BEST BOOKS OF 2016
Every year, we each pick 10 books that we loved best that year. Below are our picks, in no particular order, for 2016.
Tell us your favorites in the comments - you might win a $15 Amazon or ARe giftcard.
- Thárros, by C. Kennedy This book is #1 because it continues a story that is very close to my heart. A story that will see a third installment next year, with the final book in the series.
- King Perry, by Edmond Manning This book is on my list because I can safely say I have never read anything else quite like it. Don’t ask me to tell you what it is all about, because I don’t know. I just love it.
- Heartifact, by Aisling Mancy The dreamlike quality of the cover drew me in, and th story slayed me. It has it all, cool science peeps doing cool things with good freinds. Oh, and magical creatures. There you go, all in a short story format. Perfection.
- Must Like Spinach, by Con Riley I can’t let this story go. It keeps playing in my mind. This often happens with Con Riley’s books. There is something that resonates, deep within.
- Clockwork Heart by Heidi Cullinan Even if you're not a fan of steampunk or historicals or alternate worlds, read this book. I am in love with this story. It's brilliant. UNIQUE. Enchanting. UNFORGETTABLE.
- The Law of Attraction by Jay Northcote The perfect office romance: strong MCs, hot sex in inappropriate places, workplace camaraderie, and a smoldering undercurrent of (un)fulfilled sexual tension (it's hard to concentrate when you've known your boss in the biblical sense).
- Strong Signal (Cyberlove 1) by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell I am completely in love with this story. Kai and Garrett are awesome and complex MCs. They have an incredible, palpable connection built on trust, mutual respect, and LUST.
- A Gentleman’s Position (Society of Gentlemen 3) by K.J. Charles Brilliantly plotted, unmistakably British, intensely sexy, A Gentleman's Position is the standout of this series. There's friendship, intrigue, sex everywhere but a bed, love between a servant and his lord, blackmail, and enough excitement to eclipse the Grande Armée.
- Power Play and Empty Net (Scoring Chances 3 and 4) by Avon Gale Power Play, the third novel in the Scoring Chances series, was my very favorite. Until I read Empty Nest. Now they're tied for first place, and both have a spot on my Best M/M Romance of 2016 shelf. This series is seriously all that and a slice of pizza.
- Overexposed (In Focus 4) by Megan Erickson These MCs are complex and real; the dialogue is genuine and rings true. The story is about journey and self-discovery. It's about pain and healing and realizing that you don't have to go at it alone.
- Fight the Tide (Kick at the Darkness 2) by Keira Andrews More character driven and slower paced than the first book, Fight the Tide focuses more on the internal struggle, but the story, told in alternating third-person POV, is gripping and suspenseful nonetheless.
- Daring Fate (Silver Tip Pack 1) by Megan Erickson Daring Fate is intense and fast-paced. This is a story about finding home when you least expect it and fighting for what's yours. It's about family and sacrifice. Passion. Vengeance. Danger. LOVE. It's all there.
- If I Should Stumble by Claire Davis and Al Stewart This book is a masterpiece. I loved it beyond measure. Read it. Then read it again.
- Falling Down by Eli Easton Eli Easton takes us to the woods of New Hampshire where 18-year-old Josh, homeless and adrift, comes to die. This is not a light story; it's melancholy and dark in places. Fortunately, there is an epilogue, and it's glorious. I loved this book. It will stay with me for a long time.
- Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews I don't know how Ilona Andrews keeps coming up with a never-ending set of AMAZING urban fantasy realms without them feeling stale. This writing team is everything.
- It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover While this book has a positive ending, it is also a story that can be described as gritty, difficult, hopeful, powerful, and crushing, all at the same time. It is a long story, but it has a fast-pace, with plot elements thrown in at the right times to keep interest engaged.
- Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli This story perfectly captures both the feelings of falling for someone, and the stress and emotions that high school, that transitional time in your life, brings.
- A Gentleman's Position by KJ Charles I loved this story's guts, and I could read this book every day of the week and be happy.
- The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal by KJ Charles Absolutely fascinating world-building, incredible characters, lots of chemistry, and a romance that was so profound that I was almost moved to tears at times.
- The Understatement Of The Year by Sarina Bowen Slow-burn, painful closet, sneaking around... it destroyed me in the best way. I was near tears at times, and I feeeelt for these guys. Their love story wrecked me, and I thought that their chemistry was insane.
