Shannon’s Top 16 Reads of 2016

shannons-novel-thoughts

2016 has been a great year for some spectacular reads! The variety I found this year outside of my comfort genre because of the blog, is no less than mind boggling. I have read Romance, Cozy, Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary,  Erotica, and some LGBTQ. They are favorites, though certainly not all of them from the year, but I did choose the books that stood out to me for various reasons. There is no particular order for my list, so without any further ado…

Here is my list for 2016:

coverLundyn
I tried to do everything in my power to distance myself from Maverick Strong; Even putting some miles between us by moving across country. Yet, here I find myself back where I started from – in my hometown and too close to Maverick. This time there will be no running away. This time I am finally putting an end to this vendetta.
MAVERICK
Trying to forget her was like trying to avoid a head-on collision with a semi truck – it just wasn’t happenin’. My little sister’s best friend and my enemy since sophomore year. Our hate is mutual and a must – it’s also fun. When Lundyn moves back home after leaving town the day after … Ah, I’m getting ahead of myself. Either way, the hate is still strong and if hating isn’t right, I don’t want to be wrong.

Purchase

private-xaviernealMogul or Monster?

Billionaire Weston Wilcox hasn’t been seen by the outside world in almost a decade. No face to face meetings. No interviews. No social media accounts. Despite his ghost demeanor he continues to financially flourish and make his fellow investors richer with every decision. Throughout the years many have sought to discover the man inside the mogul while others have spread legends painting him as a heartless monster consumed by greed. None of it matters to him. Weston’s true identity is secured away in his estate of solitude, which consists of the only people in the entire world he believes he can trust. That is until he’s asked to allow a guest access to the property under extreme circumstances. One he knows he shouldn’t. It doesn’t take long before his world is turned upside down, unexpected threats arise, and Weston’s forced to ask himself what really should be kept private?

Purchase

hex-cover

Welcome to The Isle…
Lily Locke has never believed in witches and wizards, ghosts and magic, shifters and vampires—especially cute blonde vamps with blood-intolerance issues. A rising star at a hotshot marketing agency in Minneapolis, Minnesota, all Lily knows is that she’s a PowerPoint guru, an Excel ninja, and a coffee-maker extraordinaire. Not to mention she’s next in line for a huge promotion.

All that changes when Lily’s assistant delivers a strange quiz to her, one titled A Magical Assessment for Normal Folks. With it comes the promise of a land she’s never known existed. A land where Lily not only discovers her biological family for the first time, but a place where she can make a difference, change lives, and step into the role she’s destined to fulfill.

But first, Lily must admit she’s a witch. Then, she has to acknowledge that the tall, dark, and mysterious man who offers his help is strictly focused on business…at least, for now. When a body turns up dead and the next target is Lily, she must trust her powers and accept the help of her newfound friends. Otherwise, she’ll never survive the trials of the magical island tucked far, far away in the frigid waters of Lake Superior.

Welcome to The Isle.

Purchase

 

now-that-its-you

Talented chef Meg Delaney hasn’t spoken to her cheating ex-fiancé, Matt Midland, for two years. Ditching him at the altar after blurting out “I can’t” instead of “I do” would sour any relationship. But now, just as Meg is finally ready to bury the hatchet, she learns closure is permanently off the menu. And the kicker? Matt’s brother, Kyle, is back in her life, stirring up feelings that are equal parts guilt and lust.

Meg was the best thing that never happened to Kyle. He couldn’t make a move on his brother’s girlfriend—even if Matt didn’t value her nearly enough. The situation is even more complicated now that Meg’s bestselling aphrodisiac cookbook has spawned a legal battle with the Midlands. Maybe he should stay away. But love, like family, plays by its own rules. And the one woman he shouldn’t want might be the only one who’s perfect for him.

Purchase

 

just-juliet

The coming out story that will completely change the way you look at love, now available for free on Kindle Unlimited.

