Monday, December 28, 2020

Between the Pages - Books I Read in 2020


 “Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” ~ Mason Cooley

The year 2020 will certainly be a memorable one for many reasons—the pandemic, politics, social injustices, natural calamities, and many other situations have tested or devastated humankind beyond any year during my six plus decades. The solace and escapism that reading offers me in a "normal" year is remarkable enough. In 2020 I believe it was literally my salvation. In 2019 five months of my year's reading was done while traveling and camping, this year's self-isolating kept me immobile in my 136 sq. ft. tiny dwelling. I am very thankful that by being a true introvert, I am able to live a quiet and simple life where books can be such a huge part of my contentment and well-being. I hope you found whatever sense of "rightness" possible in the books you read this year. 
 
Several times this year I struggled with the ability to concentrate while reading or listening to books. The sense of despair I felt during those periods certainly felt incapacitating. (I mean, what am I if I cannot read?!) Fortunately, the right book made its way to me at the right time to get me beyond each of those dark times. For those of you suffering similarly, I hope those "rescue" books continue to find their way to you.

I would like to offer a bit of encouragement to those readers who are struggling financially. I feel extremely fortunate that as someone with an annual income about 80% below the poverty line, I am still able to read to my heart's content by accessing my public library's digital collection via OverDrive and by using Amazon's Kindle Unlimited program. Also, by signing up at BookBub many years ago, I am notified every day of free and bargain-priced books in my selected genres. Then there are my dear friends and family members who have gifted me with Kindle Unlimited and Audible subscriptions throughout the year. The amount of joy your gifts have provided me with is unending. Thank you all so much! 

This year I ended up reading proportionately more romance, which lead me to remove my favorite categories for all other genres. However, I wanted to highlight these exceptional books from the following genres: mystery [A Conspiracy of Bones (Temperance Brennan #19) by Kathy Reichs], suspense [Fair Warning (Jack McEvoy #3) by Michael Connelly], thriller [The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides (published 02/05/2019)], historical fiction (The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis and The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson), urban fantasy [Dawn Caravan (Elemental Legacy #4) by Elizabeth Hunter], and memoirs (Disloyal: A Memoir by Michael Cohen and narrated by Robert Petkoff and I'm Your Huckleberry by Val Kilmer).

To all the authors whose stories saved me this year, and especially those who wrote my favorites below, you've earned my highest esteem, gratitude, and adoration. Thank you!

As I haven't discovered a better way of expressing the following, I shall repeat what I said in previous years...
 

The books I select as my favorites each year are those that: I get lost in; the ones that while reading, I lose all track of time; the ones that evoke the strongest emotions; the ones that make me laugh, cry, blush, gasp, and sigh. Yeah, those books!

Each year I meticulously review my database and Goodreads shelves to select my favorites. Even though I arbitrarily decide upon the categories, I am careful in considering which books deserve each designation.

Sadly, no matter how much I love a book, I am unable to recall details. In other words, although my devotion is clear, my memory is not. I would, indeed, like to attempt to explain my choices to anyone who may be interested.

There are several books that were published this year that I wanted to read but was unable to, some of which were published late in the year. I may have to make an exception for some of them and include them in a future list, just as I made an exception this year for one book (*) that was published in 2017.

I'll be starting out 2021 with well over 250 books on my to-be-read shelves—primary and secondary—and nearly 100 books on my library wish list. I've chosen The Searcher by Tana French as the first read to begin in 2021 and set my Goodreads Challenge goal at 220 books.

My 2020 Stats

My Goodreads Challenge total was 247 (first reads and rereads of single titles).
My database total was 218 (first reads only and book bundles are counted as a single title).

(Note: I receive no monetary compensation. I only wish to show my appreciation. The book links below open up to the corresponding Webpages on Amazon.com or Audible.com.)


 My Favorites Published in 2020

(alphabetical by author)

Single Titles

Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon
Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover
Layla by Colleen Hoover
Happily Letter After by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward
The Bribe (Calamity Montana #1) by Willa Nash (Devney Perry)
By a Thread by Lucy Score
The Cabin by Jasinda Wilder

Special Mentions

*Catching Caden (The Perfect Game #1) by Samantha Christy (published 12/07/2017)

Series Titles (two or more installments published within 2020)

Cobra Elite Series (Hard Edge, Hard Line, & Hard Pursuit) by Pamela Clare
Bellamy Creek Series (Drive Me Wild & Make Me Yours) by Melanie Harlow
Glimmer Lake Series (Suddenly Psychic, Semi-Psychic Life, & Psychic Dreams) by Elizabeth Hunter
Moonstone Cove Series (Runaway Fate & Fate Actually) by Elizabeth Hunter
Wildfire Lake Series (In Too Deep, Going Under, & Swept Away) by Skye Jordan

Favorites by Category

Favorite Contemporary Romance - Happily Letter After by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward
Favorite Historical Romance - Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels #6) by Lisa Kleypas
Favorite Romantic Suspense - Hard Pursuit (Cobra Elite #6) by Pamela Clare
Favorite Inspirational Romance - Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover
Favorite New Adult - Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover
Favorite Novella - Forever Wild (The Simple Wild #2.5) by K.A. Tucker
Favorite Paranormal Romance - Fate Actually (Moonstone Cove #2) by Elizabeth Hunter (with the most beautiful AFTERWORD in literary history!)
Favorite Romantic Series - Wildfire Lake Series by Skye Jordan
Favorite Audiobook - (tie) A Guy Walks Into My Bar by Lauren Blakely and narrated by Shane East & Joe Arden and Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels #6) by Lisa Kleypas and narrated by Mary Jane Wells.
Favorite Alpha Male - Dante "Reno" DeLuca of Dirty Deeds (Devil Kings MC #1) by Nicole James
Favorite Romantic Hero - Asher Valentine of Asher (Ashes & Embers #6) by Carian Cole
Favorite Romantic Heroine - Blair Beaufort of Drive Me Wild (Bellamy Creek #1) by Melanie Harlow
Favorite Romantic Couple - Caden Kessler & Murphy Cavenaugh of *Catching Caden (The Perfect Game #1) by Samantha Christy (published 12/07/2017).
 