- Him by Sarina Bowen It was one of those stories that made me choke up with emotion, and left me feeling raw and happy and overwhelmed. The LOVE is there and so powerful.
- If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins It was the kind of book that made me laugh and cry and get mad, and I don't think I'll forget about the characters for some time.
- The Queen and The Homo Jock King by TJ Klune It was the unique blend of utterly hilarious and totally heartfelt that only T.J. Klune can pull off.
- Cold Days by Jim Butcher So good, so very good. I honestly don't even have the words.
- Beyond the Sea, by Keira Andrews Beyond the Sea was such a beautiful love story that really illustrates that love is love.
- Pictures of You, by Leta Blake It is exceptionally well written and the story grabbed hold of me and hasn't let go. It's not an easy read, though, and it is not going to be for everyone.
- Noah, by Cara Dee Noah is a gorgeous story by an author who has managed to become a favorite of mine, very quickly. I, easily, got lost in the imagery and the feelings of loss and of love.
- Daring Fate, by Megan Erickson I could talk about this book for days, but I will refrain in this forum, because if you like shifter novels, I don't see how you could not like this one. It's fresh and new and I just loved loved loved it!
- Overexposed, by Megan Erickson This book is chock full of feels and is sexy and thoughtful. It took me on a journey, not just through the Appalachian Trail, but through the minds and hearts of two amazing young men.
- Strong Signal, by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell This book was all kinds of fabulous and you should read it.
- Dirty Heart, by Rhys Ford Wow, wow, wow! What a fantastic wrap up for the series!
- First & First, by Santino Hassell First and First is the best of the Five Boroughs series, so far! Santino Hassell takes two characters that were not widely liked (by me, anyway) in the previous books and made me love them.
- Wolfsong, by TJ Klune It was tragic and heartbreaking and so so hopeful. It's about love and choice and what it really means to have a family. It's about sacrifice.
- Out of Nowhere, by Roan Parrish Out of Nowhere is not just about Colin's journey to his truth, but also Rafe's journey to forgiving himself.
- Out Of Nowhere by Roan Parrish ‘Out of Nowhere’ is the second book in Roan Parrish’s ‘Middle of Somewhere’ series and Colin was introduced to us in the first book. I didn’t like him but I did enjoy the first book a lot, so reading this book was a given for me. What really surprised me was that I not only enjoyed this book as much or maybe more than the first book, I also came to like the character of Colin…a lot!
- A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara Of all the books that I have read and there really are quite a few on that list, 'A Little Life' has proven to be the most emotionally gut wrenching and heart breaking story I have encountered to date and I truly hope that doesn't change ever.
- Withered + Sere by TJ Klune I read this book for the author, TJ Klune is an auto read for me. I loved this book because of the story. It was compelling, incredibly well written and showed us a world that truly could be. I also need to mention the second book Crisped & Sere which was every bit as much worth reading.
- How To Be A Normal Person by TJ Klune How to be a Normal Person is both a funny and touching story about being yourself and falling in love when you least expect it and with who you least expect. It’s a story that delivers a vital message about being who you are and loving who you want how you want to.
- Foxes by Suki Fleet In ‘Foxes’ Suki Fleet makes us look at the lives of street kids. A group that so much of society needs to see but often prefers to look away from. The story may be fiction but the subject is very socially relevant. In spite of the cold harsh setting of the streets that was the backdrop for this story it was one of the most heartwarming and beautiful stories that I was fortunate enough to enjoy in 2016.
- The High King's Golden Tongue by Megan Derr Fantasy is my first love, long before I discovered the m/m genre I was reading fantasy and when Megan Derr originally wrote this story for the M/M Romance Groups ‘Love Is Always Write’ event back in 2012. I thought it was an incredible story, needless to say when she expanded that story to a book I was in and I was not disappointed. I devoured this book and just as quickly ate up the second book ‘The Pirates of Fathoms Deep’ and now I anxiously await the next book in this series.
- What It Looks Like by Matthew J. Metzger I read this one because a friend asked me to do a buddy read with her. I was blown away by this book because the story was so much more than I had been anticipating. There were subtle twist and turns and the grabbed my attention and held it and I loved the characters created by this author.
- Strong Signal by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell This one is about finding love in the cyber age and the concept intrigued me but it was the execution of the concept that really impressed me and kept me reading avidly right up to and beyond the last pages of this story and into the next.
