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Nicole Castroman

    Top 10 of 2017: Best Book Boyfriends


    Welcome to Day Four of the Top 10 of 2017

    A WEEK OF LOOKING BACK…

    …AND LOOKING FORWARD

    As mentioned previously…

    It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years since I began co-hosting the event with Jaime of Two Chicks on Books. Over the years the event has changed a bit, as have the hosts, and I’m so thrilled that this year in addition to the incredible Jaime of Two Chicks on Books, Nancy and Christy of Tales of the Ravenous Reader, and Bridget of Dark Faerie Tales, we are joined by Fallon of Seeing Double in Neverland and the lovely ladies at Take Me Away To A Great Read!

    And, for the first time ever, we’re stoked to have an Instagram component, headed up by Bridget @DarkFaerieTales_.

    I haven’t been blogging very much during the last half of the year, but nearly every book I have read this year has been amazing. So I have a few favorites from the year to share.

    If you haven’t yet heard of the Top 10 of 2017 week-long event, in a nutshell it’s where we share our favorite bookish lists and invite you to share yours over the next five days by leaving your post links in the daily Linky Lists.

    Yet again, we’re each hosting our own giveaways on each of the five days of this challenge – Head over to Two Chicks on Books for the Day One giveaway, I hosted Day Two’s giveaway, Tales of the Ravenous Reader hosted Day Three’s giveaway, Day Four’s giveaway is at Take Me Away to a Great Read, and Day Five’s giveaway will be at Seeing Double in Neverland. So be sure be to visit each of our blogs this week to share your post links and enter the giveaways!

    AND, if you head over to Bridget @ DarkFaerieTales’ Instagram, she’ll be hosting an event-long giveaway,

    The Best Book Boyfriends of 2017

    I haven’t read too many YA books this year where it was all about the swoon-worthy guy. So most of my book boyfriends are of the non-ya variety. But I did read (if not always review) a few fantastic reads where it was all about the swooning.

    #1

    Who: Vlad Tepesh. Why? Because it’s Vlad.

    INTO THE FIRE (Night Prince #4) by Jeaniene Frost – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | AVONGOODREADS


    #2

    Who: Edward “Teach” Drummond. Why? Because Nicole Castroman turned the ruthless pirate Blackbeard into a swoon-worthy hero.

    BLACKSOULS (Blackhearts #2) by Nicole Castroman – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | SIMON & SCHUSTER | GOODREADS


    #3

    Who: Titus Alexander. Why? Because oooh the chemistry.

    BLIND TIGER (Wildcats #2) by Rachel Vincent – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | GOODREADS


    #4

    Who: Abyssian “Sian” Infernas. Why? Because who doesn’t love the King of Hell?

    WICKED ABYSS (Immortals After Dark #18) by Kresley Cole – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


    #5

    Who: Lazarus the Cruel and Unusual. Why? Mmmm… sizzling romance.

    THE DARKEST PROMISE (Lords of the Underworld #13) by Gena Showalter – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | HARLEQUINGOODREADS


    #6

    Who: Abel. Why? Okay, so he’s not exactly human. Or even living in the “normal” sense of the word. So, he’s definitely not a typical book boyfriend. But he’s amazing and adorable and funny and swoon-worthy. So I had to include him here. After all, I’ve swooned over vamps and demons, so why not…

    DEFY THE STARS (Defy the Stars #1) by Claudia Gray – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUNDWEBSITE | GOODREADS


    #7

    Who: Max Holden. Why? Ahhh the angst!!!!

    KISSING MAX HOLDEN by Katy Upperman – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | MACMILLANFIERCE READS | GOODREADS


    #8

    Who: Porter Roth. Why? Read it and you’ll know why… *grins*

    ALEX, APPROXIMATELY by Jenn Bennett – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | SIMON & SCHUSTER | RIVETED LIT | GOODREADS


    #9

    Who: Alexander Hamilton. Why? Okay, so maybe he’s not particularly swoon-worthy. And in reality he did not sound like such a great catch. But the fictional version was just so delightfully romantic and played the underdog well. And this is all about book boyfriends… so I couldn’t resist choosing him.

    ALEX & ELIZA by Melissa de la Cruz – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE | GOODREADS


    #10

    Who: Leo – the Beast of Benwick. Why? He’s lethal. Oh, and not to forget…. the slow-burn romance of it all.

    HOW TO TAME A BEAST IN SEVEN DAYS (The Embraced #1) by Kerrelyn Sparks – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | MACMILLAN | GOODREADS


    I don’t have any honorable mentions, as most of the books I’ve read were about tragedies, strong heroines, life experiences. And while it’s entirely possible I forgot a few reads where I swooned a bit over the “hero” I’m perfectly happy with my ten choices.


    Link up

    Leave a link to your Best Book Boyfriends/Girlfriends of 2017 posts in the Linky List below…



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    Top 10 of 2017: Best Book Covers of 2017 + #Giveaway


    Welcome to Day Two of the Top 10 of 2017

    A WEEK OF LOOKING BACK…

    …AND LOOKING FORWARD

    As mentioned yesterday…

    It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years since I began co-hosting the event with Jaime of Two Chicks on Books. Over the years the event has changed a bit, as have the hosts, and I’m so thrilled that this year in addition to the incredible Jaime of Two Chicks on Books, Nancy and Christy of Tales of the Ravenous Reader, and Bridget of Dark Faerie Tales, we are joined by Fallon of Seeing Double in Neverland and the lovely ladies at Take Me Away To A Great Read!