Most Tormented Hero - Father Gabriel Thorne of Father Figure by Jane Harvey-Berrick and Alana Albertson
Most Heroic Hero - Malik Jones of Hard Pursuit (Cobra Elite #6) by Pamela Clare
Most "Kick-Ass" Heroine - Kristi Chang of Hard Pursuit (Cobra Elite #6) by Pamela Clare
Most Realistic Romance - Love Under Quarantine by Kylie Scott and Audrey Carlan
Most Luscious - Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels #6) by Lisa Kleypas
Most Erotic - On My Knees Duet (Worship #1 and Adore #2) by Ella James
Most Heartrending - The Cabin by Jasinda Wilder
Most Humorous - By a Thread by Lucy Score
Most Taboo - Credence by Penelope Douglas (quite the shocking read!)
Most Pleasant Surprise - Going Under (Wildfire Lake #2) by Skye Jordan
Most Surprising Plot Twist - Uncharted Waters by Scott MacKenzie (and there were several this year!)
Most Striking Cover - Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon

 


Most Anticipated Books of 2021 

How to Get Lucky (Kindle and Audible) by Lauren Blakely and Joe Arden
Broken French by Natasha Boyd
Heartbreak Bay (Stillhouse Lake Book 5) by Rachel Caine 
Don't Kiss the Bride by Carian Cole
Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone (Outlander #9) by Diana Gabaldon (Fingers crossed!)
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
The Invitation by Vi Keeland
The Bluff (Calamity Montana #2) by Willa Nash (Devney Perry)
Amped (Trent Brothers #2) by Tina Reber (Everything crossed that this will finally be released in 2021!) 
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Legacy: A Novel by Nora Roberts
The Crush by Penelope Ward
 


Book Bundles I Read in 2020 
 
Since my book database counts a multi-book bundle as a single book, the following is a list of the individual books from within the book bundle I read this year. The remainder of my 2020 book database follows.

Infidelity Box Set (5 Book) Bundle by Aleatha Romig
Betrayal (#1) 10/26/2020 (10 out of 10 stars)
Cunning (#2) 10/27/2020 (10 out of 10 stars)
Deception (#3) 10/28/2020 (10 out of 10 stars)
Entrapment (#4) 10/30/2020 (10 out of 10 stars)
Fidelity (#5) 10/31/2020 (10 out of 10 stars)

 

Individual First Time Reads of 2020
(The (a) following a book's title designates an audiobook.
Table best viewed in landscape mode on mobile devices.) 