Juliet represents the road less traveled. Will Lena take it?

Lena Newman is 17, her best friend’s a cheerleader, her boyfriend’s a football player, and as far as everyone is concerned, her life is sorted. But that’s before she befriends the new girl. Juliet is confident, slightly damaged, drop-dead gorgeous and a lesbian.

Lena realizes that her interest goes beyond just friendship. She sets off on a path of self-discovery where the loyalty of those closest to her will be tested.

Purchase

 

family-jewelsThe New York Times bestselling first book in the Rose Gardner Investigation series, a spinoff of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today best selling Rose Gardner Mystery series.

Trouble always comes to those who court it. Rose Gardner’s ability to see glimpses of the future has gotten her into hot water time and again, but so have her curiosity and her sense of daring. Those very qualities helped her defeat the most powerful man in Arkansas—a man so adept at hiding his crimes there was no way to defeat him inside of the law—but her success came at a steep personal price. Now she’s throwing herself into her landscaping business, trying to live a life that’s as orderly as one of her gardens.

Rose’s best friend, Neely Kate, is struggling with her own losses, so when she suggests they help a local man find a missing necklace, Rose agrees. It’ll give both of them a welcome distraction, and besides, it’s a simple investigation. What harm could befall them? But things that should be simple rarely are. In seeking out the necklace, Rose and Neely Kate find themselves in the thick of a power struggle in the Fenton County underworld, one that could dethrone Rose’s friend James Malcolm, the surprisingly moral king.

The last thing Rose should do is court more trouble, but she’s not the type to step away from a friend in need—and she’s also not so sure she wants an orderly life.

Purchase

 

ball-peen-hammer“Keane Morgan wouldn’t return any of my calls or texts, and I was pissed as hell about it. I didn’t want to drive from Seattle to L.A. with the guy any more than he wanted to drive with me, but I had no frickin’ choice in the matter–at least, not if I wanted to use his brother Dax’s coveted parking spot at UCLA.

Okay, so it turned out Keane was objectively gorgeous, and, fine, pretty funny, too. But did he have to be so damned in love with himself? I mean, jeez, the cocky way he flashed those dimples was just so orchestrated. And, honestly, what kind of guy uses the phrase “baby doll” with a straight face? Oh, that’s right: the kind of guy who’s a male stripper.

Yup, the cocky jerk turned out to be Seattle’s answer to Magic Mike, a stripper known as “Ball Peen Hammer”–which meant Keane Morgan was emphatically not the kind of guy I’d ever fall for.

Not. At. All.

No freakin’ way.

Well, until Keane convinced me to fall for him, that is.

Which I did.

Hard.

Indulge in the enticing words of this phenomenal author, as she invites you into a world filled with passion, lust, and forbidden desires. One of the sexiest novels ever written, while still maintaining an enormous amount of wit and imagination. If you thought you would never be able to get into romance novels, it’s time to think again.

NOTE:
Ball Peen Hammer is a full-length, standalone sexy romantic comedy about Keane Morgan (one of four Morgan brothers introduced in The Club Series) and Maddy Milliken (the little sister of Hannah Banana Montana Milliken).

Although Keane and Maddy’s love story is set in the universe of The Club Series, it is a standalone novel with no cliffhanger and no prior reading required. Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

Purchase

 

whispersandtheroars***THIS STANDALONE IS BEST ENJOYED WHEN YOU DON’T READ ANY REVIEWS OR SPOILERS BEFORE READING. GOING IN BLIND IS BEST. TRUST ME.***

When my eyes are closed, the monster can’t see me.
When I sing a song in my head, the monster can’t hear me.
When I pretend my bedroom is a playground where I play hide-and-seek, the monster can’t find me.
The darkness should frighten me.
I should worry I’ll find more monsters…monsters scarier than him.
But I’m not afraid.
It’s safe here.
When I’m inside of my head…
He. Can’t. Ever. Touch. Me.