    And, for the first time ever, we’re stoked to have an Instagram component, headed up by Bridget @DarkFaerieTales_.

    I haven’t been blogging very much during the last half of the year, but nearly every book I have read this year has been amazing. So I have a few favorites from the year to share.

    If you haven’t yet heard of the Top 10 of 2017 week-long event, in a nutshell it’s where we share our favorite bookish lists and invite you to share yours over the next five days by leaving your post links in the daily Linky Lists.

    Yet again, we’re each hosting our own giveaways on each of the five days of this challenge – Head over to Two Chicks on Books for the Day One giveaway, I’m hosting today’s Day Two giveaway, Tales of the Ravenous Reader will be hosting Day Three’s giveaway, Day Four’s giveaway will be at Take Me Away to a Great Read, and Day Five’s giveaway will be at Seeing Double in Neverland. So be sure be to visit each of our blogs this week to share your post links and enter the giveaways!

    AND, if you head over to Bridget @ DarkFaerieTales’ Instagram, she’ll be hosting an event-long giveaway,

    The Best Books Covers of 2017

    I’ve (mostly) included covers for books I’ve read, but there were just a couple of books on my TBR with amazing covers that I didn’t get the chance to read yet that I just had to include in this year’s top 10.

    #1

    THE SUFFERING TREE by Elle Cosimano – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


    #2

    ALL THE CROOKED SAINTS by Maggie Stiefvater – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


    #3

    WAYFARER (Passenger #2) by Alexandra Bracken – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


    #4

    BLACKSOULS (Blackhearts #2) by Nicole Castroman – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | SIMON & SCHUSTER | GOODREADS


    #5

    RENEGADES (Renegades #1) by Marissa Meyer – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | MACMILLAN | FIERCE READS | GOODREADS


    #6

    THE INCONCEIVABLE LIFE OF QUINN by Marianna Baer – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | ABRAMS BOOKSGOODREADS


    #7

    CARAVEL by Stephanie Garber – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | MACMILLAN | GOODREADS


    #8

    WILDMAN by J.C. Geiger – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | INDIEBOUND | DISNEY BOOKS | GOODREADS


    #9

    TRAVELER by L.E. DeLano – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | SWOON READS | GOODREADS


    #10

    THINGS I’M SEEING WITHOUT YOU by Peter Bognanni – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE | PENGUIN TEENGOODREADS


    And while there are so many other lovely covers, like the ones for Victoria Schwab’s OUR DARK DUET, Laini Taylor’s STRANGE THE DREAMER, Sara B. Larson’s DARK BREAKS THE DAWN, Clauda Gray’s DEFY THE STARS, S. Jae-Jones’ WINTERSONG (but for the praise text that detracts), I’m very happy with my choices of interesting, different, bold, simple, stand-out covers.


    The Giveaway

    What’s up for grabs

    I’m giving away EITHER a mystery box of eight (8) 2017/2018 (mostly 2018) ARCs – US only OR $40 in Books of Your Choice from the Book Depository – International/US.

    The details

    • Must be 13 or older to enter
    • Must be a participant in the Top 10 of 2017 event
    • ARC giveaway is US only, Books of Your Choice giveaway is International or US
    • Giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. on January 1, 2018
    • Winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and contacted by email
    • Winner has 72 hours to respond or another winner will be selected

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    Link up

    Leave a link to your Best Book Covers of 2017 posts in the Linky List below…



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    Top 10 of 2017: Best Books I’ve Read in 2017


    Welcome to Day One of the Top 10 of 2017

    A WEEK OF LOOKING BACK…

    …AND LOOKING FORWARD

    It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years since I began co-hosting the event with Jaime of Two Chicks on Books. Over the years the event has changed a bit, as have the hosts, and I’m so thrilled that this year in addition to the incredible Jaime of Two Chicks on Books, Nancy and Christy of Tales of the Ravenous Reader, and Bridget of Dark Faerie Tales, we are joined by Fallon of Seeing Double in Neverland and the lovely ladies at Take Me Away To A Great Read!

    And, for the first time ever, we’re stoked to have an Instagram component, headed up by Bridget @DarkFaerieTales_.

    I haven’t been blogging very much during the last half of the year, but nearly every book I have read this year has been amazing. So I have a few favorites from the year to share.

    If you haven’t yet heard of the Top 10 of 2017 week-long event, in a nutshell it’s where we share our favorite bookish lists and invite you to share yours over the next five days by leaving your post links in the daily Linky Lists.

    Yet again, we’re each hosting our own giveaways on each of the five days of this challenge – Head over to Two Chicks on Books for the Day One giveaway, I’ll be hosting tomorrow’s Day Two giveaway, Tales of the Ravenous Reader will be hosting Day Three’s giveaway, Day Four’s giveaway will be at Take Me Away to a Great Read, and Day Five’s giveaway will be at Seeing Double in Neverland. So be sure be to visit each of our blogs this week to share your post links and enter the giveaways!

