld my fascination for time-travel through the depiction of people who were able to embrace and exist in a modern world just as enthusiastically as a long gone era.
A story steeped in a forbidden playground provided an interesting study of unconventional relationships in a sensual and frank setting. I loved the way JA Huss captured the sensory experience of the heroine in Taking Turns, allowing the reader to access the inner sanctions of the minds of others. Heads up (pardon the pun) I counted four players in their game of seduction.
The Wild Bunch and The Den of Mercenaries series are interwoven magnificently through an overarching mystery developing between them. What I can’t get enough of in each of the series is the depth of the characters and why they do what they do. Their indifference they portray when on a mission is counterbalanced by the risk they take in committing to a relationship.
I thoroughly enjoyed Shade’s Lady but I am still pondering whether I was actually left wanting or I just can’t get enough of this series. As with the Underserving MC series, this is one I continue to follow without hesitation. My ratings and reviews for this series are all a measure against the first book, Reapers Property, which is unquestionably one of my favourite MC reads out there!
Dirty Souls is a spin off from the Artists Trilogy which is set within the dark and dangerous world of cartels. The plot driving the suspense had more facets than I first imagined. I loved how even in the darkest of moments the action made me smile. There was a lot that caused me to hold my breath, fearing for the souls of all, dirty or not. Karina Halle takes readers on a suspenseful, riveting and a page-turning ride!
I know these books weren’t published in 2017, but they blew my socks off
Read the definition of ruthless and stand back. Then quadruple the level of ruthlessness to be found in this series. Power hungry family members battle it out for control by yielding their reach well into the realms of society to garner the respect and acceptance of the unsuspecting public. A multi-generational saga I only started this year when Children of the Vice caught my attention.
After reading about what I loved in the other books in my 2017 favourite’s list, it’s comforting to share a book I can talk about in general company (insert relieved face). Sincerely Carter is a friends to lovers story I relished. The romance wasn’t offered on a platter, rather it was a well developed heartwarming journey I devoured.
It pains me to do so, but just in case I need to submit a list to conform to the allocated Top 10, then here it is:
- The book that took me by surprise: The Ghostwriter by Torre, Alessandra
- A stand out dark read released in 2017: Menace by JM Darhower with Ruthless People hands down the darkest series I read in 2017!
- Favourite Novella: Mischief by Tiffany Reisz
- Favourite MC Series: Undeniable by Madeline Sheehan, but very closely followed by all the other MC books listed above!
- Favourite Villain: Mateo in the Morelli Family series by Sam Mariano
- Favourite Mafia Family Sagas: Bethany-Kris and her Legacy novels
- A book that made me laugh: Sincerely Carter by Whitney G.
- My favourite Buddy Read book choice: Fury by Cat Porter
- Favourite Mercenary books: Pick any London Miller book listed above, I can’t single one out!
- Favourite Cartel Read: Dirty Souls by Karina Halle
Happy New Year!
- Tarnished Soul by Beth Flynn - July 16, 2021
- For Lucy by Jewel E. Ann - July 5, 2021
- Black Sunshine by Karina Halle - June 14, 2021
- The Life You Stole by Jewel E. Ann - June 4, 2021
- Redemption by Susan Fanetti - May 28, 2021
- Deal with the Devil by Kit Rocha - August 14, 2020
- Thunder by Susan Fanetti - May 15, 2020
- Pink by Bethany-Kris - May 8, 2020
- Scarlet Stone by Jewel E. Ann - May 1, 2020
- A Place Without You by Jewel E. Ann - April 23, 2020