All the Books I Read in 2020

Author Title Publication Year Reading Date My Rating
Adams, Lyssa Kay Undercover Bromance (a) 2020 7/6/2020 6
Armentrout, Jennifer L. Moonlight Sins (a) 2018 6/2/2020 6
Armentrout, Jennifer L. Moonlight Seduction (a) 2018 6/10/2020 8
Armentrout, Jennifer L. Moonlight Scandals (a) 2019 10/25/2020 8
Blakely, Lauren A Guy Walks Into My Bar (a) 2020 8/26/2020 10
Blakely, Lauren The Break-Up Album (a) 2018 9/15/2020 8
Blakely, Lauren P.S. It's Always Been You: Part 1 2020 6/23/2020 6
Blakely, Lauren P.S. It's Always Been You: Part 2 2020 6/24/2020 6
Blakely, Lauren P.S. It's Always Been You: Part 3 2020 6/24/2020 6
Blakely, Lauren One Night Only (a) 2020 9/30/2020 6
Bocci, Nina On the Corner of Love and Hate 2020 1/19/2020 4
Bowen, Rhys The Ghost of Christmas Past 2017 12/1/2020 8
Bowen, Sarina Lies and Lullabies 2020 10/24/2020 6
Boyd, Natasha Accidental Tryst (a) 2018 2/19/2020 8
Bromberg, K. Cockpit (fka Worth the Risk) 2018 1/29/2020 4
Bromberg, K. Flirting with 40 2020 10/12/2020 8
Brooks, Abby Beyond Words 2019 1/27/2020 8
Brooks, Abby Beyond Love 2019 3/21/2020 6
Brooks, Abby Beyond Now 2019 3/26/2020 8
Brooks, Abby Beyond Us 2020 10/8/2020 6
Brooks, Teagan Dash 2018 1/3/2020 4
Brown, Sandra Thick as Thieves 2020 9/14/2020 8
Caine, Rachel Bitter Falls 2020 10/10/2020 8
Carlan, Audrey What the Heart Wants 2020 9/11/2020 8
Carlson, Melody The Happy Camper 2020 5/20/2020 6
Carr, Robyn The Wanderer (a) 2013 3/20/2020 6
Carr, Robyn Harvest Moon (a) 2011 2/17/2020 8
Carr, Robyn Bring Me Home for Christmas (a) 2011 9/2/2020 8
Carr, Robyn Hidden Summit (a) 2011 9/10/2020 6
Carr, Robyn Redwood Bend (a) 2012 9/16/2020 8
Carr, Robyn Sunrise Point (a) 2012 9/20/2020 6
Carr, Robyn My Kind of Christmas (a) 2012 9/22/2020 8
Castille, Sarah Nico (a) 2016 2/24/2020 10
Castille, Sarah Luca (a) 2017 2/25/2020 10
Castille, Sarah Rocco (a) 2018 2/26/2020 10
Castille, Sarah Rough Justice (a) 2015 3/6/2020 6
Cates, Georgia Eighty-One Nights 2019 10/14/2020 10
Cates, Georgia Beautiful Ever After 2019 10/14/2020 10
Cates, Georgia Intern Girl 2020 3/23/2020 8
Chase, Emma Dirty Charmer (a) 2020 6/20/2020 8
Chase, Emma Getting Played (a) 2019 1/3/2020 8
Cherry, Brittainy Southern Storms 2020 10/3/2020
Christy, Samantha Catching Caden (a) 2018 11/3/2020 10
Christy, Samantha Catching Caden 2017 8/2/2020 10
Christy, Samantha Benching Brady 2018 8/5/2020 8
Christy, Samantha Stealing Sawyer 2018 8/8/2020 8
Clare, Pamela Hard Edge 2020 6/10/2020 8
Clare, Pamela Hard Line 2020 8/28/2020 10
Clare, Pamela Hard Pursuit 2020 12/19/2020 10
Clare, Pamela Sweet Release (a) 2014 9/25/2020 8
Clare, Pamela Carnal Gift (a) 2014 9/27/2020 8
Clare, Pamela Ride the Fire (a) 2015 9/29/2020 10
Cohen, Michael Disloyal: A Memoir (a) 2020 10/5/2020 8
Cole, Carian Asher 2020 6/3/2020 10
Cole, Fiona Voyeur 2018 1/25/2020 6
Connelly, Michael The Poet 2003 4/25/2020 8
Connelly, Michael The Scarecrow 2009 6/1/2020 8
Connelly, Michael Fair Warning 2020 10/17/2020 10
Conner, Claudia Waiting for You 2019 12/30/2020 8
Cosway, L.H. Beyond the Sea 2020 6/21/2020 8
Cunning, Olivia Hot Ticket (a) 2013 2/9/2020 8
Darhower, J.M. Sempre (a) 2013 6/28/2020 10
Darhower, J.M. Ghosted (a) 2017 3/26/2020 8
Darhower, J.M. Menace (a) 2017 1/29/2020 10
Darhower, J.M. Grievous (a) 2017 1/31/2020 10
Davenport, Jack Clutch 2020 10/14/2020 8
Davis, Fiona The Lions of Fifth Avenue 2020 8/18/2020 8
Delinsky, Barbara A Week at the Shore 2020 7/15/2020 6
Delinsky, Barbara Within Reach (a) 2019 8/29/2020 6
Douglas, Penelope Credence 2020 1/23/2020 10
Evanovich, Stephanie Big Girl Panties 2013 9/20/2020 8
Force, Marie Fatal Affair (a) 2010 3/1/2020 8
Force, Marie How Much I Feel 2020 11/19/2020 8
Force, Marie How Much I Care 2020 11/24/2020 8
Force, Marie Finding Forever 2020 8/30/2020 10
Frank, Ella Inside Affair 2020 9/26/2020 8
Frank, Ella Breaking News 2020 9/28/2020 8
Frank, Ella Headlines 2020 9/29/2020 8
Gael, Christine Writing Wrongs 2020 2/23/2020 6
Garvis Graves, Tracey Every Time I Think of You (a) 2015 2/1/2020 8
Grisham, John Camino Island (a) 2017 3/6/2020 6
Halle, Karina Lovewrecked 2020 7/6/2020 4
Harlow, Melanie If You Were Mine 2017 10/4/2020 8
Harlow, Melanie From This Moment 2017 10/6/2020 8
Harlow, Melanie Drive Me Wild (a) 2020 10/18/2020 10
Harlow, Melanie Drive Me Wild 2020 8/28/2020 10
Harlow, Melanie Make Me Yours 2020 11/25/2020 10
Harlow, Melanie Irresistible 2019 1/27/2020 8
Harlow, Melanie Undeniable 2019 2/26/2020 6
Harlow, Melanie Insatiable 2019 3/2/2020 6
Harlow, Melanie Unbreakable 2020 3/17/2020 8
Harlow, Melanie Unforgettable 2020 5/25/2020 8
Harmon, Amy Where the Lost Wander 2020 7/26/2020 10
Harvey-Berrick, Jane; Albertson, Alana Father Figure 2020 5/22/2020 8
Henry, Emily Beach Read 2020 12/28/2020 6
Hoover, Colleen Heart Bones 2020 8/27/2020 10
Hoover, Colleen Layla 2020 12/15/2020 10
Hunter, Elizabeth Waking Hearts (a) 2016 3/3/2020 6
Hunter, Elizabeth Dawn Caravan 2020 6/30/2020 8
Hunter, Elizabeth The Stars Afire 2018 1/16/2020 8
Hunter, Elizabeth The Scarlet Deep (a) 2016 12/5/2020 6
Hunter, Elizabeth Suddenly Psychic 2020 2/20/2020 10
Hunter, Elizabeth Semi-Psychic Life 2020 4/28/2020 8
Hunter, Elizabeth Psychic Dreams 2020 8/25/2020 10
Hunter, Elizabeth The Secret (a) 2015 11/9/2020 6
Hunter, Elizabeth Ink (a) 2018 2/29/2020 8
Hunter, Elizabeth Runaway Fate 2020 11/11/2020 8
Hunter, Elizabeth Fate Actually 2020 12/17/2020 10
James, Ella Worship (a) 2020 11/20/2020 6