    AND, if you head over to Bridget @ DarkFaerieTales’ Instagram, she’ll be hosting an event-long giveaway,

    The Best Books I’ve Read in 2017

    While I haven’t read a ton of books this year, the ones that I’ve read have been pretty incredible. So it has not been easy to choose just ten. And ranking them has been even harder, but here they are…

    #1

    Add to Goodreads

    Title & Series: BLACKSOULS (Blackhearts #2)
    Author: Nicole Castroman
    Release date: April 11, 2017
    Publisher: Simon Pulse
    Pages: 400
    Formats: Hardcover, eBook

    Read an EXCERPT

    Description…

    Nicole Castroman brings the dangerous pirate ports of the Caribbean to life in this vibrant sequel to Blackhearts—the reimagined origin story of history’s most infamous pirate, Blackbeard.

    Edward “Teach” Drummond is setting sail to the Caribbean as first mate on the most celebrated merchant ship in the British fleet—until he rebels against his captain. Mutiny is a capital offense and Teach knows it could cost him his life, but he believes it worth the risk in order to save his crew from the attacking Spanish ships.

    Sailing on the same blue waters, Anne barely avoids the Spanish attack, making it safely to Nassau. But lawless criminals, corrupt politics, and dangerous intentions fill the crowded streets of this Caribbean port. Soon, Anne discovers that the man entrusted to keep the peace is quite possibly the most treacherous of them all—and he just happens to hold Teach’s fate in his terrifying hands.

    Life and death hang in the balance when Teach and Anne are given a dangerous mission. It’s a mission that will test their love, loyalty, and devotion, forcing them down a path neither one could have ever imagined.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | SIMON & SCHUSTER | GOODREADS


    #2

    Add to Goodreads

    Title & Series: WAYFARER (Passenger #2)
    Author: Alexandra Bracken
    Release date: January 3, 2017
    Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
    Pages: 544
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Description…

    All Etta Spencer wanted was to make her violin debut when she was thrust into a treacherous world where the struggle for power could alter history. After losing the one thing that would have allowed her to protect the Timeline, and the one person worth fighting for, Etta awakens alone in an unknown place and time, exposed to the threat of the two groups who would rather see her dead than succeed. When help arrives, it comes from the last person Etta ever expected—Julian Ironwood, the Grand Master’s heir who has long been presumed dead, and whose dangerous alliance with a man from Etta’s past could put them both at risk.

    Meanwhile, Nicholas and Sophia are racing through time in order to locate Etta and the missing astrolabe with Ironwood travelers hot on their trail. They cross paths with a mercenary-for-hire, a cheeky girl named Li Min who quickly develops a flirtation with Sophia. But as the three of them attempt to evade their pursuers, Nicholas soon realizes that one of his companions may have ulterior motives.

    As Etta and Nicholas fight to make their way back to one another, from Imperial Russia to the Vatican catacombs, time is rapidly shifting and changing into something unrecognizable… and might just run out on both of them.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


    #3


    Add to Goodreads

    Title: THE LAST THING YOU SAID
    Author: Sara Biren
    Release date: April 4, 2017
    Publisher: Amulet Books
    Pages: 320
    Formats: Hardcover, eBook

    Description…

    Last summer, Lucy’s and Ben’s lives changed in an instant. One moment, they were shyly flirting on a lake raft, finally about to admit their feelings to each other after years of yearning. In the next, Trixie—Lucy’s best friend and Ben’s sister—was gone, her heart giving out during a routine swim. And just like that, the idyllic world they knew turned upside down, and the would-be couple drifted apart, swallowed up by their grief.

    Now it’s a year later in their small lake town, and as the anniversary of Trixie’s death looms, Lucy and Ben’s undeniable connection pulls them back together. They can’t change what happened the day they lost Trixie, but the summer might finally bring them closer to healing—and to each other.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


    #4

    Add to Goodreads

    Title & Series: NOW I RISE (The Conqueror’s Saga #2)
    Author: Kiersten White
    Release date: June 27, 2017
    Publisher: Delacorte Press
    Pages: 480
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Read an EXCERPT

    Description…

    Lada Dracul has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she’s always had: herself. After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her blood-strewn path. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land. But brute force isn’t getting Lada what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed brings little comfort to her thorny heart. There’s no time to wonder whether he still thinks about her, even loves her. She left him before he could leave her.

    What Lada needs is her younger brother Radu’s subtlety and skill. But Mehmed has sent him to Constantinople—and it’s no diplomatic mission. Mehmed wants control of the city, and Radu has earned an unwanted place as a double-crossing spy behind enemy lines Radu longs for his sister’s fierce confidence—but for the first time in his life, he rejects her unexpected plea for help. Torn between loyalties to faith, to the Ottomans, and to Mehmed, he knows he owes Lada nothing. If she dies, he could never forgive himself—but if he fails in Constantinople, will Mehmed ever forgive him?

