My Favorite Books of 2019

by - January 14, 2020

I read a lot in 2019. It was probably the biggest way I reclaimed myself last year. There were several years in a row where I didn't read for pleasure, and I hope to never go back to that reality again. Last year I discovered a lot of new-to-me authors and rekindled my love of fantasy. Today I'm sharing the books and series that made lasting impressions, left me with a book hangover, and/or that I've already re-read at least once.

Nine Perfect Strangers: When nine people check into a health resort for the weekend, none expect to be drugged or locked in a room by a psychopathic 'guru.' I liked this book because of the relationships between the characters, both the pre-existing and developing ones. As the plot thickened and unfolded, I found myself saying "wow" multiple times.

A Beautiful Poison: This book kept me guessing until the very end, and when the villain was revealed I almost didn't believe it. This was hands-down the best mystery I read in 2019.

Neverland & Pan's Revenge: This little duet is a retelling of Peter Pan, except the roles of good and evil are a little twisted around. This story left me with my first book hangover of the year, and I ended up re-reading it a few months later.

The Moonlit Garden: If historical fiction is your jam, definitely check this out. There's a lot of switching around between past and present as the main character digs into the history of a famous violin with ties to her family. The character development may be the best part about this story.

The Night Circus: To paraphrase my original review, this book was magical. From the way the author weaves all the characters together without leaving the reader confused to the characters themselves and the truly unexpected way in which the conflict is resolved, I couldn't put this book down.

The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy: Dark Witch, Shadow Spell, and Blood Magick were my first reads by Norah Roberts. The series focuses on three cousins as they continue their ancestors' quest to rid the world of a great evil.

The Librarian's Coven: This series was such a different twist on witches and magic. A woman who doesn't know she has magic is hired to work in the library of a magical university where she discovers she possesses a forgotten magic. When an ancient evil is released, she and her coven must save the world.

Terraway novels: I'm actually re-reading this nine-book series right now. That's how good it is. I love the main character, and the author did such a good job of developing her and the rest of the cast. They're all multi-dimensional. When the main character, October, learns the fate of two worlds is on her shoulders, she works to overcome her mental illness and past traumas to save thousands. These books made me laugh out loud, think about deep issues, and cry.

All the Pretty Monsters: This series was a pleasant surprise. I avoided it for most of the year, but am so glad I took the chance in December. A young gypsy moves to a small town in search of her mother's killers, stumbling into a magical world she didn't know existed and a war she wants no part of. These books were laugh out loud funny and filled with adventure and captivating characters.

The Wrecker & The Gangster: These are just two of Clive Cussler's Isaac Bell detective books. He's my new book boyfriend, by the way. What I love about these books is that it doesn't matter if Cussler tells you from the get-go who the bad guy is or if you're figuring out who as you go, his writing is so compelling, his characters so well-written, that you won't be able to put these books down.

Not previously reviewed:
The Kit Davenport Series
Author: Tate James

I've hesitated to share this series because it's in the reverse harem genre, which is definitely niche and I don't know how many of you would be comfortable cracking them open, but in the interest of this post, I felt like I couldn't leave this series out. I read it twice last year. Kit is a one of my favorite heroines, and I love all her guys for different reasons. Throughout the series they find themselves up against multiple evils all bent on the same goals but not working together. Part of why I like this series is that Kit doesn't stay good throughout, which made her more human and likable.

Her Guardians
Author: G. Bailey

I enjoyed this series so much, I actually bought it. I've actually read it three times now. Winter finds herself at the center of a world she didn't know existed and only she can unite the supernatural races. If you like wolf shifters, vampires, angels, and witches, this series is for you.

Power of Five
Author: Alex Lidell

This is another series I purchased after reading. Lera is mortal and magically, but reluctantly, tied to a group of Fae warriors. The first four books are mostly about Lera's developing power and relationships with the rest of her quint. The final book was released in nine shorter episodes, but will soon be available in two books that I intend to buy to complete the collection (I missed the cover on book 6). Lera is probably my favorite heroine from last year.

The Guild Codex: Spellbound
Author: Annette Marie

This series is incomplete, but I couldn't not include it in my favorites. When Tori responds to a job ad for a bartender, she has no idea it's for magicals, and they certainly don't expect a human, but she's there to stay. Tori ends up joining one of the teams and helps close cases, collecting magical artifacts along the way. The next installment, Lost Talismans and a Tequila, is coming soon.

Nevermore Bookshop Mysteries
Author: Steffanie Holmes

Mina Wilde returns home after her career in fashion comes to a screeching halt, taking a job at the local bookshop, which is run by none other than Emily Bronte's Heathcliff. The famous anti-hero, along with criminal mastermind James Moriarty of Sherlock Holmes' fame and Edgar Allan Poe's raven, Quoth, are among the characters from stories that have been pulled from their pages into our world. Mina and the trio find themselves in the middle of mystery after mystery. I am impatiently waiting for the next book in this series, Prose & Cons, to be released later this Spring.

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