James, Ella Worship 2019 11/12/2020 6
James, Ella Adore (a) 2020 11/20/2020 6
James, Ella Adore 2019 11/12/2020 6
James, Nicole Dirty Deeds 2020 5/15/2020 8
James, Nicole Dirty Deals 2020 7/22/2020 8
James, Nicole Dirty Desires 2020 10/4/2020 8
Jones, Kim That Guy (a) 2018 3/18/2020 8
Jones, Tom Over the Top and Back 2015 8/11/2020 6
Jordan, Skye In Too Deep 2020 9/17/2020 8
Jordan, Skye Going Under 2020 9/18/2020 10
Jordan, Skye Swept Away 2020 12/15/2020 10
Kaye, Laura Fighting for Everything (a) 2018 1/4/2020 8
Keeland, Vi Inappropriate 2020 1/21/2020 10
Keeland, Vi Inappropriate (a) 2020 3/17/2020 8
Keeland, Vi Sex, Not Love (a) 2018 2/13/2020 8
Keeland, Vi The Rivals 2020 7/21/2020 8
Keeland, Vi; Ward, Penelope Dirty Letters (a) 2019 12/3/2020 10
Keeland, Vi; Ward, Penelope Happily Letter After 2020 10/21/2020 10
Keeland, Vi; Ward, Penelope Happily Letter After (a) 2020 11/19/2020 10
Kennedy, Elle The Chase 2018 1/13/2020 4
Kilmer, Val I'm Your Huckleberry 2020 4/30/2020 10
Kleypas, Lisa Chasing Cassandra (a) 2020 10/18/2020 10
Kleypas, Lisa Chasing Cassandra 2020 4/5/2020 10
Kleypas, Lisa The Devil in Winter 2009 10/31/2020 10
Lake, Autumn Jones Slow Burn (a) 2018 1/10/2020 8
Lake, Autumn Jones Corrupting Cinderella (a) 2018 1/11/2020 8
Lake, Autumn Jones Strength From Loyalty (a) 2018 1/18/2020 8
Lauren, Christina The Honey-Don't List 2020 4/9/2020 6
Lee, Robinne The Idea of You (a) 2018 1/9/2020 10
MacKenzie, Scott Uncharted Waters 2020 5/16/2020 10
Mallery, Susan Accidentally Yours (a) 2007 2/16/2020 8
March, Meghan Black Sheep (a) 2019 9/7/2020 8
March, Meghan White Knight (a) 2019 9/8/2020 8
March, Meghan Richer Than Sin (a) 2018 7/19/2020 6
March, Meghan Guilty As Sin (a) 2018 7/21/2020 6
March, Meghan Reveling in Sin (a) 2018 7/22/2020 6
McQuiston, Casey Red, White & Royal Blue 2019 1/1/2020 10
Meyer, Stephenie Midnight Sun 2020 9/8/2020 4
Michaelides, Alex The Silent Patient 2019 3/29/2020 10
Nash, Willa The Bribe 2020 10/15/2020 10
Nickless, Barbara Blood on the Tracks (a) 2016 12/20/2020 8
Nickless, Barbara Gone to Darkness 2020 6/20/2020 8
O'Roark, Elizabeth Across Time 2019 4/14/2020 8
O'Roark, Elizabeth Across Eternity 2020 4/18/2020 8
Perry, Devney Rifts and Refrains 2020 11/28/2020 10
Perry, Devney The Candle Palace (a) 2019 2/27/2020 8
Perry, Devney Runaway Road 2020 5/13/2020 8
Perry, Devney Wild Highway 2020 8/22/2020 6
Perry, Devney Quarter Miles 2020 8/30/2020 8
Perry, Devney Riven Knight 2020 2/7/2020 10
Perry, Devney Stone Princess 2020 6/15/2020 8
Phillips, Susan Elizabeth Dance Away with Me 2020 7/18/2020 8
Proby, Kristen Come Away With Me (a) 2013 12/13/2020 4
Proby, Kristen Dream With Me 2020 3/12/2020 6
Krentz, Jayne Ann Mistress (a) 2012 8/27/2020 8
Quinn, Meghan The Modern Gentleman 2020 8/11/2020 4
Regnery, Kate Unloved 2017 10/23/2020 10
Regnery, Kate Unloved (a) 2018 10/23/2020 10
Reichs, Kathy A Conspiracy of Bones 2020 4/7/2020 10
Reilly, Cora Sweet Temptation 2020 5/23/2020 8
Reiss, C.D. Crowne of Lies 2020 9/16/2020 8
Reiss, C.D. Crowne Rules 2020 10/1/2020 8
Reiss, C.D. Pretty Scars 2019 1/6/2020 8
Reisz, Tiffany The Headmaster (a) 2015 9/5/2020 10
Reisz, Tiffany The Lucky Ones (a) 2018 11/5/2020 8
Reisz, Tiffany The Night Mark (a) 2017 11/28/2020 8
Reynard, Sylvain Gabriel's Promise (a) 2020 9/1/2020 6
Reynard, Sylvain Gabriel's Promise 2020 1/8/2020 10
Reynard, Sylvain The Shadow (a) 2016 4/20/2020 10
Reynard, Sylvain The Roman (a) 2016 8/15/2020 8
Richardson, Kim Michele The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek 2019 2/14/2020 10
Roberts, Nora Hideaway 2020 4/3/2020 6
Roberts, Nora Whiskey Beach (a) 2013 10/13/2020 6
Romig, Aleatha Beyond the Consequences (a) 2015 11/4/2020 6
Romig, Aleatha Ripples (a) 2017 9/13/2020 8
Romig, Aleatha Infidelity Box Set 2020 10/31/2020 10
Ryan, Kennedy Queen Move 2020 12/10/2020 8
Ryan, Kennedy Long Shot 2018 10/25/2020 10
Salsbury, J.B. Split 2015 8/1/2020 6
Score, Lucy By a Thread 2020 5/19/2020 10
Score, Lucy Riley Thorn and the Dead Guy Next Door 2020 9/25/2020 4
Scott, Kylie Closer 2019 10/14/2020 8
Scott, Kylie; Carlan, Audrey Love Under Quarantine 2020 5/6/2020 8
Stevens, Amanda The Restorer (a) 2012 1/8/2020 8
Stevens, Amanda The Kingdom (a) 2012 2/23/2020 8
Stevens, Amanda The Prophet (a) 2012 3/22/2020 8
Stevens, Amanda The Visitor (a) 9/4/2020 8
Stevens, Amanda The Sinner (a) 2016 9/19/2020 10
Stevens, Amanda The Awakening (a) 2017 9/22/2020 8
Torre, Alessandra Even Money (a) 2018 10/19/2020 10
Torre, Alessandra Double Down (a) 2018 10/20/2020 10
Torre, Alessandra Filthy Vows 2019 1/25/2020 6
Torre, Alessandra Twisted Marriage 2019 1/25/2020 6
Tucker, K.A. Wild at Heart 2020 03/15/2020 10
Tucker, K.A. Forever Wild 2020 12/23/2020 10
Ward, J.R. Lover Awakened (a) 2009 1/14/2020 6
Ward, Penelope The Anti-Boyfriend 2020 8/31/2020 8
Ward, Penelope Drunk Dial (a) 2017 11/30/2020 10
Ward, Penelope Just One Year 2020 5/12/2020 6
Ward, Penelope; Keeland, Vi My Favorite Souvenir 2020 5/4/2020 8
Ward, Penelope; Keeland, Vi My Favorite Souvenir (a) 2020 9/12/2020 8
Ward, Penelope; Keeland, Vi Park Avenue Player (a) 2019 9/3/2020 10
Westover, Tara Educated (a) 2018 8/3/2020 6
Wilder, Jasinda The Cabin 2020 11/7/2020 10
Williams, Shanora Bad for Me 2019 1/30/2020 6
Wylde, Joanna Reaper's Fall (a) 2015 10/15/2020 8
Wylde, Joanna Rome's Chance (a) 2018 3/5/2020 6
Wylde, Joanna Eli's Triumph (a) 2019 3/4/2020 6
Yarros, Rebecca Muses and Melodies 2020 12/29/2020 8