    As nations fall around them, the Dracul siblings must decide: what will they sacrifice to fulfill their destinies? Empires will topple, thrones will be won . . . and souls will be lost.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE | GOODREADS


    #5

    Add to Goodreads

    Title & Series: FROSTBLOOD (Frostblood Saga #1)
    Author: Elly Blake
    Release date: January 10, 2017
    Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
    Pages: 384
    Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook

    Read an EXCERPT

    Description…

    The Frost King will burn.

    Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.

    Despite her unpredictable abilities, Ruby trains with the rebels and the infuriating—yet irresistible—Arcus, who seems to think of her as nothing more than a weapon. But before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to compete in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her—and from the icy young man she has come to love.

    Vivid and compelling, Frostblood is the first in an exhilarating series about a world where flame and ice are mortal enemies . . . but together create a power that could change everything.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | THE NOVLGOODREADS


    #6

    Add to Goodreads

    Title: THE INEVITABLE COLLISION OF BIRDIE & BASH
    Author: Candace Ganger
    Release date: July 25, 2017
    Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
    Pages: 320
    Formats: Hardcover, eBook

    Read an EXCERPT

    Description…

    Sebastian Alvaréz is just trying to hold the pieces together, to not flunk out, to keep his sort-of-best friend Wild Kyle from doing something really bad. And to see his beloved Ma through chemo. But when he meets Birdie Paxton, a near-Valedictorian who doesn’t realize she’s smoking hot in her science pun T-shirt, at a party, an undeniable attraction sparks. And suddenly he’s not worried about anything.

    But before they are able to exchange numbers, they are pulled apart. A horrifying tragedy links Birdie and Bash together – yet neither knows it. When they finally reconnect, and are starting to fall – hard – the events of the tragedy unfold, changing both their lives in ways they can never undo.

    Told in alternating perspectives full of the best nerdy banter this side of Ohio, some seriously awesome skate moves, and the promise of a kiss destined to make the world stop turning, The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash will break your heart and put it back together again.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | MACMILLAN | GOODREADS 


    #7


    Add to Goodreads

    Title: LETTERS TO THE LOST
    Author: Brigid Kemmerer
    Release date: April 4, 2017
    Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
    Pages: 400
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Description…

    Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.

    Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.

    When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | BLOOMSBURY | GOODREADS


    #8

    Add to Goodreads

    Title: A SHORT HISTORY OF THE GIRL NEXT DOOR
    Author: Jared Reck
    Release date: September 26, 2017
    Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
    Pages: 272
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Read an EXCERPT

    Description…

    Matt Wainwright is constantly sabotaged by the overdramatic movie director in his head. He can’t tell his best friend, Tabby, how he really feels about her, he implodes on the JV basketball team, and the only place he feels normal is in Mr. Ellis’s English class, discussing the greatest fart scenes in literature and writing poems about pissed-off candy-cane lumberjacks.

    If this were a movie, everything would work out perfectly. Tabby would discover that Matt’s madly in love with her, be overcome with emotion, and would fall into his arms. Maybe in the rain.

    But that’s not how it works. Matt watches Tabby get swept away by senior basketball star and all-around great guy Liam Branson. Losing Tabby to Branson is bad enough, but screwing up and losing her as a friend is even worse.

    After a tragic accident, Matt finds himself left on the sidelines, on the verge of spiraling out of control and losing everything that matters to him. From debut author Jared Reck comes a fiercely funny and heart-wrenching novel about love, longing, and what happens when life as you know it changes in an instant.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE | GOODREADS


    #9

    Add to Goodreads

    Title: HELLWORLD
    Author: Tom Leveen
    Release date: March 21, 2017
    Publisher: Simon Pulise
    Pages: 304
    Formats: Hardcover, eBook

    Description…

    Five years ago, Abby Booth’s mom, co-host of a ghost hunting reality show, went missing while filming in a ‘haunted’ cave in Arizona.

    Since then, Abby’s life has all but fallen to pieces, most notably because of her dad’s deep depression and how they’ve drifted further and further apart.

    But now, at seventeen, Abby has decided that things will change. She plans to go to the same cave where her mom and the crew went missing and to find out, once and for all, what happened there.

    With the help of the co-host’s son Charlie and two of his friends, Abby sets off on a quest for answers…but what the group ends up finding, what they stumble across in that dark, primordial cave in Arizona, is nothing they could have ever imagined.

    Abby was investigating a possible haunting… she never expected that there could be something worse.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


    #10

    Add to Goodreads

    Title: WILDMAN
    Author: J.C. Geiger
    Release date: June 6, 2016
    Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
    Pages: 336
    Formats: Hardcover, eBook

    Read an EXCERPT

    Description…

    “How can a total stranger understand you better than the people you’ve known your entire life?”

    When Lance’s ’93 Buick breaks down in the middle of nowhere, he tells himself Don’t panic. After all, he’s valedictorian of his class. First-chair trumpet player. Scholarship winner. Nothing can stop Lance Hendricks.

    But the locals don’t know that. They don’t even know his name. Stuck in a small town, Lance could be anyone: a delinquent, a traveler, a maniac. One of the townies calls him Wildman, and a new world opens up.