Warning:
Whispers and the Roars is a dark romance. Strong sexual themes and violence, which could trigger emotional distress, are found in this story. The abuse written in this story is graphic and not glossed over, which could be upsetting to some. This story is NOT for everyone. Proceed with caution.

Purchase

 

harley-rose-for-webEver since she was a little girl, thirty-year-old Rose dreamed of the day Harley would carry her across the threshold on their honeymoon. So what if this isn’t her actual wedding day, and that she’s only here because Harley was left at the altar just a few hours earlier?
Trading San Francisco for paradise and swapping her bridesmaid’s bouquet for a Blue Hawaii, Rose hopes she can finally escape the friend zone.
Once upon a time they had been more than friends, but life got in the way. She’s spent every day since wishing Harley would get a clue.
She’s always been his best friend.
He’s always been hers.
She’s in love with him.
He’s … not in love with her.
He’s … marrying someone else.
He’s … hiding something.
He’s … well—it’s complicated.

Purchase

 

going-downThe plan for Cici Carrington was to steadily climb UP the corporate ladder, and hopefully do so without her skirt tucked into the back of her underpants. Unfortunately, there was no contingency plan for the aftermath of spending a night trapped in an elevator with a suit-wearing Elevator Sex God named Cole Danvers. A one…or two-time dalliance wouldn’t normally throw off the course of someone’s life…unless you find out you have to work together the next day.

To further complicate matters, Cici’s best friend is also her Human Resources Director. She has to hide her secret from every person she knows. Her only confidant is her one-eyed cat, and his loyalty is tenuous at best. Toss in an accidental mugging, a bungled disguise, secret meetings, and unintentional arson, and Cici’s beautiful, careful plan has fallen by the wayside.

Perhaps there aren’t any hard and fast rules in life. Sometimes you can have your cake and eat it too. Sometimes following the rules doesn’t get you ahead.

And perhaps sometimes you can get off between floors…

Purchase

 

wicked-little-wordsEdwin Allen Mercer
I want them all to read my words. And they do. Every last blood-stained sentence, they’ve read and praised me for. They love the gore and violence, the realness. And I get a sense of power with it all because I know a secret: the victims in my books—they’re real and have all died on my table. And maybe that’s why the last book had such awful reviews. Murder is, after all, a dirty little thing. Some can stomach it. Others can’t. My answer to those reviews: find a woman to co-author with. To be the next pathetic character in my book. Pity she’s so pretty.

Miranda Cross
All I’ve ever wanted was to be successful as a writer so when I was offered the opportunity to co-author a book with my idol, EA Mercer, I jumped at the chance. He’s beautiful and a literary genius, but something about him makes my stomach knot. And maybe it’s my overactive imagination making my hairs stand on end when he walks up behind me.
After all, these wicked little words we’re typing are only fiction. They’re only fiction…

Purchase

 

exhume

Dr. Annabelle Schwartzman has finally found a place to belong. As the medical examiner for the San Francisco Police Department, working alongside homicide detective Hal Harris, she uncovers the tales the dead can’t tell about their final moments. It is a job that gives her purpose—and a safe haven from her former life at the hands of an abusive husband. Although it’s been seven years since she escaped that ordeal, she still checks over her shoulder to make sure no one is behind her.

Schwartzman’s latest case is deeply troubling: the victim bears an eerie resemblance to herself. What’s more, a shocking piece of evidence suggests that the killer’s business is far from over—and that Schwartzman may be in danger. In this pulse-pounding thriller from award-winning writer Danielle Girard, a woman must face her worst nightmare to catch a killer.

Purchase

 

birthright-02Prophecies and Birthrights

Everly Gray and Tynan Pierce are at a turning point in their lives. Should they start their family as Everly’s grandmamma predicted, or is their lifestyle too dangerous and uncertain to consider raising a child? Factors affecting this life-changing decision become more complex when Everly agrees to help a former client, and TaP is entangled in furtive family secrets and a mysterious death—without a body.