Exported from BookCollector 12/27/2020 3:27:21 PM

Monday, December 30, 2019

Between the Pages - Books I Read in 2019




"In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.” – Mortimer J. Adler

Reading is my favorite pastime by far, whether at home or away. This year I accompanied my sister on an epic RV road trip of over five months. Much of that time we were without any cell phone signal. Managing the acquisition and return of Kindle and audiobooks required precise planning with so much time offline. Reading outside with such spectacularly gorgeous scenery made reading extra special and my Kindle was my constant camping companion—for three states and over 5,000 miles! :)


As I haven't discovered a better way of expressing the following, I shall repeat what I said in previous years...

The books I select as my favorites each year are those that: I get lost in; the ones that while reading, I lose all track of time; the ones that evoke the strongest emotions; the ones that make me laugh, cry, blush, gasp, and sigh. Yeah, those books!

Each year I meticulously review my database and Goodreads shelves to select my favorites. Even though I arbitrarily decide upon the categories, I am careful in considering which books deserve each designation.

To all the authors whose stories entertained me this year, and especially those who wrote my favorites below, you've earned my highest esteem, gratitude, and adoration. Thank you!

Sadly, no matter how much I love a book, I am unable to recall details. In other words, although my devotion is clear, my memory is not. I would, indeed, like to attempt to explain my choices to anyone who may be interested.

My 2019 Stats

My Goodreads Challenge total was 236 (first reads and rereads of single titles).
My database total was 194 (first reads only & book bundles are counted as a single title).


There are several books that were published this year that I wanted to read but was unable to, some of which were published late in the year. I may have to make an exception for some of them and include them in next year's list, just as I made an exception this year for 3 books that were published in 2018.

My favorite genre remains romance, but I also enjoy carefully selected mysteries, suspense, thrillers, popular & literary fiction, and memoirs.

In 2019, I finished a total of 91 digital library books (Kindle and audiobooks). I was gifted with a Kindle Unlimited subscription and finished 44 of those, and during the short time I had the Audible Escape Package, I listened to 18 audiobooks. There were 7 books that I did not finish this year.

I'll be starting out 2020 with well over 250 books on my to-be-read shelves—primary and secondary—and nearly 100 books on my library wish list. I've chosen Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston as my first read of 2020 and set my Goodreads Challenge goal at 210 books.

(Note: I receive no monetary compensation. I only wish to show my appreciation. The book links below open up to the corresponding Webpage on Amazon.com.)


My Favorites Published in 2019

(alphabetical by author)

Single Titles

Moonlight Scandals (de Vincent #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Eleanor & Grey by Brittainy C. Cherry
Chasing Fire (Colorado High County #7) by Pamela Clare (published 12/2018)
The Night Fire (Ballard and Bosch #3) by Michael Connelly
Bombshell (EOD #2) by Jane Harvey-Berrick
Dirty Letters by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward
Devil's Daughter (Ravenels #5) by Lisa Kleypas
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah
The Last Letter by Rebecca Yarros
As Dust Dances (Play On #2) by Samantha Young (published 08/2018)

Special Mentions

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves (read an ARC and reviewed here in 2018 but published in 2019)
Waking Olivia by Elizabeth O'Roark (published in 2016 but discovered in 2019 and reviewed with high praise here)

Series Titles (two or more installments published within 2019)

Love Stories on 7th and Main Series by Elizabeth Hunter
Cobra Elite Series by Pamela Clare
Crimson Point Series by Kaylea Cross
Captain John West Series (Five Years Gone and One Year Back by Marie Force
Elemental Legacy Series by Elizabeth Hunter
The Parallel Duet by Elizabeth O'Roark
All the King's Men Duet by Kennedy Ryan


Favorites by Category

Favorite Literary Fiction - Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Favorite Historical Fiction - The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
Favorite Paranormal - Night's Reckoning (Elemental Legacy #3) by Elizabeth Hunter
Favorite Mystery - The Night Fire (Ballard & Bosch #3) by Michael Connelly
Favorite Suspense - The Boy by Tami Hoag (published in 12/2018)
Favorite Thriller - Ambush (Sydney Rose Parnell #3) by Barbara Nickless
Favorite Non-Fiction - Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow
Favorite Mainstream Romance - Under Currents by Nora Roberts
Favorite Contemporary Romance - Dirty Letters by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward 
Favorite Historical Romance - Devil's Daughter (Ravenels #5) by Lisa Kleypas
Favorite Romantic Suspense (tie) - Chasing Fire (Colorado High County #7) by Pamela Clare (published 12/2018) and Rocky Ground (Crimson Point #4) by Kaylea Cross
Favorite Paranormal (Gothic) Romance - Moonlight Scandals (de Vincent #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Favorite Inspirational Romance - The Last Letter by Rebecca Yarros
Favorite New Adult - Eleanor & Grey by Brittainy C. Cherry
Favorite Novella - Valley of the Shadow (Elemental World #4.5) by Elizabeth Hunter
Favorite Romantic Series - Cobra Elite Series by Pamela Clare
Favorite Audiobook (tie) - As Dust Dances (Play On #2) by Samantha Young. Narrated by Felicity Munroe and Devil's Daughter (Ravenels #5) by Lisa Kleypas. Narrated by Mary Jane Wells.
Favorite Alpha Male - Bodie "Hammer" Dodge of Hammer (Evil Dead MC Series #10) by Nicole James
Favorite Romantic Hero - Weston Ravenel of Devil's Daughter (Ravenels #5) by Lisa Kleypas
Favorite Romantic Heroine - Phoebe, Lady Clare of Devil's Daughter (Ravenels#5) by Lisa Kleypas
Favorite Romantic Couple - Connor O'Neal and Shanti Lahiri of Hard Asset (Cobra Elite #2) by Pamela Clare