    He’s ordering drinks at a roadhouse. Jumping a train. Talking to an intriguing older girl who is asking about his future. And what he really wants. As one day blurs into the next, Lance finds himself drifting farther from home and closer to a girl who makes him feel a way he’s never felt before—like himself.

    This debut novel by a remarkable new talent explores the relationship between identity and place, the power of being seen, and the speed at which a well-planned life can change forever.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | INDIEBOUND | DISNEY BOOKS | GOODREADS


    Again this year I’ve opted not to do an honorable mentions list as I’m hoping to capture my other favorites on the “Best ____ of 2017” day… though that may end up having a few honorable mentions if I can’t capture them all.


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    Leave a link to your Best Books I’ve Read in 2017 posts in the Linky List below…



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    Review: BLACKSOULS

    Add to Goodreads

    Title & Series: BLACKSOULS (Blackhearts #2)
    Author: Nicole Castroman
    Release date: April 11, 2017
    Publisher: Simon Pulse
    Pages: 400
    Formats: Hardcover, eBook

    Read an EXCERPT

    Description…

    Nicole Castroman brings the dangerous pirate ports of the Caribbean to life in this vibrant sequel to Blackhearts—the reimagined origin story of history’s most infamous pirate, Blackbeard.

    Edward “Teach” Drummond is setting sail to the Caribbean as first mate on the most celebrated merchant ship in the British fleet—until he rebels against his captain. Mutiny is a capital offense and Teach knows it could cost him his life, but he believes it worth the risk in order to save his crew from the attacking Spanish ships.

    Sailing on the same blue waters, Anne barely avoids the Spanish attack, making it safely to Nassau. But lawless criminals, corrupt politics, and dangerous intentions fill the crowded streets of this Caribbean port. Soon, Anne discovers that the man entrusted to keep the peace is quite possibly the most treacherous of them all—and he just happens to hold Teach’s fate in his terrifying hands.

    Life and death hang in the balance when Teach and Anne are given a dangerous mission. It’s a mission that will test their love, loyalty, and devotion, forcing them down a path neither one could have ever imagined.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | SIMON & SCHUSTER | GOODREADS

    NOTE: This review is based on an ARC received from the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book. A Kindle eCopy was purchased for my collection.


    The Review

    An action-packed, heartbreaking, and riveting sequel, BLACKSOULS continues the tale of Teach and Anne as they each set sail for Nassau with the hope of reuniting and establishing a life together. Theirs is a treacherous journey filled with dangerous obstacles, devastating losses, brutal enemies, and unexpected allies. It will test their strength, loyalty, and resilience. And it will awaken their hunger for justice and unleash their thirst for revenge.

    Anne was anxious about arriving in Nassau without knowing whether Teach survived his overseas voyage or whether they’d be able to find one another if he had. But having become close friends with two of her fellow passengers, Cara and Coyle, made her endlessly grateful that she wasn’t arriving in that crowded, unruly port city alone.

    Nassau was not how she imagined it would be. With its open acceptance of the slave trade, and its cruel and barbaric treatment of its colored inhabitants, she was ill-prepared for its challenges and the emotional toll it would take on her. Even surrounded by friends, and with a safe place to sleep and work, she wasn’t sure she had enough protection or the skills to protect herself.

    And if she wanted to ensure her survival, she would have to learn to use a weapon, she would have to learn to fight, and she would have to learn to focus her anger so that she could become ruthless.

    Teach was desperate to get to Nassau so that he could find Anne and they could finally be together without his overbearing father getting in the way. But a threat to his ship’s safety and a captain whose actions would likely get them all killed, meant making decisions that could cause problems for him and the crew if they managed to survive.

    With corruption abounding in Nassau, his hope of staying under the radar was impossible. He couldn’t even set foot on land before trouble found him. So, he was going to have to find a way to outsmart the Governor if he had any hope of clearing his name, saving his crew, and keeping Anne safe.

    Nicole Castroman delivered a follow-up that is even more exciting than its predecessor. Battles at sea, the threat of mutiny, a hunt for pirates, the promise of adventure, an attempted murder, all add to this extraordinary, gripping, fascinating tale.

    It’s a love story. It’s the story of a legend. But it’s also a story about injustice, about human decency, about equality for women.

    BLACKSOULS is suspenseful. It is heartrending. And emotional. And authentic. It is fast-paced, and imaginative and captivating and amazing. It is a fresh, new, different, and exhilarating addition to this already incredible series with a change in setting, a quickening of pace, an increase in drama, and a number of surprising developments.

    It is the perfect continuation of Teach and Anne’s story and is an absolutely, definitely, must read sequel.

    The Rating

    Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.


    About Nicole Castroman

    Nicole was lucky enough to come with her very own best friend…she has a twin sister who can read her mind and finish her sentences for her.

    At the age of 13, she went to Europe for the first time and it changed her life. She loves learning about different people, languages and cultures and speaks fluent German. She knows enough Spanish to get herself into trouble and can still read the Cyrillic alphabet from when she studied Russian.

    She received her B.A. from Brigham Young University and has lived in Germany, Austria and two different places called Georgia. One is the country located on the Black Sea. The other is the state of Georgia where she now lives with her handsome husband and two beautiful children who continue to amaze her.