- Snakes Among Sweet Flowers by Jason Huffman-Black I was drawn to this book by the pretty cover. I stayed because the story was even more incredible than the cover. This was a first time novel from a new author and I can’t wait to see what this author has in store for us.
- Fish Out Of Water by Amy Lane Amy Lane is one of my favorite m/m authors and when she decided to write a story with a strong mystery and a romantic pairing that I totally loved. I enjoyed this book so much that I read the book when it was released back in July and when the audio book became available I was totally on board to hear this one again.
- Brute by Kim Fielding I can tell you that if you haven't read this book, you must.
- David, Renewed by Diana Copland This book is near perfect, with a fantastic cast, two utterly lovable MCs, great moms, a snarky assistant who needs his own book, and a tender and oh-so-sweet romance.
- The Second Son by John Inman This book isn't for everyone - I know that. For me, though, for me it was earth-shattering and profound and, in a small way, affirming that what I believe to be true.
- The Queen & The Homo Jock King by TJ Klune The Queen and The Homo Jock King is full of blurt-it-out rambling, what-the-hell-just-happened goodness, chockful of fantastic supporting characters, and so many hilarious one-liners!
- Wolfsong, by TJ Klune Tj's particular brand of magic was perfect for this story. He carefully chose and placed each word within the story to give it the most impact possible, and he left me utterly breathless and in awe.
- Everyday History by Alice Archer Beautifully written, highly engaging, and definitely recommended. Get yourself a copy of this and savor every single word inside. The many unique aspects of this book are well worth your time.
- Son Of Money by Brandon Witt I was drawn in from the start, laughing, hoping, fearing, and crying with the characters, fanning myself during the sexy times, and on the edge of my seat while they figured out the whodunit.
- Go Tell It On The Mountains by Nick Wilgus This is definitely a book that should be read at least twice, so you can accurately capture the many nuances Nick so carefully and brilliantly builds into his writing, to allow you to read between the lines, to get those OMG and AHA moments that ever so subtly creep up on you.
- Defenseless by AJ Rose AJ Rose crafted a powerful book, one I couldn't stop reading, mesmerized and so very moved until the very last page. Her sensitivity in handling the vicious attack and its aftermath, her eloquent insights into the impact the attack has on Kyle's and Jesse's lives, the careful way she explored each man and let us see inside their heads - it was spell-binding.
- Pansies by Alexis Hall Utterly gorgeous, and perfectly British. Highly recommended. Seriously. Go, get this book. Go.
If I Should Stumble by Claire Davis and Al Stewart
There aren't many books I'd take with me to a deserted island, out of all the many books I've read, but this is surely one of them. It's... everything.
- Rock by Anyta Sunday (2014) ALL THE FUCKING STARS, people. All of them.
- Wolfsong by TJ Klune Yes, there were metric tons of angst and tears in this story, but there was so much love, so much connection between the characters that it all felt like a continual lightning strike to the heart.
- Daring Fate (Silver Tip Pack, #1) by Megan Erickson I was on the edge of my seat and loving it, dying to see what was going to happen next.
- Unraveling Josh by Edie Danford I absolutely LOVED this one, even though I hadn't read either of the first two books in the series.
- Beyond the Sea by Keira Andrews I truly loved the give and take dynamic between Troy, who has the world at his feet when they first meet, and Brian, who's basically at his own rock bottom mentally, hiding from old friends and the world in general.
- Fast Connection (Cyberlove #2) by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell I'll wrap it up by saying this book was a solid 5-star read for me and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a solid story with amazing characters.
- Leo Loves Aries by Anyta Sunday This is your classic tale where the straight guy meets another guy who he clicks with on every single level, but still can't see the forest for the trees.
- Noah by Cara Dee
- Overexposed (In Focus, #4) by Megan Erickson This story confronted a lot of difficult issues, so it isn't all love and laughter, yet it does contain enough hope and genuine feelings so that the journey is mostly an enjoyable one.
- Home by Cara Dee I loved how there was no 'big misunderstanding,' causing a separation, then subsequent reconciliation.
And there you have it, our lists of best books for 2016. What were some of your favorites?
One $15 giftcard to either Amazon or ARe, winner's choice. Tell us your favorite books of 2016! Contest ends 12/31/16. Please be sure to include your email in the comment section.
Thank you for visiting, thank you for reading, and Happy Holidays to you and yours!!