Most Tormented Hero - Caden St. John of The Edge Series by C.D. Reiss
Most "Kick-Ass" Heroine - Jenna Hamilton of Hard Target (Cobra Elite #1) by Pamela Clare
Most Realistic Romance - Grit (7th and Main #3) by Elizabeth Hunter
Most Luscious - Devil's Daughter (Ravenels #5) by Lisa Kleypas
Most Erotic - Misadventures of a Curvy Girl by Sierra Simone
Most Heartrending - The Last Letter by Rebecca Yarros
Most Humorous - Devil's Daughter (Ravenels #5) by Lisa Kleypas
Most Guilty Pleasure - Call Me Daddy by Emma Roberts
Most Pleasant Surprise - As Dust Dances (Play On #2) by Samantha Young
Most Striking Cover - Hooked (7th and Main #2) by Elizabeth Hunter


Most Anticipated Books of 2020

Dirty Charmer (The Bodyguards #1) by Emma Chase
Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone (Outlander #9) by Diana Gabaldon (Fingers crossed!)
Inappropriate by Vi Keeland
Chasing Cassandra (Ravenels #6) by Lisa Kleypas
The Blessings of Ethan Blackstone (Blackstone Affair #5) by Raine Miller (Fingers crossed!)
My Lord (Rothvale Legacy, #2) by Raine Miller (Fingers crossed!)
Runaway Road by Devney Perry
Amped (Trent Brothers #2) by Tina Reber (I hope this one will finally be released in 2020!)
A Conspiracy of Bones (Temperance Brennan #19) by Kathy Reichs
Gabriel's Promise (Gabriel's Inferno #4) by Sylvain Reynard
Hideaway by Nora Roberts 
Wild at Heart (Wild #2) by K.A. Tucker



Book Bundles I Read in 2019

Since my book database counts a multi-book bundle as a single book, the following is a list of the individual books from within the book bundles I read this year. The remainder of my 2019 book database follows.

Edge of Darkness: The Complete Edge Series (5 Book) Bundle by C.D. Reiss
Cutting Edge (#.5) 03/13/2019 (8 out of 10 stars)
Rough Edge (#1) 03/13/2019 (8 out of 10 stars)
On the Edge (#2) 03/13/2019 (8 out of 10 stars)
Broken Edge (#3) 04/15/2019 (8 out of 10 stars)
Over the Edge (#4) 04/26/2019 (6 out of 10 stars)

Broken Souls (2 Book) Bundle by C.D. Reiss
Secret Sins (#1) 05/12/2019 (6 out of 10 stars)
Sacred Sins (#2) 05/14/2019 (6 out of 10 stars)



Individual First Time Reads of 2019
(The (a) following a book's title designates an audiobook.
Table best viewed in landscape mode on mobile devices.) All the Books I Read in 2019