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    BLACKSOULS Blog Tour: Guest Posts by Nicole Castroman + Giveaway

    I am so unbelievably excited to be kicking off the blog tour for BLACKSOULS by Nicole Castroman. It has been one of my most anticipated reads for 2017 – and it was even better than I could have hoped for. And, no, it’s not because I am a sailor and love any and all stories involving sailing ships. Or because I have always loved stories about pirates. Or because this cover is so awesome.

    It’s because the book is more than amazing. And if you’d like to know why, stop back tomorrow for my off-the-menu 6-star review.

    But for my stop on the tour I have five mini guest posts to share about this incredible sequel, its characters, and its fabulous author.

    There is also a tour-wide giveaway for a signed copy of BLACKSOULS. So if you’re in the US and you’d like the chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter.

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    Top 10 of 2016: Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2017

    Welcome to Day Five of the Top 10 of 2016

    A WEEK OF LOOKING BACK…

    …AND LOOKING FORWARD

    As mentioned previously…

    I can’t believe that I’ve been co-hosting this event for six years with Jaime of Two Chicks on Books and three years with Nancy of Tales of the Ravenous Reader! And while I’m so sad that Mindy won’t be joining us this year, I’m thrilled that Bridget of Dark Faerie Tales has joined the team, as has Nancy’s blog partner, Christy.

    I haven’t read a ton of books this year, or blogged very much, so I almost decided not to participate. But this event is so much fun that I just couldn’t miss out.

    If you haven’t yet heard of the Top 10 of 2016 week-long event, in a nutshell it’s where we share our favorite bookish lists and invite you to share yours over the next five days by leaving your post links in the daily Linky Lists.

    Yet again, we’re each hosting our own giveaways on four of the five days of this challenge – We’re taking Day One off, Dark Faerie Tales is hosting Day Two’s giveaway, I am hosting Day Three’s giveaway, Two Chicks on Books is hosting Day Four’s giveaway, and Tales of the Ravenous Reader is hosting Day Five’s giveaway. So be sure to visit each of our blogs this week to share your post links and enter the giveaways!

    The Book I’m Looking Forward to in 2017

    There are SO many books I can’t wait to meet in 2017 – some I don’t even yet know I want to meet – and even more books in series that I want to continue reading. But I had to choose just ten.

    However, for this post it doesn’t matter how few books I read this year, so I am totally listing a few honorable mentions.

    I just wish I knew whether certain series were continuing in 2017 or at all…. like Leah Clifford’s Resurrectionist seriesJenna Black’s Gifted series or Sara Shepard’s The Amateurs.

    And I WISH I hadn’t read a few books in 2016 that I totally would have listed as books I’m looking forward to in 2017 – 100 HOURS by Rachel Vincent, ROSEBLOOD by A.G. Howard, FLICKER AND MIST by Mary G. Thompson, and WAYFARER by Alexandra Bracken.

    #1

    SPECTACLE (Menagerie #2) by Rachel Vincent

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    #2

    THE DARK CALLING (The Arcana Chronicles #5) by Kresley Cole

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    #3

    STRANGE THE DREAMER (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor

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    #4

    BLACKSOULS (Blackhearts #2) by Nicole Castroman

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    #5

    NOW I RISE (The Conqueror’s Saga #2) by Kiersten White

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    #6

    THE VALIANT by Lesley Livingston

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    #7

    WARCROSS (Warcross #1) by Marie Lu

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    #8

    BLACKLIST (Beautiful Idols #2) by Alyson Noël

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    #9

    RISE OF FIRE (Reign of Shadows #2) by Sophie Jordan

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    #10

    PERFECT (Flawed #2) by Cecelia Ahern

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    The Honorable Mentions

    I could list dozens, but to be fair I’m only choosing ten. And they are…


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    Leave a link to your Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2017 posts in the Linky List below…



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    Top 10 of 2016: Best Book Boyfriends of 2016

    Welcome to Day Four of the Top 10 of 2016

    A WEEK OF LOOKING BACK…

    …AND LOOKING FORWARD

    As mentioned previously…

    I can’t believe that I’ve been co-hosting this event for six years with Jaime of Two Chicks on Books and three years with Nancy of Tales of the Ravenous Reader! And while I’m so sad that Mindy won’t be joining us this year, I’m thrilled that Bridget of Dark Faerie Tales has joined the team, as has Nancy’s blog partner, Christy.

    I haven’t read a ton of books this year, or blogged very much, so I almost decided not to participate. But this event is so much fun that I just couldn’t miss out.

    If you haven’t yet heard of the Top 10 of 2016 week-long event, in a nutshell it’s where we share our favorite bookish lists and invite you to share yours over the next five days by leaving your post links in the daily Linky Lists.

    Yet again, we’re each hosting our own giveaways on four of the five days of this challenge – We’re taking Day One off, Dark Faerie Tales is hosting Day Two’s giveaway, I am hosting Day Three’s giveaway, Two Chicks on Books is hosting Day Four’s giveaway, and Tales of the Ravenous Reader is hosting Day Five’s giveaway. So be sure to visit each of our blogs this week to share your post links and enter the giveaways!