Caught in the intricacies of the case, they struggle to find the right answer for their future while uncovering the familial jealousy, resentment, and entitlement seething beneath a façade of politics and wealth.

Two mothers protecting their children, and two men who believe they’re entitled to the same inheritance. The TaP Team has to find the missing body to prove their client’s innocence, and is tossed hip-deep into mothers’ love gone wrong. Will they fulfill their destiny and start a family, or is the risk too great?

Purchase

 

a-lovers-lamentIn a matter of seconds my entire world changed, and it was in that moment that I stopped living and simply began to exist.

In my grief, I sent a letter to the first boy I ever loved. I hoped in writing it I’d find some peace from the nightmare I was living, some solace in my anger.

I didn’t expect him to write back. I wasn’t prepared for his words, and I certainly wasn’t ready for the impact this soldier would have on my life. A deep-rooted hate transformed into friendship, and then molded into a love like I’d never known before.

Sergeant Devin Ulysses Clay did what I couldn’t: he put the shattered pieces of my heart back together, restoring my faith in humanity and teaching me how to live again.

But now that I’m whole, I have a decision to make. Do I return to my life as I knew it and the fiancé I left behind, or do I walk away from it all for the only man to ever break my heart?

***

I’ve been living in hell, but you won’t hear me complain.

These men depend on me, as I do them, and this brotherhood is the only family I’ve ever known.

The Army saved me from a callous mother and a life on the wrong side of the tracks that was quickly spiraling out of control. So unlike most of the men in my platoon, going home wasn’t something I longed for.

I was content overseas, spending my days defending this country that gave me my life back. Fighting became my new normal … until her.

A letter from Katie Devora—a letter that I almost didn’t open. Her words put a fire back inside of me that I didn’t know I’d lost. She gave me hope during a time when I was fighting every day just to stay alive, and now it’s time I fight for her.

Purchase

 

the-summer-that-melted

Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.

Sal seems to appear out of nowhere – a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he’s welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he’s a runaway from a nearby farm town.

When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him and tensions rise, along with the temperatures as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him. As strange accidents start to occur, riled by the feverish heat, some in the town start to believe that Sal is exactly who he claims to be. While the Bliss family wrestles with their own personal demons, a fanatic drives the town to the brink of a catastrophe that will change this sleepy Ohio backwater forever.

Purchase

 

punk-57“We were perfect together. Until we met.”

Misha I can’t help but smile at the lyrics in her letter. She misses me. In fifth grade, my teacher set us up with pen pals from a different school. Thinking I was a girl, with a name like Misha, the other teacher paired me up with her student, Ryen. My teacher, believing Ryen was a boy like me, agreed. It didn’t take long for us to figure out the mistake. And in no time at all, we were arguing about everything. The best take-out pizza. Android vs. iPhone. Whether or not Eminem is the greatest rapper ever… And that was the start. For the next seven years, it was us. Her letters are always on black paper with silver writing. Sometimes there’s one a week or three in a day, but I need them. She’s the only one who keeps me on track, talks me down, and accepts everything I am. We only had three rules. No social media, no phone numbers, no pictures. We had a good thing going. Why ruin it? Until I run across a photo of a girl online. Name’s Ryen, loves Gallo’s pizza, and worships her iPhone. What are the chances? F*ck it. I need to meet her. I just don’t expect to hate what I find. Ryen He hasn’t written in three months. Something’s wrong. Did he die? Get arrested? Knowing Misha, neither would be a stretch. Without him around, I’m going crazy. I need to know someone is listening. It’s my own fault. I should’ve gotten his phone number or picture or something. He could be gone forever. Or right under my nose, and I wouldn’t even know it.

*Punk 57 is a stand alone New Adult romance. It is suitable for ages 18+.

Purchase

 

Shannon's.jpg

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s