Author Title Publication Year Reading Date My Rating
Adams, Lyssa Kay The Bromance Book Club 2019 12/21/2019 8
Alexander, Kindle Order 2019 3/7/2019 6
Andrews, Julie Home Work 2019 10/30/2019 8
Armentrout, Jennifer L. Moonlight Sins 2018 2/17/2019 10
Armentrout, Jennifer L. Moonlight Seduction 2018 2/18/2019 10
Armentrout, Jennifer L. Moonlight Scandals 2019 3/19/2019 10
Ashley, Kristen Fast Lane 2019 11/1/2019 4
Blakely, Lauren Satisfaction Guaranteed (a) 2019 11/6/2019 10
Bowen, Sarina Fireworks 2018 4/2/2019 4
Boyd, Natasha Inconvenient Wife 2018 1/20/2019 6
Bromberg, K. Cuffed 2017 6/13/2019 6
Bromberg, K. Combust 2018 12/26/2019 6
Brown, Sandra Outfox 2019 9/4/2019 8
Caine, Rachel Wolfhunter River 2019 5/21/2019 8
Carlino, Renee Blind Kiss 2018 9/22/2019 6
Carlino, Renee The Last Post 2019 9/13/2019 8
Carlino, Renee Wish You Were Here 2017 9/15/2019 10
Carr, Robyn Angel's Peak (a) 2010 1/6/2019 6
Carr, Robyn Moonlight Road (a) 2010 1/9/2019 6
Carr, Robyn Promise Canyon (a) 2010 11/4/2019 6
Carr, Robyn Wild Man Creek (a) 2011 12/28/2019 6
Cherry, Brittainy Eleanor & Grey 2019 5/6/2019 10
Child, Lee Persuader 2003 7/6/2019 4
Christy, Samantha Purple Orchids 2015 5/7/2019 8
Clare, Pamela Hard Target 2019 8/14/2019 10
Clare, Pamela Hard Asset 2019 11/18/2019 10
Clare, Pamela Hard Justice 2019 12/22/2019 10
Clare, Pamela Chasing Fire 2018 3/5/2019 10
Connelly, Michael The Night Fire 2019 11/16/2019 10
Connelly, Michael The Black Box 2013 2/20/2019 8
Connelly, Michael The Burning Room 2014 5/28/2019 8
Connelly, Michael The Crossing 2015 6/8/2019 10
Connelly, Michael The Wrong Side of Goodbye 2016 6/9/2019 10
Connelly, Michael Two Kinds of Truth 2017 6/13/2019 10
Connor, Claudia Where I Belong 2018 7/26/2019 6
Cross, Kaylea Fractured Honor 2018 9/19/2019 8
Cross, Kaylea Buried Lies 2018 9/22/2019 8
Cross, Kaylea Shattered Vows 2019 9/22/2019 8
Cross, Kaylea Rocky Ground 2019 9/22/2019 10
Davenport, Jack Minus 2018 2/21/2019 10
Davenport, Piper Road to Peace 2018 6/13/2019 8
Davis, Fiona The Chelsea Girls 2018 10/3/2019 8
Daws, Amy Wait With Me 2018 4/13/2019 8
Daws, Amy Next in Line 2018 6/3/2019 4
Day, Sylvia Butterfly in Frost 2019 10/23/2019 6
Day, Sylvia One With You (a) 2016 11/1/2019 10
Douglas, Penelope Birthday Girl (a) 2018 10/31/2019 8
Dunbar, L.B. Second Chance 2019 2/5/2019 4
Dunbar, L.B. After Care 2018 6/13/2019 8
Dunbar, L.B. Restored Dreams 2018 7/22/2019 6
Fairstein, Linda Blood Oath 2019 4/12/2019 8
Farrow, Ronan Catch and Kill 2019 12/19/2019 10
Force, Marie Five Years Gone (a) 2019 8/8/2019 10
Force, Marie Five Years Gone 2018 4/16/2019 10
Force, Marie One Year Home 2019 11/11/2019 10
Force, Marie Fatal Chaos 2018 5/30/2019 10
Force, Marie Famous 2019 12/1/2019 6
Frank, Ella; Blaine, Brooke Halo 2019 3/17/2019 6
Frank, Ella; Blaine, Brooke Viper 2019 4/4/2019 6
Frank, Ella; Blaine, Brooke Angel 2019 5/6/2019 6
Garvis Graves, Tracey The Girl He Used to Know (a) 2019 10/18/2019 10
Gerritsen, Tess The Shape of Night 2019 12/11/2019 8
Gilbert , Elizabeth City of Girls 2019 9/10/2019 10
Godwin, Pam Knotted 2018 6/16/2019 4
Grafton, Sue "Y" is for Yesterday 2017 1/18/2019 8
Halle, Karina The Forbidden Man 2019 12/18/2019 8
Halle, Karina My Life in Shambles 2019 4/19/2019 6
Halle, Karina The Swedish Prince 2018 2/10/2019 6
Halle, Karina The Wild Heir 2018 3/12/2019 6
Halle, Karina A Nordic King 2018 2/7/2019 8
Harvey-Berrick, Jane Bombshell 2019 3/2/2019 10
Harvey-Berrick, Jane Guarding the Billionaire 2019 6/21/2019 8
Harvey-Berrick, Jane Saving the Billionaire 2019 6/24/2019 8
Hoag, Tami The Boy 2018 5/6/2019 10
Hoover, Colleen Maybe Now 2018 9/17/2019 6
Hoover, Colleen Regretting You 2019 12/13/2019 8
Hoover, Colleen Verity 2018 1/6/2019 8
Hunter, Elizabeth Blood Apprentice 2019 11/23/2019 10
Hunter, Elizabeth The Devil and the Dancer 2019 11/24/2019 8
Hunter, Elizabeth Night's Reckoning 2019 11/28/2019 10
Hunter, Elizabeth Valley of the Shadow 2019 12/11/2019 10
Hunter, Elizabeth The Seeker 2018 7/10/2019 8
Hunter, Elizabeth Hooked 2019 10/20/2019 8
Hunter, Elizabeth Grit 2019 10/21/2019 10
Hunting, Helena Hooking Up 2017 7/26/2019 8
Hunting, Helena Making Up 2019 10/5/2019 8
Iles, Greg The Death Factory 2014 8/18/2019 6
Jackson, Brenda A Lover's Vow 2015 12/24/2019 6
James, E.L. The Mister 2019 4/24/2019 8
James, Nicole Liam 2019 3/5/2019 8
James, Nicole Rory 2019 6/21/2019 8
James, Nicole Hammer 2019 10/23/2019 8
Johnson, Craig Death Without Company 2007 10/9/2019 8
Keeland, Vi All Grown Up 2019 11/5/2019 8
Keeland, Vi We Shouldn't 2019 3/22/2019 8
Keeland, Vi; Ward, Penelope The Christmas Pact (a) 2019 12/16/2019 6
Keeland, Vi; Ward, Penelope Dirty Letters 2019 11/8/2019 10
Kennedy, Elle The Goal 2016 9/15/2019 8
Kenner, J. Lost With Me 2018 6/2/2019 6
Kenner, J. Damien 2019 8/18/2019 6
Kleypas, Lisa Cold-Hearted Rake (a) 2015 10/20/2019 10