    The Best Book Boyfriends of 2016

    It wasn’t easy picking bookish boyfriends for this year’s post. I read quite a few YA contemporaries this year and my bookish boyfriends almost always come from non-contemporary stories unless they’re NA. Also, I wasn’t able to catch up on all series with my forever bookish boyfriends so I had to put a bit more thought into my selections. And, for a couple books I was torn between two characters, which made choosing that much harder. But I finally decided, and here they are…


    #1

    ARIC

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    Title & Series: ARCANA RISING (The Arcana Chronicles #4)
    Author: Kresley Cole
    Release date: August 15, 2016
    Publisher: Valkyrie Press
    Pages: 280
    Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

    Description…

    Losses mount and deadly new threats converge in this next action-packed tale of the Arcana Chronicles by #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole.

    When the battle is done . . . 
    The Emperor unleashes hell and annihilates an army, jeopardizing the future of mankind–but Circe strikes back. The epic clash between them devastates the Arcana world and nearly kills Evie, separating her from her allies.

    And all hope is lost . . . 
    With Aric missing and no sign that Jack and Selena escaped Richter’s reach, Evie turns more and more to the darkness lurking inside her. Two Arcana emerge as game changers: one who could be her salvation, the other her worst nightmare.

    Vengeance becomes everything.
    To take on Richter, Evie must reunite with Death and mend their broken bond. But as she learns more about her role in the future–and her chilling past–will she become a monster like the Emperor? Or can Evie and her allies rise up from Richter’s ashes, stronger than ever before?

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    #2

    DIMITRI

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    Title: VAMPIRE ACADEMY (10th Anniversary Edition)
    Author: Richelle Mead
    Release date: November 29, 2016
    Publisher: Razorbill
    Pages: 512
    Formats: Paperback, eBook

    Description…

    St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .

    Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUNDGOODREADS


    #3

    ELIAS

    ATorchAgainstTheNight

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    Title & Series: A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT (An Ember in the Ashes #2)
    Author: Sabaa Tahir
    Release date: August 30, 2016
    Publisher: Razorbill
    Pages: 464
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Description…

    Elias and Laia are running for their lives.

    After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

    Laia is determined to break into Kauf – the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison – to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

    But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene – Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

    Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own – one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape… and kill them both.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


    #4

    PAUL

    MillionWorldsWith_jkt_des1.indd

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    Title & Series: A MILLION WORLDS WITH YOU (Firebird #3)
    Author: Claudia Gray
    Release date: November 1, 2016
    Publisher: HarperTeen
    Pages: 432
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Description…

    The fate of the multiverse rests in Marguerite’s hands in the final installment of the Firebird trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray.

    Ever since she used the Firebird, her parent’s invention, to cross through alternate dimensions, Marguerite has been at the center of a cross-dimensional feud. Now she has learned that the evil Triad Corporation plans to destroy hundreds of universes, using their ultimate weapon: another dimension’s Marguerite who is wicked, psychologically twisted, and always one step ahead.

    Even though her boyfriend Paul has always been at Marguerite’s side, the Triad’s last attack has left him a changed man, and he may never be the same again. Marguerite alone must stop Triad and prevent the destruction of the multiverse. It’s a battle of the Marguerites . . . and only one can win.

    In the epic conclusion to the sweeping series that kicked off with A Thousand Pieces of You, fate and family will be questioned, loves will be won and lost, and the multiverse will be forever changed.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


    #5

    MATHER

    3-frostlikenight_final

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    Title & Series: FROST LIKE NIGHT (Snow Like Ashes #3)
    Author: Sara Raasch
    Release date: September 20, 2016
    Publisher: Balzer + Bray
    Pages: 496
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Description…

    Angra is alive, his Decay is spreading—and no one is safe.

    Meira will do anything to save her world. With Angra trying to break through her mental defenses, she desperately needs to learn to control her own magic—so when the leader of a mysterious Order from Paisly offers to teach her, she jumps at the chance. But the true solution to stopping the Decay lies in a labyrinth deep beneath the Season Kingdoms. To defeat Angra, Meira will have to enter the labyrinth, destroy the very magic she’s learning to control—and make the biggest sacrifice of all.

    Mather will do anything to save his queen. He needs to rally the Children of the Thaw, find Meira—and finally tell her how he really feels. But with a plan of attack that leaves no kingdom unscathed and a major betrayal within their ranks, winning the war—and protecting Meira—slips farther and farther out of reach.

    Ceridwen will do anything to save her people. Angra had her brother killed, stole her kingdom, and made her a prisoner. But when she’s freed by an unexpected ally who reveals a shocking truth behind Summer’s slave trade, Ceridwen must take action to save her true love and her kingdom, even if it costs her what little she has left.

    As Angra unleashes the Decay on the world, Meira, Mather, and Ceridwen must bring the kingdoms of Primoria together…or lose everything.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


    #6

    TEACH

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    Title & Series: BLACKHEARTS (Blackhearts #1)
    Author: Nicole Castroman
    Release date: February 9, 2016
    Publisher: Simon Pulse
    Pages: 384
    Formats: Hardcover, eBook

    Description…

    Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.

    Edward “Teach” Drummond, son of one of Bristol’s richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There’s just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

    Following her parents’ deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she’s stuck in England?

    From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.

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    #7

    PLOY

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    Title & Series: VIAL THINGS (Resurrectionist #1)
    Author: Leah Clifford
    Release date: August 9, 2016
    Publisher: Self-published
    Pages: 221
    Formats: eBook

    Description…

    When the resurrectionists of Fissure’s Whipp begin disappearing, eighteen-year-old Allie knows someone is after their blood—or, more accurately, the genetic mutation that allows their blood to heal wounds, save lives and even bring back the recently deceased.

    Raised by her aunt after her parents’ deaths, Allie knows staying vigilant means staying alive. She’s trained her whole life to protect herself by any means necessary, from self defense classes to extensive weapons training in knives. Now, she’s gone so far as to befriend a homeless boy named Ploy who unknowingly trades a few nights a week on her couch in exchange for being a human tripwire to those hunting her.

    But as Allie and Ploy’s feelings for each other grow, Allie realizes this time, she’ll need more than fighting skills and a sharp blade to beat a villain literally out for blood.

    Protecting a girl he shouldn’t love, from a threat he understands too well, Ploy must face his past to save his future in Allie’s world—a world where bringing back the dead can cost you your life.

    AMAZON | GOODREADS


    #8

    KHALID

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    Title & Series: THE ROSE & THE DAGGER (The Wrath and the Dawn #2)
    Author: Renée Ahdieh
    Release date: April 26, 2016
    Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
    Pages: 432
    Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

    Description…

    The darker the sky, the brighter the stars.

    In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad is forced from the arms of her beloved husband, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once thought Khalid a monster—a merciless killer of wives, responsible for immeasurable heartache and pain—but as she unraveled his secrets, she found instead an extraordinary man and a love she could not deny. Still, a curse threatens to keep Shazi and Khalid apart forever.

    Now she’s reunited with her family, who have found refuge in the desert, where a deadly force is gathering against Khalid—a force set on destroying his empire and commanded by Shazi’s spurned childhood sweetheart. Trapped between loyalties to those she loves, the only thing Shazi can do is act. Using the burgeoning magic within her as a guide, she strikes out on her own to end both this terrible curse and the brewing war once and for all. But to do it, she must evade enemies of her own to stay alive.

    The saga that began with The Wrath and the Dawn takes its final turn as Shahrzad risks everything to find her way back to her one true love again.

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    #9

    LORD THORNTON

    ARCHITECT book cover front for online

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    Title & Series: THE ARCHITECT OF SONG (Haunted Hearts Legacy #1)
    Author: A.G. Howard
    Release date: August 15, 2016
    Publisher: A.G. Howard
    Pages: 425
    Formats: Paperback, eBook

    Description…

    A lady imprisoned by deafness, an architect imprisoned by his past, and a ghost imprisoned within the petals of a flower – intertwine in this love story that transcends life and death.

    For most of her life, nineteen-year-old Juliet Emerline has subsisted – isolated by deafness – making hats in the solitude of her home. Now, she’s at risk to lose her sanctuary to Lord Nicolas Thornton, a twenty-seven-year-old mysterious and eccentric architect with designs on her humble estate. When she secretly witnesses him raging beside a grave, Juliet investigates, finding the name “Hawk” on the headstone and an unusual flower at the base. The moment Juliet touches the petals, a young English nobleman appears in ghostly form, singing a song only her deaf ears can hear. The ghost remembers nothing of his identity or death, other than the one name that haunts his afterlife: Thornton.

    To avenge her ghostly companion and save her estate, Juliet pushes aside her fear of society and travels to Lord Thornton’s secluded holiday resort, posing as a hat maker in one of his boutiques. There, she finds herself questioning who to trust: the architect of flesh and bones who can relate to her through romantic gestures, heartfelt notes, and sensual touches … or the specter who serenades her with beautiful songs and ardent words, touching her mind and soul like no other man ever can. As sinister truths behind Lord Thornton’s interest in her estate and his tie to Hawk come to light, Juliet is lured into a web of secrets. But it’s too late for escape, and the tragic love taking seed in her heart will alter her silent world forever.

    International and NYT bestselling author, A.G. Howard, brings her darkly magical and visual/visceral storytelling to Victorian England. The Architect of Song is the first installment in her lush and romantic Haunted Hearts Legacy series, a four book gothic saga following the generations of one family as – haunted by both literal and figurative ghosts – they search for self-acceptance, love, and happiness.

    New Adult: Recommended for ages 17+.

    AMAZON | GOODREADS


    #10

    FOWLER

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    Title & Series: REIGN OF SHADOWS (Reign of Shadows #1)
    Author: Sophie Jordan
    Release date: February 9, 2016
    Publisher: HarperTeen
    Pages: 304
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Description…

    Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

    But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

    With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

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    I opted not to officially choose any honorable mention bookish boyfriends, though I was so tempted to list a few of my favorite not-so-boyfriend-material villains as book boyfriends like Enzo Valenciano (wrong for so many reasons) or King Maven to name just two…


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