Kleypas, Lisa Marrying Winterborne (a) 2016 10/21/2019 10
Kleypas, Lisa Devil in Spring (a) 2017 10/24/2019 10
Kleypas, Lisa Devil in Spring 2017 1/29/2019 10
Kleypas, Lisa Hello Stranger (a) 2018 10/26/2019 10
Kleypas, Lisa Hello Stranger 2018 2/1/2019 10
Kleypas, Lisa Devil's Daughter (a) 2019 10/27/2019 10
Kleypas, Lisa Devil's Daughter 2019 3/26/2019 10
Lake, Autumn Jones Strength from Loyalty 2015 9/4/2019 8
Lake, Autumn Jones Tattered on My Sleeve 2015 9/6/2019 8
Lauren, Christina Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating (a) 2018 6/2/2019 6
Lauren, Christina My Favorite Half-Night Stand (a) 2018 12/8/2019 8
Lauren, Christina The Unhoneymooners 2019 5/28/2019 4
Lauren, Christina Twice in a Blue Moon 2019 11/26/2019 6
Leighton, M. Wild Child 2013 8/22/2019 4
Lynn, J. Stay With Me 2014 2/28/2019 6
Moore, Demi Inside Out 2019 11/6/2019 10
Moyes, Jojo The Giver of Stars 2019 12/4/2019 10
Nickless, Barbara Ambush 2019 5/6/2019 10
O'Roark, Elizabeth Drowning Erin 2017 4/10/2019 8
O'Roark, Elizabeth Parallel 2019 7/18/2019 10
O'Roark, Elizabeth Intersect 2019 7/19/2019 10
O'Roark, Elizabeth Waking Olivia 2016 3/15/2019 10
Parker, Josephine Chasing Kate 2017 1/6/2019 6
Parker, Josephine Loving Lindsey 2017 1/7/2019 6
Perry, Devney The Coppersmith Farmhouse (a) 2017 11/9/2019 8
Perry, Devney The Clover Chapel (a) 2017 11/12/2019 8
Perry, Devney The Lucky Heart (a) 2017 11/14/2019 8
Perry, Devney The Outpost (a) 2018 11/17/2019 8
Perry, Devney The Bitterroot Inn (a) 2018 11/18/2019 8
Perry, Devney The Candle Palace 2019 10/18/2019 8
Perry, Devney Tragic 2018 2/11/2019 8
Perry, Devney Tinsel 2019 3/8/2019 10
Perry, Devney The Birthday List (a) 2018 11/27/2019 8
Perry, Devney Letters to Molly 2019 8/13/2019 8
Perry, Devney Gypsy King 2019 12/7/2019 10
Pierce, M. Last Light 2014 2/22/2019 6
Pierce, M. After Dark 2015 2/23/2019 6
Proby, Kristen Shadows 2019 12/10/2019 8
Reid, Penny Kissing Tolstoy 2017 8/6/2019 6
Reid, Penny Kissing Galileo 2019 10/3/2019 6
Reid, Penny Motion 2019 10/26/2019 4
Reid, Penny Truth or Beard (a) 2015 9/24/2019 6
Reid, Taylor Jenkins Daisy Jones & The Six 2019 11/14/2019 10
Reid, Taylor Jenkins The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo 2017 5/10/2019 8
Reiss, C.D. Broken Souls 2019 5/14/2019 6
Reiss, C.D. Edge of Darkness 2019 4/26/2019 8
Reiss, C.D. Iron Crowne 2019 12/12/2019 8
Reynard, Sylvain Gabriel's Inferno (a) 2012 11/20/2019 10
Reynard, Sylvain Gabriel's Rapture (a) 2012 12/4/2019 10
Reynard, Sylvain The Man in the Black Suit (a) 2018 9/25/2019 10
Roberts, Emma Call Me Daddy 2019 3/3/2019 8
Roberts, Nora Under Currents 2019 9/9/2019 10
Ryan, Kennedy The Kingmaker 2019 12/1/2019 10
Ryan, Kennedy The Rebel King 2019 12/1/2019 10
Salsbury, J.B. Fighting for Forever (a) 2015 5/28/2019 6
Scott, Kylie It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time 2018 2/15/2019 8
Scott, Kylie It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time (a) 2018 6/5/2019 6
Scott, Kylie Lies (a) 2019 12/26/2019 8
Scott, Kylie Repeat (a) 2019 2/3/2019 8
Scott, Kylie Strong 2018 7/24/2019 6
Shen, L.J. Sparrow 2016 1/15/2019 6
Simone, Naima Sin & Ink 2018 2/13/2019 4
Simone, Sierra Misadventures in Blue 2019 11/21/2019 8
Simone, Sierra Misadventures With a Professor 2018 3/28/2019 8
Simone, Sierra Misadventures of a Curvy Girl 2019 3/4/2019 10
Simone, Sierra American Squire 2019 11/8/2019 4
Simone, Sierra Sinner 2018 1/28/2019 8
Simone, Sierra A Lesson in Thorns 2019 10/16/2019 4
Sivec, T.E.; Arndt, Andi Heidi's Guide to Four Letter Words 2019 10/31/2019 8
Solheim, Tracy Smolder 2016 9/11/2019 4
Steinbeck, John Cannery Row 1993 12/22/2019 8
Taylor , J.S. The Doll's House 2019 6/19/2019 8
Torre, Alessandra Hidden Seams (a) 2018 1/10/2019 8
Torre, Alessandra Tripping on a Halo 2018 2/8/2019 8
Tucker, K.A. He Will Be My Ruin 2016 5/28/2019 8
Tucker, K.A. Say You Still Love Me 2019 8/31/2019 6
Tucker, K.A. The Simple Wild (a) 2018 6/26/2019 8
Vanderah, Glendy Where the Forest Meets the Stars 2019 12/15/2019 10
Ward, Penelope The Day He Came Back 2019 10/16/2019 8
Ward, Penelope Neighbor Dearest 2016 9/14/2019 10
Ward, Penelope When August Ends 2019 5/15/2019 8
Ward, Penelope; Keeland, Vi Park Avenue Player 2019 10/22/2019 10
Webber, Tammara Easy (paperback) 2012 2/20/2019 10
Wilder, Jasinda Good Girl Gone Badd 2017 2/25/2019 6
Wilder, Jasinda Hammered 2019 5/28/2019 6
Wilder, Jasinda Drilled 2018 6/13/2019 6
Wilder, Jasinda Nailed 2018 6/19/2019 6
Wilder, Jasinda Screwed 2019 7/1/2019 8
Witherspoon, Reese Whiskey in a Teacup (a) 2018 7/7/2019 4
Wylde, Joanna Eli's Triumph 2019 12/8/2019 6
Yarros, Rebecca The Last Letter 2019 5/21/2019 10
Young, Samantha As Dust Dances 2018 7/29/2019 10
Young, Samantha As Dust Dances (a) 2019 11/7/2019 10

Exported from BookCollector 12/30/2019 9:36:24 AM